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Why I Don’t Give A Crap About Cinco De Mayo


A question that I get asked every year by some acquaintance is, “What are you doing for Cinco de Mayo?” The answer is probably something like doing laundry or taking my cat to the vet. The fact of the matter is that Cinco de Mayo means absolutely nothing to me. First of all it is not a pan-Latino holiday in which we celebrate the vague brown entity that is the American Latino community. It is a minor Mexican holiday and therefore has nothing to do with me as a Cuban. Even in Mexico it isn’t that big of a deal outside of Puebla where the battle against the French took place. How it became the Americanized celebration of drinking too much tequila and eating nachos is a it of a mystery. I guess it’s no different than St. Patrick’s Day in which the feast day of a Catholic saint has turned into an excuse for Irish and non-Irish alike to drink until they puke.

If you have a Cinco de Mayo party, I’ll go. I’m not going to take some kind of stand and be rude. But I’m coming not because the holiday means anything to me but rather because I like parties. Cinco de Mayo is just another example of mainstream American culture trying to lump all Latinos into a manageable mass so they can wrap their minds around our diversity. To me it’s just another day in May in which I may or may not have a margarita. I do love margaritas.

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