Cinco de Mayo

Estephanie Jimenez

Todos los Mexicanos saben que el Cinco de Mayo no es el dia de independencia para México pero no todas las personas de un otro region lo saben.

Every Mexican knows that the fifth of May is not really the independence day for Mexico, but not every everyone from other countries know that. The true independence day is September 16 and it is widely known as El Grito de Dolores. So if May 5 isn’t independence day, what is it?

Cinco de Mayo is actually when Mexico defeated France when they had attempted to take over Puebla de Los Angeles. There were about 6,000 French troops going against 2,000 Mexicans. Needless to say, the odds did not look so great. The battle started at day break but it didn’t end till early evening. As the fight ended, the French were the ones who retreated and they were the ones who lost the most men. They had lost almost 500 men while Mexico had lost fewer than 100.  Cinco de Mayo does symbolize something great for the Mexican government, something of moral value. Something that we should all know about. It represents Mexico’s ability to defend it’s people and citizens when going against a country far more stronger and advanced. Cinco de Mayo teaches us as people that we should always fight for what is right, even when the odds don’t look so great for us because we never know what surprises lie before us.

Now to be completely honest, in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is not really celebrated as greatly as September 16, El Grito de Dolores. The only two places that emphasizes it so much seems to be Puebla de Los Angeles (where the battle took place) and the United States (where most Mexicans are found). If the battle took place in Mexico, how come it is more celebrated in the United States than in it’s own country?

When immigrants from Mexico migrated to the United States, they started to celebrate this day with their fellow Mexican-Americans who were already there without knowing the true meaning behind the great event. These festivities slowly turned from celebrating the victory of the battle to embracing the Mexican culture. When people go to these Cinco de Mayo festivals, the identity of Mexico and of Mexicans is truly shown. People are able to see the traditional dances, hear their classic music, and above all taste the deliciousness of the time-honored yet different Mexican foods. This holiday allows anyone and everyone who desires to know more about the Mexican culture. Most people who are not Mexican and have never tried or seen the many things of Mexico are given the opportunity to experience it and to embrace their fellow peers. It allows us to appreciate each other’s values and ethnicities.