Saturday Short List: Cinco de Mayo

5 May

Today’s May 5th, Cinco de Mayo. I dislike celebrating these exaggerated holidays and all of the ridiculous stereotypes that go along with them. Cinco de Mayo is a very minor holiday in the state of Puebla, commemorating a battle when the Mexican army defeated the French. It’s not a big celebration, it’s not Mexico’s Independence Day; it’s just a poor excuse for people to appropriate a culture they know little about.

I never realized how obnoxious it was within the food scene until this year. I’ve been receiving taco recipes for the past two weeks and, even worse, completely non-Mexican-related recipes using the word ‘cinco’ in them because apparently that’s the only Spanish word anyone in PR knows.

The one benefit to celebrating this holiday is that many cities are actually showcasing regional Mexican cultures through educational performances and art. Unfortunately, celebrations in Boston seem to be limited to pub crawls and margarita competitions.

So if you’re in the mood for a Corona, go for it, but not because it’s Cinco de Mayo.

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2 Responses to “Saturday Short List: Cinco de Mayo”

  1. Amy May 5, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    Good post! I grew up in a part of California where nearly 50% of the population are Mexican and yet Cinco de Mayo was never something I saw celebrated extenstively until I moved to Boston…

    • Liz May 5, 2012 at 11:27 am #

      Thanks for your comment! I was trying not to make any huge generalizations in this post because I’ve only spent May 5 in Boston and small cities/towns in the Northeast…so that’s interesting to hear about California.

      Many Bostonians love an excuse to party – which is fine by me! – but it makes me sad when it’s at the expense of exploiting someone else’s culture.

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