Saturday, May 05, 2007
Celebrating Cino de Mayo . . . Ole!
Cino de Mayo has never been a very significant holiday in Mexico, celebrating the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, and the ridiculously short-lived victory of the Mexicans over the French. Contrary to the assumptions of many, it does NOT even commemorate Mexican Independence Day (Sept. 16). However, in the United States marketers have capitalized on the day to advertise all things Mexican, especially beverages, foods, and music. In this sense, it may be little different from the proliferation of those of us once-a-year “Irish” sporting our green on St. Patrick’s Day or the way Chinese New Year virtually shuts down my largely Asian neighborhood in Southern California.
In a more significant sense, Cinco de Mayo stands as an enduring icon of the underdog overcoming apparently insurmountable odds. Following the near riots in Los Angeles this past week, Cinco de Mayo reminds all of us of the Mexicans among us and their culture and heritage. As a life long Southern Californian raised in the barrio, who has dozens of hard working employees with a Mexican heritage, I add my “Ole” to Cinco de Mayo. May the blessings of hard work, family loyalty, and boisterous celebration of life so characteristic of Mexican culture and heritage continue to enrich our American experience. And, regardless of how you believe in fixing the "immigration problem," may we all move forward with justice, fairness, and Christian compassion. For my part, I will proudly enjoy a taco, enchilada, rice, beans, and guacamole tonight, thanking the Lord for the blessings of our Mexican sisters and brothers and what they have taught me about life, not just cuisine.
Gloria al Padre, al Hijo y al Espíritu Santo.
Como era en el principio, ahora y siempre,
por los siglos de los siglos.