Ask a Mexican

Traditionally in Mexico, the biggest celebrations are Mexican Independence Day (September 16th) and revolution day (November 20th), among some others. Americans, however, celebrate Cinco de Mayo as if it was a big deal in Mexico, being that it was only a bloodbath won by miracle and not celebrated. This week we asked: What are your thoughts on Gringos taking part in this celebration?

 

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Juan Espinoza, 42, gardener.

I think gringos just need an excuse to get wild and drink. Mexicans are great at throwing parties, and there’s no one who can compete with that. It would be interesting if they could research, the Internet nowadays is so large, Americans could use it to their advantage and learn a little. After all, they do call themselves very smart and cultured. I embrace any foreigner who looks at Mexican traditions and honors them, but Cinco de Mayo is not one of those.

Maria Gonzalez, 23, designer.

I think it's okay. I mean, we also celebrate Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day and a bunch of things that did not exactly come from our ancestors. If an American is looking for a day to drink tequila, so be it. I'd honestly rather have them wrongly celebrate than wrongly being rude, racist and disrespectful. One thing that can bug me a little is the fact they think taco bell is actually tacos, and make their own for taco Tuesday with hard shells and spices bought from a pack in the supermarket.

Daniel Cruz, 36, entrepreneur.

I think the Cinco de Mayo celebration is a little disrespectful. The truth about it is heartbreaking for Mexican people, and foreigners who don’t know any better and celebrate, are sort of part of the problem. Now I know of some Mexicans who celebrate it too, and not because they are Mexican, but because it’s so popular with Americans. There’s a few bars and restaurants that I’ve seen that embrace the celebration by making discounts or special events. It’s a shame, really, as if this country needed more culture than we already have.

Julia Hernandez, 27, receptionist.

I don’t really care for Cinco de Mayo and it’s a great marketing tool. All I have seen are Americans wearing straw sombreros and belts with guns on several occasions while they celebrate something that really is not a reason to celebrate. It is all part of misinformation and the more people keep doing it, the more ignorance is spread. Globalization is a funny thing, it works wonderfully for some situations and very poorly for others. I think there will be a time when there are no more distinct races. All the world’s population will turn into one big mush of the same skin tone, type of hair, and language.

Gabriela Mendoza, 27, secretary.

For me, Cinco de Mayo is important because one of my ancestors was directly involved in it, and we take it with a lot of respect. The fact that foreigners who are on vacation celebrate it, is not really their fault. All the tourist destinations take the date as an advantage to lure more tourists to the spot and host big parties that are honestly quite ridiculous. I get the point, more parties more money, but I do think there should be at least some kind of history behind it, so uneducated tourists could make an informed decision.

Patricia Maldonado, 42, accountant.

I like parties, and I grew up in Texas so I don’t think Cinco de Mayo is such a bad thing. I usually make tacos at home and invite people over for drinks, but I don’t make a historic celebration like when the revolution or independence. I think it’s really up to each person to celebrate whatever they want.