Saturday, May 07, 2005

cinco de mayo

growing up in southcentral texas, we celebrated cinco de mayo in school. maybe the gringos brought in store bought tortillas, queso, and a little bottled pico to go along with it, but, by god, we had a party. occasionally there was a pinata involved and we made elaborate paper decorations (what are those called?). we all knew why cinco de mayo was important.

now i work at a school that is primarily hispanic, with many immigrants born and raised in mexico. when they speak of cinco de mayo, a huge, proud smile spreads across their faces. it's fantastic. for these kids, cinco is not a trivial holiday celebrated by only a small percentage of the population. being around hispanic kids every day has made me realize how white my upbringing was (yes, i had that handful of mexican american friends in highschool and one honduran but let's not kid ourselves), and how accustomed i've become to mexican american culture. i'm not saying i'm about to whip out spanish lingo or that i know mexican politics. i've always been interested in mexico and latin america, but i think it was from a more intellectual standpoint. now i feel as though i'm more culturally aware. i realized this the other day at the grocery store, when i passed a few kids and their mom. one kid said, "what's cinco de mayo?" and the mother said, "just some holiday in mexico."

2 Comments:

Blogger la maestra said...

elaborate paper decorations=papel picado

7:07 AM  
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