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Cinco de Mayo should be celebrated after all.

By Danié Gómez-Ortigoza

May 5, 2020

I must confess, I’ve never celebrated Cinco de Mayo. I actually used to judge people who do, because it’s an absolute fallacy. In our country we seldom speak about it. It’s really not special. The two main events in history that are truly celebrated everywhere are our Independence Day and our Revolution. And yet, the United States is not aware of those dates. They always stick to Cinco de Mayo.

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Every year I’ve been on a mission to tell people that it’s the wrong date, but today I came to the realization that Cinco de mayo is actually worth celebrating. Let’s forget about historical references and focus on the beauty of having a day where this country celebrates us, and drinks to us, and makes an effort to speak Spanish forgetting about everything that divides us and focusing on what braids us together: fun times, avocados, tacos that suddenly turned into burritos, and piñatas.

So here is a poem I wrote about Mexico not too long ago to share what my Mexico is all about, regardless of the date.


What can I say about Mexico?

A lot. Or perhaps too little.

I can try to describe the smell of wet streets

early in the morning,

as people prepare to start their day.

Or how food is a mix of tradition, legends and emotions.

I could say how incredibly powerful are the smiles of strangers,

and how wonderful piñatas are,

specially when you realize they symbolize the perfect mix between tradition and globalization.

Our art.

Our intimacy with Death.

City of contrasts:

color, shadow and chiaroscuro.

I can also tell you that one day I left, rather unexpectedly.

And it was only then, by observing those contrasting cultural differences,

that I understood a bit more of what it means to be Mexican.

To be a Mestiza.

And to carry all that surrealism inside of me in this very strange world.

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