Most people barely recognize their own cultural celebrations, let alone those of other cultures. This is unfortunate because cultural celebrations offer an excellent window into other people’s beliefs and lifestyles. Understanding other cultures and appreciating their diversities is the only way we can achieve world peace. This article will attempt to give you some background on Cinco de Mayo, one of the most famous annual Spanish celebrations. Cinco de Mayo is known and celebrated by people all over the world. This celebration is even taught in some classes here at AIS. The historical facts behind this extravagant celebration are very interesting.
First of all, “Cinco de Mayo” translates to the fifth of May. It celebrates the Franco-Mexican war, which took place in the early 1860’s. The war was a big mashup. Mexico was in debt to France, which triggered Napoleon to get offensive and send his troops into Mexico City. The Mexican army had an unlikely victory over the French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5th, 1862. Four thousand Mexican soldiers defeated a strong and well-equipped French army of 8,000 soldiers.
In the United States, which has a large Hispanic community, the Cinco de Mayo celebration has become a symbol of the Mexican-American culture. In fact, people sometimes confuse the date with Mexico’s Independence Day, which is actually celebrated on September 16th. Cinco de Mayo is celebrated with parades, special food, and music.
This is a war not to be forgotten. It provides a good story to teach children valuable life lessons, such as keeping promises. In my opinion, it is great that it is being taught within our school. I highly recommend that students get more exposure to alternative cultures and celebrations to promote acceptance of diversity and world peace.
By Yaseen Shindy
Ross, Ashley. “The Surprising True History Behind Cinco de Mayo.” TIME. May 4 2016. http://time.com/4313691/cinco-de-mayo-history/