Archive for the ‘Mexico’ Category

MAY I have your attention please?

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Well, April has come and went…and I wrote the entire month! I wrote a poem each and every day but I shared only that one. Tsk. No one reminded me. I guess no one was reading…so C’est la vie! If no one is around then no one will catch my missing posts! =) It all works out, right?

May! What do I love about May? I am supposed to pick something every month. I must be getting close to a year on that… then I shall stop. And think of something new. I love the rain of May. And May Day. And Cinco de Mayo which it just happens to be TODAY! So, in honor of Mexican tradition and heritage… I’d like to share a few of my favorite things or people from Mexico.

Frida Kahlo

Frieda Kahlo y Calderón) was a Mexican painter, born in Coyoacán. Perhaps best known for her self-portraits, Kahlo’s work is remembered for its “pain and passion”, and its intense, vibrant colors. Her work has been celebrated in Mexico as emblematic of national and indigenous tradition, and by feminists for its uncompromising depiction of the female experience and form.1

The Two Fridas by Frida Kahlo

The Mexican Muralists (José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros)  These painters were very important towards pushing social and political change through their art. Go on, go google them.

David Alfaro Siqueiros

Sor Juana Ines (Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, a 17th century nun, poet, scholar and feminist!) Read more about her here.

I could keep going. There are so many things I like about Mexico. The music, their history. Their culture. Their FOOD! Yummy! I say, take a moment and do some research. Order a book on the History of Mexico. Learn more. =) It is worth getting to know. =)
Happy Cinco de Mayo!

  1. http://www.fridakahlo.com/ []

Happy Cinco de Mayo

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for “fifth of May”) is a regional holiday in Mexico, primarily celebrated in the state of Puebla, with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico. The holiday commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín. The outnumbered Mexicans defeated a much better-equipped French army that had not been defeated in almost 50 years.

Cinco de Mayo is not “an obligatory federal holiday” in Mexico, but rather a holiday that can be observed voluntarily.

    History

In 1861, Mexico ceased making interest payments to its main creditors. In response, in late 1861, France (and other European countries) attacked Mexico to try to force payment of this debt. France decided that it would try to take over and occupy Mexico. France was successful at first in its invasion; however, on May 5, 1862, at the city of Puebla, Mexican forces were able to defeat an attack by the larger French army. In the Battle of Puebla, the Mexicans were led by General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín. Although the Mexican army was victorious over the French at Puebla, the victory only delayed the French invasion of Mexico City; a year later, the French occupied Mexico. The French occupying forces placed Maximilian I, Emperor of Mexico on the throne of Mexico. The French, under U.S. pressure, eventually withdrew in 1866-1867. Maximilian was executed by President Benito Juarez, five years after the Battle of Puebla.

    History of observance

Cinco de Mayo dancers greeted by president George W. Bush.

According to a paper published by the UCLA Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture about the origin of the observance of Cinco de Mayo in the United States, the modern American focus on the people of the world that day first started in California in the 1860s in response to the resistance to French rule in Mexico. The 2007 paper notes that “The holiday, which has been celebrated in California continuously since 1863, is virtually ignored in Mexico.”

    Observances

Mexico

The holiday of Cinco de Mayo is primarily a regional holiday in Mexico. There is some limited recognition of the holiday in other parts of the country. For the most part the celebrations combine food, music, and dancing.

In Mexico City, like the rest of the Mexican capitals, all the young men who serve the military services pledge allegiance to the Mexican national flag and the institutions that it represents.

    United States

Cinco de Mayo performers at the White House.

In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has taken on a significance beyond that in Mexico. The date is perhaps best recognized in the United States as a date to celebrate the culture and experiences of Americans of Mexican ancestry, much as St. Patrick’s Day, Oktoberfest, and the Chinese New Year are used to celebrate those of Irish, German, and Chinese ancestry respectively. Similar to those holidays, Cinco de Mayo is observed by many Americans regardless of ethnic origin. Celebrations tend to draw both from traditional Mexican symbols, such as the Virgen de Guadalupe, and from prominent figures of Mexican descent in the United States, including César Chávez. To celebrate, many display Cinco de Mayo banners while school districts hold special events to educate pupils about its historical significance. Special events and celebrations highlight Mexican culture, especially in its music and regional dancing. Examples include ballet folklórico and mariachi demonstrations held annually at the Plaza del Pueblo de Los Angeles, near Olvera Street. Commercial interests in the United States have capitalized on the celebration, advertising Mexican products and services, with an emphasis on beverages, foods, and music.

    Elsewhere

Cinco de Mayo celebration in St. Paul, Minnesota

Events tied to Cinco de Mayo also occur outside Mexico and the United States. For example, a sky-diving club near Vancouver in Canada holds a Cinco de Mayo skydiving event. In the Cayman Islands, in the Caribbean, there is an annual Cinco de Mayo air guitar competition. As far away as the island of Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, revelers are encouraged to drink Mexican beer on May 5.

Source:  Wikipedia