MILWAUKEE – Cinco de Mayo is the celebration and commemoration of the Mexican victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.
However, the holiday is widely more popular in the United States than Mexico.
Why is that?
“It crossed the U.S Mexico border-lens during the Civil Rights Movement and the Chicano movement,” said Marla Ramirez, Professor of [email protected] Studies at the University of Wisconsin, during an interview with WTMJ. “Mexican Americans, Chicanos and Chicanas of Mexican descent, who were trying to fight for their rights and recognition and create visibility of the growing U.S. born population of Mexican descent in the United States.”
The Mexican Army had fewer members and were under-equipped, yet managed to pull off the improbable victory.
“The Battle of Puebla is a symbolic gesture as a people who resist, we are also a people who fight for our rights,” Ramirez added.
Celebrations may include Mexican style drinks, and food, at local bars and restaurants, which is supported by Ramirez, with the disclaimer of keeping your recognition respectful.
“Of course, celebrate with Mexican food and Mexican traditional drinks but do not appropriate the culture,” she said. “I hope people don’t dress in brown face or dress with Mexican sarapes or sombreros or Mexican traditional attires in a derogatory way.
“When you dress in traditional Mexican attire in a way that mocks the culture, it disrespects a significant sector of the population. It disrespects a whole history of people, a whole community rather than celebrating the community or embracing the community.”
Cinco de Mayo is not to be confused with Mexican Independence Day, which is celebrated on Sept. 16.