Guest Viewpoint: Please don’t appropriate Mexican culture on Cinco de Mayo
UO Community Members,
It’s “Cinco de Mayo!” Yay for some of you who want to party! However, it sucks for those of us who do not celebrate this day and have to witness you appropriating our culture. Cultural appropriation is when a group of people use aspects of other cultures; it consists a dominant group taking from a historically oppressed or a minority group of people.
Cinco de Mayo is really just another excuse for people to party, but do people really know the reason behind the partying? Contrary to popular belief, it is not Mexican Independence Day and it is not a federally recognized holiday in Mexico. In Mexico we do not celebrate May 5th with tequila shots, and we most definitely do not dress up in sombreros, mustaches and sarapes. The state of Puebla is the only state that celebrates this date, for a whole month, with a huge festival that includes music, expositions, films, dancing and other rich aspects of our beautiful Mexican culture.
Cinco de Mayo refers to the Mexican Army victory against the French troops on May 5th in 1862. Unfortunately, the market has taken this date to make profit, especially in the United States. You can find Cinco de Mayo deals to get tacos,burritos, guacamole, tequila and Mexican beer at a cheaper price etc.
Please, do not appropriate our culture. By wearing sombreros, mustaches and sarapes you are not only appropriating our culture, but you are portraying an image that does not represent us. Before you dress up, eat burritos and take tequila shots, take time to reflect on what you are doing and how it can affect those around you. Please educate yourself.
Movimiento Estudiantil Chican@ de Aztlán (MEChA) de University of Oregon
& ASUO Multicultural Advocate, Perla Alvarez
Read more about Cinco de Mayo and Cultural Appropriation: