Thursday, May 5, 2011

Viva la Mexico!

Gianfranco Reni Designs. Image: AP

Every year is the same story with me--in a fit of excitement and a little help from something deep red and rich in tannins--I start blurting about Happy Cinco de March or April. But today my friends, I am right. It's the fifth of May and that means, dear non-Mexican reader, Cinco de Mayo.  In the US, Spain, and throughout the diaspora, a celebration of Mexican heritage. In Mexico, a nod to a military defeat of French troops in 1862.

Tony Gleaton's "The Marriage of Maurillio and Teresa" 
Courtesy of the National Museum of Mexican Art
In KoKOFIFI land, an opportunity to channel all things Mexican and large looming in popular culture--Gianfranco Reni (whose designs are so A. McQueen provocative to me), Frida Kahlo (goddesses have indeed graced this earth) and where would pop culture be without soap star turned Hollywood Heiress Salma Hayek? And also a nod to our shared ancestry. Yes, Mexico is home to a rich, if overlooked, line of African descendants. Mexican independence heroes Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon and Vicente Guerrero were both, in part, African descendants. And modern Mexico still has it's own equivalent of Brazil's Bahia--Veracruz along the gulf coast is nestled with towns such as Yanga, named in honour of a restless leader from present day Nigeria. So when you raise your glass celebrating Cinco de Mayo today, don't forget that the real revolution is a battle for minds--making you think it's Cinco de Mayo on March 5 (with the help of good Tequila) and sticking Mexico in a colorless check box.

Viva la Mexico!

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