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The Historical Cinco De Mayo

badassoftheweek.com / CC
badassoftheweek.com / CC
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MarkScottAustinTX / Flickr
Credit MarkScottAustinTX / Flickr
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Cinco De Mayo in more modern times.

Today is Cinco De Mayo, a celebration that’s come a long way from its historic roots in Mexico.  In the US, May 5th is often mistakenly associated with Mexico’s Independence Day….which actually falls on September 16th.  But historically, the 5th of May marks the Mexican Army’s brief victory over French forces during the battle of Puebla in 1862.  The French occupation of Mexico continued for the next three years until support was cut by Napoleon III, leaving French occupiers to fight on until their slaughter.

Today’s observance is an American creation that’s almost completely ignored in Mexico except for small celebrations in Puebla where townspeople dress in historic uniforms.

Although the origins of the American holiday are murky, it’s been growing in size since the 1960’s, and celebrated less and less by Mexican Americans, and more and more by college drinking crowds.  Marie Villa is the former publisher of the Hawaii Hispanic News. To her, the modern holiday had nothing to do with her roots. 

Villa adds that Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15th, to October 15th, is more appropriate celebration of Hispanic culture.

Nick Yee’s passion for music developed at an early age, as he collected jazz and rock records pulled from dusty locations while growing up in both Southern California and Honolulu. In college he started DJing around Honolulu, playing Jazz and Bossa Nova sets at various lounges and clubs under the name dj mr.nick. He started to incorporate Downtempo, House and Breaks into his sets as his popularity grew, eventually getting DJ residences at different Chinatown locations. To this day, he is a fixture in the Honolulu underground club scene, where his live sets are famous for being able to link musical and cultural boundaries, starting mellow and building the audience into a frenzy while steering free of mainstream clichés.
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