Latin Business Today Director of Community Relations, Tina Trevino with a traditional Mexican peasant dress—getting prepped for Cinco de Mayo.
I’m betting many of you are getting ready to paint the town red, white and green this Friday for Cinco de Mayo.
This typically includes partaking in tasty Mexican cuisine and drinks as well as maybe some dancing and plenty of socializing with friends and family (which I will be doing as well).
It is the day that we celebrate and recognize the Mexican army’s victory at the Battle of Puebla on May 5th 1862 when their underdog army of approximately 4000 soldiers defeated a formidable French army double the size of the Mexican troops.
It was an incredibly inspirational event to the Mexican people since the rest of the world had expected a quick French takeover.
My very abridged history lesson
Aside from my very abridged history lesson that I am reminded of every year, the holiday also serves as personal inspiration to recall how I have learned to embrace my heritage.
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t always proud to talk about or admit to my culture with schoolmates and outsiders growing up. I found it to be a bit of a stigma as a child being in a community of mostly white people except for the extended family of my mom and dad that lived close by.
I felt a bit out of place in my school in the mid ‘70’s being one of only 2 Latino children growing up in my elementary and middle school—diversity did not exist in this small farm-country community. I did not have a desire to learn or speak the Spanish language because it would just make me stand out even more—it was already enough that my skin color was so different than everyone else’s.
It wasn’t until I reached high school that I started to see Latino and African American kids enter our school district mostly because of the consolidation of General Motors factories bringing more urban families from the Detroit area to my town.
Tina Trevino looks at bringing traditional Mexican dress in 2017
At home things were totally different, my parents made us proud of who we were as a culture and always shared our Mexican traditions with my close friends so that it would help to instill a sense of understanding about our background.
My friends who did, got to experience all of the authentic parts of my Mexican heritage like cooking and eating Mexican foods, making and breaking piñatas, learning to speak Spanish words and phrases, listening to my dad play Tejano music on his accordian, learning songs and dances, etc. really enjoyed those experiences.
They always bring up those fun moments from our childhood whenever we get together and catch up.
Next- My college cultural expenience