El Grito is important

Elizabeth Ramirez

Que Viva Mexico! Que Viva Miguel Hidalgo! Que Viva Cinco de Mayo! Que….

Oh wait… it is El Grito, Mexico’s Independence Day, not Cinco de Mayo. Que viva la Independecia!

El Grito, the scream of independence, is what Mexicans hear each year. It is a moment of joy and happiness shared by many during a span of five minutes.

However in the U.S., El Grito takes a back seat compared to Cinco de Mayo celebrations, despite the nearly 33 million Mexicans who were living in the U.S. during 2010, according to Pew Research Center.

Besides getting drunk and eating Mexican delicacies, the most important thing for fellow Americans to know how significant El Grito is to the Mexican community.

Many individuals don’t know the significance of both days, but they still party hard. Let’s clear the air.

Professor Sherry Fields, who teaches history of Mexico and Latin America, said El Grito commemorates Mexico’s army revolt against the Spaniards which marked the start of Mexico’s fight for independence.

Fields said Cinco de Mayo commemorates a battle in Puebla between the French and Mexican army. In the battle, the Mexican army defeated the French.

Although not many people might know the link between Mexico and the U.S. during the French-Mexican War, it is still celebrated without many questioning it. There needs to be a reason to celebrate and not select a country’s holiday as an excuse to drink and party. Many individuals drink on a regular basis.

There are many celebrations around the U.S and Sacramento for Cinco de Mayo but not a lot for Mexico’s independence. Restaurants decorate their establishments with red, white and green, Mexico’s flag colors. Radio stations promote parties all around Sacramento. Beer companies seem to promote Cinco de Mayo more than Mexico’s Independence Day. There is inequality through advertisement which translates to the minimal celebration Mexico’s Independence receives.

The U.S. celebrates Chinese New Year, St. Patrick’s Day and Cinco de Mayo. If they added Mexico’s Independence Day, it should give everyone another reason to celebrate.

Several Sacramento State students agree Mexico’s Independence Day should be celebrated in a bigger scale than Cinco de Mayo.

“It’s part of my culture,” said Aracely Sanchez, sophomore business major. “Even though I live in the U.S., it’s important to transmit the Mexican culture because we are the future of the country as well.”

This is exactly why Mexico’s independence should be celebrated in the U.S. The Mexican culture has a huge impact on the U.S. If both days are equally celebrated, the American and Mexican communities can merge into one big community.

Individuals living in the U.S. should be educated on the difference and significance between these two days. Students can learn from a simple research assignment. For those who are no longer students, a simple reminder could be attained through different media outlets.

Mexico’s independence should not be brushed through as an event in the U.S. It should be announced with bells and whistles like Cinco de Mayo. Both are important days, but the significance makes a difference, especially to the Mexican community in the U.S.


Elizabeth can be reached at: [email protected]