5 Reasons Why Cinco De Mayo is Relevant
Tequila, margaritas, and mariachis may come to mind when we hear Cinco De Mayo, but there is so much more depth to this day!
Cinco De Mayo, translated as the 5th of May, was a day in history when an underdog Mexican Army triumphed over the highly skilled French Army during the Battle of Puebla. Most believed this to be an impossibility!
Just for preface, Napoleon III and his army had invaded Mexico after breaking a treaty agreement. They were fighting their way to Mexico City with an agenda to overthrow the government and rule Mexico. Puebla was the last geographical obstacle and its subordinate troops were not viewed as a threat by Napoleon.
But on May 5, 1862 General Zaragosa’s supposed inferior Mexican soldiers were victorious over the decorated French Army who had been undefeated for nearly 50 years. This conquest brought unification to their country and bolstered the collective Mexican spirit. This is the historical premise of the celebration we have come to know as Cinco De Mayo.
And when we are open – there is always more to know.
Here are 5 (cinco) reverberations from Cinco De Mayo that are relevant to all of humanity:
1- All things are possible.
The majority of people were convinced that Mexico was doomed. But rather than succumb to this unfavorable diagnosis, the Mexican people ascended to victory through the portals of strong will, determination, and faith. Sound familiar? Of course! Just recall David and Goliath, Odysseus and the Cyclops, Jack and the Beanstalk, Erin Brockovich, Matilda, and Sea Biscuit! Underdog stories are universal and will remain timeless because the pulse of overcoming adversity is palpable. We can all relate!
May we all ascend with fortitude.
- Nothing is insignificant.
Most people know that Napoleon’s agenda was to rule Mexico but his broader objective was to strategically position his army in Mexico City then join forces with the Confederate Army in the United States in an effort to conquer Abraham Lincoln’s Union Army. Napoleon ultimately wanted to rule the southern United States and Mexico’s seemingly insignificant victory in Puebla prevented this from happening. Without this intervention, the outcome of the US Civil War may have been significantly different.
This occurrence is symbolic of our perpetual interdependence. It brings to mind The Butterfly Effect whereby a small change in one system can have large effects somewhere else. In other words, a butterfly flapping its wings in Rio De Janeiro might change the weather in Baltimore.
May we all embody our deep connection and oneness.
- 3. Equality is all-inclusive.
Oppression was ominous in Mexico in the 1800’s. Indigenous people were mostly enslaved and did not own land or businesses, females were not permitted to read, and Mexico as a country was inferior to most of its surrounding countries.
Our species has evolved immensely over the years but equality is a dynamic process and a lot of shift still needs to happen before we create a world reflective of balance and equality.
May we all know that we all matter.
- We are all royalty.
One day after the battle on May 6th, all Mexican people celebrated together. There was no division or segregation – only a unified humanity. The culinary dish that was widely served was mole—a complex, aromatic sauce created by rhythmically integrating 33 fresh ingredients together in one pot. How’s that for symbolism? The last ingredient to be added in mole is chocolate nectar from the cacao bean. There was a time in history when only male royalty could consume chocolate but thankfully that is a pattern of the past.
May we all bow to royalty within ourselves.
- The only permanent condition is impermanence.
The material outcomes of the Mexican victory were short lived because one year later, the French invaded Mexico again and this time they won. But because the inner strength and identity of the Mexican collective had already taken root the experience was different. And then in 1867 the Mexican people overthrew the French crown and Benito Juarez returned to his presidency.
With this we are reminded that external circumstances are turbulent and ever changing. Sustainable peace and genuine happiness can only be cultivated from the inside out.
May we all propagate resounding harmonious existence .
by Cynthia Dawn
Author Of INDIGENA: A Novel Celebrating the Spirit of Cinco De Mayo
You can order a signed copy here https://www.harmoniouskids.com/buy-indigena/
Also available through Balboa Press, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble