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Despite the mariachis, tequila and folkloric dances, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated more in the U.S. than Mexico. The holidaycommemorates ...
the defeat of the French at the 1862 Battle of Puebla. But it's meaning is lost amid marketing and margaritas. (May 4)
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[Location:PASADENA, CA - May 3, 2012][Source: AP]CINCO DE MAYO? SOME SAY IT'S MORE LIKE DRINKO DE MAYO -- A HOLIDAY CREATED BY BEER MARKETERS - JUST ANOTHER EXCUSE TO PARTY, EVEN IF IT'S A COUPLE OF DAYS EARLY.[SOT/CLAIRE MCLEAN, Physical Therapist] "Tres de Mayo'!"THE REAL HISTORY BEHIND CINCO DE MAYO WAS FORGOTTEN SOMEWHERE BETWEEN THE SALT AND THE LIME.[SOT/CLAIRE MCLEAN, Physical Therapist] ("It's a good excuse to go out and celebrate. Go out and do something. But we would do it anyways. Hehehe.")IT'S CELEBRATED IN BARS, RESTAURANTS AND BACKYARDS ACROSS THE U.S., BUT THIS "FIESTA" IS ABOUT AS FESTIVE AS FLAG DAY IN THE U.S.[SOT/HECTOR ORCI/Hispanic Marketing Expert] ("As children we learned the patriotic lesson in school, which was to fight anybody who attacks you. At home it was pretty much a non-event." :13Turns out this holiday was born right here in Los Angeles. In 1862, the Mexicans were battling the invading French south of the border, and the North was fighting the South back East.")[SOT/PROF. DAVID HAYES-BAUTISTA, Author, "Cinco de Mayo"] ("It was a holiday created by Latinos on the stances that Latinos here took on the Civil War. Latinos here supported freedom and opposed slavery.")PROFESSOR DAVID HAYES BAUTISTA SAYS THAT TO LATINO IMMIGRANTS AND LONGTIME CALIFORNIANS OF THAT ERA, THE VICTORY OF THE OUT-GUNNED MEXICAN ARMY WAS A HOPEFUL SIGN FOR BOTH THE UNION AND MEXICAN SOVEREIGNTY.[SOT/PROF. DAVID HAYES-BAUTISTA, Author, "Cinco de Mayo"] ("You had had a huge immigration from Mexico, Central and South America into California into California during the Gold Rush. The Latino population grew by a factor of 10 in one decade. And they were all involved in celebrating Cinco de Mayo because all Latinos, whether Californios, Mexicanos, Salvadorenos, Chilenos, supported freedom and democracy and opposed slavery and white supremacy.")BUT WHAT HAPPENED SINCE? CORPORATE AMERICA DISCOVERED THIS HUMBLE HOLIDAY... AND THEY DECIDED TO THROW A PARTY.[SOT/GRANT BERENTSEN/Patron Tequila] ("As far as the liquor industry and most businesses... We're always going to use a holiday to sell something, whether we do it or a retail store, they're all going to use that to their advantage.")[SOT/HECTOR ORCI/Hispanic Marketing Expert] ("The same companies celebrating in the Latino community found it very easy and appealing because Anglo-Americans were responding nicely to the opportunity to have a celebration early in the summer season.")SO CINCO DE MAYO BECAME A SORT OF EARLY MEMORIAL DAY - TIME TO BREAK OUT THE BOOZE AND ENJOY THE GOOD WEATHER. ARLENE MIJARES DE LANG ISN'T COMPLAINING - HER RESTAURANT WILL BE PACKED FOR FOUR DAYS. THAT'S A LOT OF MARGARITAS.[SOT/ARLENE MIJARES DE LANG, General Manager, Mijares Restarant] ("for our bottom line, it's very meaningful. It's one of our busiest weekends of the year.")THIS FAMILY-OWNED RESTAURANT HAS BEEN OPEN FOR 92 YEARS. SO THEY TRY TO BALANCE AUTHENTICITY WITH THROWING A GOOD PARTY. THAT MEANS ARLENE'S ABUELITA'S RECIPE FOR MOLE POBLANO BUT ALSO TEQUILA SAMPLES FROM PATRON.(Raquel off camera "Pop quiz, what are we celebrating on Cinco de Mayo?)[SOT/GRANT BERENTSEN/Patron Tequila] ("Hahaha! I don't know! We're celebrating drinking tequila!")[SOQ-OUT/RAQUEL MARIA DILLON, Associated Press] ("Just like Halloween, Christmas, Easter, even Mother's Day, Cinco de Mayo has become commercialized. And that, more than anything, makes it a very American holiday. RMD, AP, Pasadena, Calif. Salud!") (****END****)