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Friday, May 4, 2012

Cinco de Mayo for Franco-Americans?

 Found myself one year in a Phoenix, AZ park on Cinco de Mayo Day. Colorful costumes, lively music, lots of balloons and bright colors. Evidently this was a popular day of celebration. But I really had no idea what the celebrating was all about.

Seem the date is observed to commemorate the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Contrary to widespread popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico's Independence Day  which is actually celebrated on September 16.

I'm a New England-born, French Canadian Caucasian. My history's the furthest you can imagine from Cinco de Mayo. Relevant to my ancestors is the date June 22,1774. That is when the Quebec Act, guaranteeing civil, language and religious rights to French Canadians, came into force. Maybe I should give some thought to creating a special events day to celebrate it.

Why not? America is a melting pot...bringing together every nationality imagined and melding them into one cohesive unit. Yes, our diverse cultural history is part of what makes the United States unique. So...the Irish have their St. Patrick's Day, the African Americans have their Kwanzaa. Why not a day to celebrate the endurance of the French to hold on to their identity? 

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