Mexican culture celebrated through Cinco de Mayo

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    By Janel Esplin

    Each year when the fifth day of May rolls around, a Spanish phrase that has become as well known as “tortilla” enters the vocabulary of many — Cinco de Mayo.

    The holiday is a celebration of Mexican culture, food, music, beverage and customs unique to Mexico. However, it is becoming adopted into the holiday calendar of more and more people every year.

    Jennie Ruff, a junior from Austin, Texas, majoring in nursing, said that the holiday is big in Texas.

    “Everywhere you go there are parties with dancing, live bands, decorations, pinatas and lots of good food,” she said.

    Ruff, who is the activities coordinator in her ward, has organized a big party to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. The celebration will include five pinatas, tons of seven-layer bean dip and some hot Latin music, she said.

    Although Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday, many Americans are aware of it and some take the time to celebrate. If there is not a party to attend, a Mexican dish can at least be enjoyed on the holiday.

    Whether you go out to an authentic restaurant or create your own meal at home, there are many ways to enjoy the flavor of Mexican food.

    Provo offers several options in the way of Mexican cuisine, although some may be more authentic then others. Caf? Rio, Los Hermanos, Chevys and Rosa’s are just a few of the favorites in the area.

    Sam Parker, a senior from Centralia, Wash., majoring in molecular biology, served his mission in Mexico, and is very familiar with the holiday. He said his favorite dish is the Mexican version of pork and beans.

    While Cinco de Mayo may not mean much to most Americans beyond enchiladas, Latin dancing and pinatas, there is, of course, a reason for the celebration.

    According to the Mexico Online Web site, the holiday commemorates the defeat of the French army by the Mexicans at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

    The Web site said the victory was a glorious moment for Mexican patriots and is the cause for the historical date’s celebration.

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