KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Thursday, May 5 marks Cinco de Mayo 2022, a day that tends to be filled with drinks and tacos, but is also surrounded by inaccuracy and controversy.
Although many people may think of Cinco de Mayo as a Hispanic version of July Fourth, the day actually marks the Battle of Puebla — the day when Mexican forces in the state of Puebla defeated Napoleon III. Despite that victory, the day is mainly celebrated by Puebla residents, not the entirety of Mexico.
Furthermore, many Hispanic people say Cinco de Mayo tends to cause more harm than good as many celebrations, especially those held outside of Mexico, can be filled with inaccurate portrayals of Hispanic culture.
That is why Centro Hispano, a local group in Knoxville, encourages people to learn about the culture they are tapping into on Cinco de Mayo.
“We’ve been celebrating it since the 1860s, since basically, our Civil War,” explained Centro Hispano Communications Coordinator Danielle Ray. “We [Americans] have adopted it and I think it’s fascinating to try and understand why. Why, as a society, we took on this holiday and decided to celebrate it.”
Centro Hispano uses days like Cinco de Mayo to point people toward Hispanic education and events that allow participants to dive deeper into true Hispanic traditions. For more information about Centro Hispano, visit its website.
Click here for additional information about Cinco de Mayo and its origins.