‘Cultures are not costumes’: Brown U history teacher, Cinco de Mayo meaning

PROVIDENCE, RI (WPRI) – Cinco de Mayo is Wednesday, so 12 News took a moment to learn more about the celebration of Mexican heritage.

Brown University anthropology professor Paja Faudree spoke to 12 News at 4 about the history of the holiday, the relationship between the United States and Mexico, and more.

Watch the question and the full answer with Paja Faudree in the video above.

Cinco de Mayo is a holiday celebrated to commemorate the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, when Mexican troops won a surprise victory over the French.

Faudree suggested celebrating the holidays by finding a local authentic Mexican restaurant, going to museum exhibits, or searching for a Mexican movie on a streaming service.

“A really important thing to do is to remember that cultures are not costumes,” she said.

“Resist stereotypes, it can be fun to just throw on a big sombrero and wear a big mustache, but it’s really best to have respect for Mexican culture and learn a little about Mexican culture if you don’t. don’t know much about it, “Faudree added.

Faudree said Cinco de Mayo became associated with alcohol consumption in the 1980s, when beer makers wanted to tap the market. She also said the holiday was celebrated more in the United States than in Mexico, marking Mexican Independence Day on September 16 as a more important day for our neighbor to the south.

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