Corona Hand Bar Party

How to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo Without Being Racially Insensitive

Although I was born and raised in California, I grew up in a very traditional Mexican household. Excluding my mother, her side of the family lives in Mexico and I have yet to see any of them actually celebrate Cinco de Mayo. I was always astonished to see so many non-Mexican people celebrate this holiday, throwing parties and eating Mexican food. It seems like non-Mexicans enjoy celebrating Cinco de Mayo more than Mexican people actually do! It is okay to celebrate if you are not Mexican, I am not here to tell you that you can’t drink tequila or eat tacos, all I ask is that you do it respectfully. With this popular holiday approaching in the next few days, I think it is crucial to help give some advice on how to be respectful while celebrating Cinco de Mayo. 

  1. 1. Know What You Are Celebrating 

    There is a common misconception that Cinco de Mayo is Mexican Independence day. This is not true, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence day. Mexican Independence day is celebrated on September 16th! Cinco de Mayo, on the other hand is the celebration of a major Mexican military victory against France at the battle of Puebla in 1862. If you are celebrating a holiday that is not your own, at least take the time to research what you are actually celebrating and pay its respects.

  2. 2. Celebrate Don’t Appropriate

    There is nothing wrong with celebrating Mexico’s beautiful culture and indulging in their tasty dishes. What is wrong is making a parody out of the country, mocking, degrading or appropriating Mexicans and Mexican Americans. So before you bust out that fake mustache, serape, sombrero, maracas, paint your face brown or say “Cinco de drinko”, know that you are absolutely appropriating and disrespecting Mexican culture. Instead, listen to Mexican music, drink your corona with lime and eat some enchiladas! Also don’t be afraid to check your friends if they are disrespecting Mexican culture (or any culture). 

  3. 3. Eat Authentic Mexican Cuisine Instead

    Ditch taco bell or chipotle and order food from small Mexican owned restaurants to help support their businesses! You can even try cooking some traditional meals from home by looking up YouTube videos or recipes online. If you do this, you will find it is a much tastier option!

By following these simple steps on how to celebrate Cinco de Mayo respectfully, you are helping out the Mexican and Mexican American community by appreciating and loving our culture. So go ahead, drink your margaritas and eat your spicy tacos knowing that you are not disrespecting Mexican culture!