Wednesday, September 16, 2009
The flag of Mexico
Today is independence day here in Mexico. It is a day that is comparable to America's 4th of July and is celebrated with passion by The People here. Many Americans, indeed most, incorrectly believe that Cinco de Mayo commemorates Mexican Independence from Spanish rule. Today actually honors the peasant rebellion led by Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla that began on September 16, 1810 at a parish church in Dolores. The uprising eventually led to Mexican Independence 11 years later. Cinco de Mayo commemorates a battle with the French 50 years after that.
In thinking about all this I looked up the word Expatriate to see if I was correct in using it to describe my present status. Here is the definition of Expatriate: "a person who lives outside their native country". Now what is the definition of a native? "A person born in a specified place or associated with a place by birth, whether subsequently resident there or not". That makes me an Expatriate even when I did live in The States because I was born in Estonia.
I am proud to be living with the Mexican people now. I honor their flag, I love their food, I enjoy the sound of their language (and slowly, very slowly learning it) and I respect deeply their sense of freedom and justice.