Culture is everywhere, even on the calendar. This post was originally written for the 5th of May, a date labeled as a holiday called Cinco De Mayo. I’ve updated this post in recognition of Australia Day listed on January 26th.
Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo is an interesting day culturally. Growing up, like many, I thought it was Mexico’s Independence Day. Turns out that the Mexican Independence Day is in September. And May 5th is actually just an American holiday.
But we do use the day to celebrate Mexican culture. Generally watching a cheesy movie with Mexican accents, wearing sombreros, and eating tacos. We have some misconceptions about the culture, but we try our best. We don’t quite get the food right, but that’s a tangent for another day.
I was able to experience some Mexican culture a few years ago. Including spending September 16th in Mexico. A few things Americans do have right is big parties, piñatas, and lots of tacos. Some of my favorite parts about the culture is the dedication to family, friends, work, and celebrations. Going half-way isn’t an option. So, learn more about the customs and traditions. I wish I could articulate the vibrancy and excitement I feel about the language and people.
Like Cinco de Mayo, my first assumption was that Australia Day must be a form of independence day. But after a quick google search, I discovered it was actually a day Australia was invaded and conquered. Nevertheless, a day to celebrate the country and culture.
To be honest, I know very little about Australia beyond The Man from Snowy River. However, I did take the opportunity once to learn a little to celebrate. One year I actually made Aussie chicken and Australian Damper, an outback bread.
All cultures shape the people raised in them. For good or bad, we develop a lot of characteristics and attitudes from our cultures. Consider the strange things in your own culture. How have strengths and weaknesses of your culture effected you? Even individual families have their own internal cultures.
In writing, we benefit from learning about how others live, because it adds diversity that we can pull from. This enhances our world building and character development. Enjoy the little holidays that pop up and learn something from them.
Happy Cultural Celebrations!