Mother’s Day in Mexico

This topic is not anything I would’ve ever considered writing about if my friend Lizette wouldn’t have briefly brought up how she typically celebrated Mother’s Day a day before it is nationally celebrated in the United States (note: Mother’s Day in the United States is always held on the second Sunday of May). Believe it or not, that was something I never knew about. From that small exchange, I decided to do some research on the origin of the day, and simply why it’s celebrated the day before in Mexico – isn’t it cool to see how something so small can spark your interest?

For a little history on Mother’s Day itself, the origin of Mother’s Day goes back to Ancient Greece. Mother’s Day was established in honor of “Rhea”, who was knows as “the mother of all Greek Gods.” Throughout the 19th Century, there were constant proposals to establish a day to tribute entirely to the mothers in our lives, but it wasn’t officially established until 1908. It was May 10, 1908 when there was the first unofficially ceremony held to commemorate mothers in a Church in Virginia.

Mexican Mother’s Day dates back to April 13, 1922 Rafael Alducin, a journalist and founder of a newspaper, launched an invitation nationwide to choose a date to pay respect and affection to Mexican mothers. Being that everyone was in favor of this initiative, May 10th, 1922 became the first official Mother’s Day. Mexico became the first nation in Latin America that gave mothers this recognition.

May 10th was actually chosen since May is the month that is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and being that the 10th was once “pay day” in Mexico. Like in the United States, the day usually includes a family reunion. Along with this, families eat traditional dishes and listen to Mexican music while expressing their love, affection and gratitude for all mothers and grandmothers.

Now that I’ve given you a quick history lesson on Mexican Mother’s Day, don’t try to correct your Mexican friends if they tell you to wish your mom a Happy Mother’s Day and it doesn’t line up with the day you’re used to!

Stereotypes – DEBUNKED

I was scrolling down twitter when I saw a tweet regarding stereotypes that are associated with Latin America and Latinos. By definition, stereotype is defined as: “a widely held, but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.” It’s crazy to sit down and think about how many stereotypes there are in the world about different, locations, people, cultures, etc. I wanted to take a look on the Mexican culture and focus on the stereotypes that are typically associated with the culture and their people. After doing some research, I really want to talk about 3 stereotypes in particular that I find to be the most “popular”, and definitely the ones that need to be debunked – although they all need to be.

1. Mexican = Undocumented Immigrant

There is people who have this odd impression that when a Mexican is in the United States, they just MUST be undocumented. There are millions of Mexicans that currently reside in the United States that are 100% documented, and that’s the fact of the matter. Yes, illegal immigrants do exist and yes, they are in the United States, but it seems as if people have forgotten that it is completely NORMAL for a Mexican to be DOCUMENTED and LEGAL. When you come across someone who has this mentality, the only thing you can really do is EDUCATE.

2. Mexican = Lazy

I’ve seen many shows and movies where there is a “Mexican Character” who is portrayed as lazy. It is easy to say that this is a HUGE stereotype. With everything going on today, and with those who are of high position in our country, it’s easy to see why people would take this stereotype and run with it. Believe it or not, (you should believe it), the Mexican people work more than a majority of the people in the United States, and let’s not forget to mention when there are Mexican people in the United States, they tend to do the jobs that most Americans do not want to do – these are typically the more “hands-on” type of jobs. Something that I think is funny to note is that a majority of the people who are falsely claiming this, are most likely extremely lazy. *shoulder shrug*

3. Latino = Mexican

This last stereotype is not necessarily focused entirely on Mexican culture, but it definitely does play a part within it. I don’t know how many times I have gone somewhere and I have spoken Spanish and I have been asked if I was Mexican. It’s not that I find this disrespectful, because I really don’t, but I do find it ignorant. The reason why I find it ignorant is because every single time that this has happened it has been said by someone who is Caucasian. It’s crazy to think that there are people in the world who truly are not educated when it comes to different cultures, not only those in Latin America. When it comes to this stereotype, there is also something else to note. A while back I actually had a conversation with a coworker of mine (this conversation has never left my memory since I believe it is entirely true), who is also Latino. We sat down and discussed how in most movies where the Hispanic culture is present, 9/10 it immediately reverts to Mexican culture. When thinking about that conversation, and thinking about this stereotype, it goes to show how the media, movies, Hollywood, etc. really paint a picture on what the Hispanic culture is, to an audience that may not be well educated. It’s from instances like this that stereotypes continue to carry on.

Authentic Mexican Food in Queens, NY? – Look No Further!

One of my favorite Mexican restaurants is located in Jamaica, New York, right on Sutphin Blvd. I first across Bella’s Place on UberEats. It was a random night where I was craving Mexican food. I wasn’t too familiar with any of the restaurants that were offered on UberEats so I just went on a whim and chose Bella’s, and I’m so glad that I made that decision as it has turned into one of my favorite places! The options on the menu are endless. From quesadillas, to flautas, to burritos, you truly cannot go wrong when you choose your dish. Being a huge fan of flautas, I ordered a plate of Chicken Flautas and White Rice – the best first order I could have made. After my first time having Bella’s, I was hooked. If there’s a day I’m craving Mexican Cuisine, it’s a go to. After a few more UberEats purchases, I finally decided to go into Bella’s. It was such a welcoming and warm environment – I immediately felt comfortable there. The location itself isn’t that big, but big enough to where if you were to sit down and eat, you wouldn’t be uncomfortable. The place is decorated with mini traditional figurines, some art, and there’s even music playing at the perfect volume! You can tell that the workers put all they can into making sure that the food not only tastes great, but that the service is great and that the environment is welcoming. If I were to recommend you a dish, you can’t go wrong with the flautas or the quesadillas – don’t forget to grab a Jarrito! If you’re looking for great food for a great price Bella’s Place is a 10/10.

Appreciate – DON’T Appropriate!

Let’s talk about Cultural Appropriation! Cultural Appropriation is defined as “the unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of the customs, practices, ideas, etc. of one people or society by members of another and typically more dominant people or society.” Our in class free write allowed me to explore the idea of cultural appropriation deeper than just the surface level concept of a white woman deciding to dread her hair. With influence from the YouTube video that we watched, I centered my free write around the fact that there are many people who overlook the minuscule, yet impactful, appropriation actions that they partake in, condone, etc. Perfect example – when trying a food that one may be unfamiliar with and simply proceeding to make a face or sayin g something along the lines of “ew, what is this?” When it comes to Mexican food, appropriation isn’t something that is unlikely. Major food chains such as, but not limited to, Qdoba, Taco Bell and Chipotle are advertised as “Mexican food”, but do they really fall under that category? Yes, these chains claim authenticity, but in reality what they serve is intact appropriated. These places cannot and do not provide you with authentic Mexican food. One thing they can provide you with is false claims which can lead its consumers to drifting away from the idea of traditional Mexican cuisine. Making this point doesn’t necessarily mean that is it wrong to enjoy these foods, but it is wrong to label it anything near authentic. Food is a way to differentiate and define cultures and in order to do this, TRADITION HAS TO BE PRESERVED.

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