|Dancers at the annual Cinco de Mayo Festival in Washington, D.C., photo by D. B. King|
I heard bagpipe music in the center of Provincetown for just a few minutes this afternoon. By the time I got dressed and out the door the piper was nowhere in sight, and I didn't know whether I should head east or west to try to catch up and find out what was going on. Does anybody know? Was this a funeral procession? Has the fellow who piped here many years ago returned? Was this meant as an ironic giggle celebrating Cinco de Mayo?
As a whole, we Americans are woefully ignorant of other cultures. We use the occasion of Cinco de Mayo as a reason to chug-a-lug a good bit of tequila or Corona, and we eat tacos and burritos, the same way we slug down green beer and eat corned beef and cabbage on Saint Patrick's Day. There's nothing wrong with that, but we're co-opting another country's holiday without really knowing anything about it. And most of us do have it wrong.
Here's a partial list of goofy (dare I say stupid?) questions posed to Google by well-meaning folks who wanted to celebrate this Mexican holiday, which actually gets more attention in the US than it does south of the border...