Cinco de Mayo in Ireland
While St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated around the world, including Mexico, with parades and festivals, Cinco de Mayo doesn’t get much play in Ireland. While the Diaspora planted Irish souls in almost every country on earth, the cross pollination of Mexicans into Ireland has never reached major numbers.
Ireland has a County Mayo, but that has no connection to any Cinco de Mayo celebrations. There is also Virginia Mayo, a film star from a few decades ago, and Whitman Mayo from “Sanford and Son,” and then, of course there is an abundance of just plain Mayo – too much of which might have you ending up here. (Mayo Clinic)
If you mention Cinco de Mayo in Ireland you will either be given directions to a Tex-Mex restaurant, a cuisine that is surprisingly popular here, or directions to the nearest Pub, which is even more popular.
When Cinco de Mayo is celebrated anywhere outside of Mexico or cities with large Mexican populations, like Los Angeles, Hialeah, Florida or Hartford, Connecticut, it becomes just another excuse to par-tay. And when it comes to that – the Irish have few peers, but countless beers.
Since our last visit to Ireland in 2009 we have noticed one change that we find a bit sad – the amount of litter alongside the streets and roads. Even in the countryside where sheep outnumber people we are seeing mostly empty beer bottles by the side of the road. I hate to think what the morning of Seis de Mayo will bring.
I’ve also been seeing a number of ads, all placed by Pubs, Clubs, and Hotels, announcing that they were having big Cinco de Mayo Parties. This might be a good evening to stay off the road for fear of drunk drivers and drunken pedestrians who will be lurching their way from one party to the next.
Some clichés have a basis in fact, I’m afraid.
I’ve known a number of folks of Mexican ancestry and/or citizenship and while there have been some who looked upon beer as Mother’s Milk, most were rather conservative drinkers. It seems that it’s the Mexicans for a Day who grab the long neck Coronas and wrestle them to the ground until they can’t get up. It’s like that with St. Patrick’s Day as well I guess. The partiers claim dual citizenship for the day or until the lights go out.
There is a wonderfully strange example of this cross-cultural thing right in Terre Haute (That’s French for, “Erin Go Amigo.”). On Wabash Avenue there sits “Sonka’s Irish Pub and Cafe.” Sonka? I defy anyone to find a Sonka in the Dublin phone book.
To make a long story short (I know – it’s too late for that.) the Sonkas are of Romanian heritage and somehow ended up owning the joint. I’ve been in there and it is a nice place. I played darts there one night and had a disjointed conversation with a woman who sold cars for a living. Drunk as she was she still managed to give me her business card along with a promise of a good deal on the Dodge of my choice.
I drive a Toyota.
Well, I hope all of the Mexicans in the world, be they Mexican forever or only for the day, have a wonderful and safe holiday. I know I will. I’m waiting for the Lithuanian’s big holiday. It’s on a Wednesday, I think.