It was Monday, September 15th. Finally, Independence Day had come, as Mexico had been preparing for weeks. From Friday on, people in the streets showed their pride by wearing red, white, and green paint on their faces. On Monday, they took it to a whole other level. Mexican nationalism was represented by tri-colored wigs (red, white and green), fake mustaches, fake eyelashes, big sombreros, flags, ribbons and more. I too was nominated to show my pride and wear a sombrero. I received a few remarks while we were out, such as, "You are not Mexican," while others were in support and said, "Viva Mexico!"
Below is a picture of a sign that the owner of Casa Bertha made for me. Earlier in the evening I had said that people were making comments about me not being Mexican. Here are my documents folks.
Caley, Nina and I stayed in Guanajuato City to watch "El Grito", while Katie and Colleen insisted on going to Dolores, where the original "Grito" was yelled by Miguel Hidalgo in1810. It went,"Long live the Virgin of Guadalupe and death to the gachupines (Spaniards)." Hidalgo was a Mexican born Spaniard and priest, who was fed up with the injustices brought on by the ruling class in New Spain. Therefore, at dawn on September 16th, Hidalgo declared independence and the war began.
In Guanajuato city, the "Grito" was scheduled for 11:00. Since it was raining, we waited inside until 10:30 before we made a run for it. The "Grito" had already happened by the time we arrived at the plaza, where music was blasting, people were dancing, making congo lines and foam was being sprayed everywhere. Cheers were still being yelled, "Viva Mexico!"
Even though we missed "El Grito," that did not stop us from enjoying the rest of the evening. We came to a consensus that dancing would be the best way to finish the celebration. We found ourselves near our hostel jamming out to salsa, cumbia, reggaeton, ranchero and norteño until four in the morning. We could not have had a more Mexican experience as we were the only three gringos in the bar.
At one point during the night, I took a small break from dancing and made a comment to a young Mexican man on the dance floor saying that I have never seen such nationalist pride. I was utterly impressed. He looked at me with a serious, straight face and replied, "What do we have to celebrate when we are still living in a country plagued by insecurity, kidnappings and crime?" He left me speechless. And with that, I will sign off.