Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Celebrating Mexican Independence

listening to: 'Pinch Me' by Barenaked Ladies
feeling: Happy

James Phillips, a librarian at South Texas Community College, has been working unceasingly on web pages that will help health care personnel and translators serving migrant and Hispanic consumers.

El Consultorio is a collection of phrases used by ordinary people and in folk remedies. Most are not found in 'normal' Spanish classes, and could be very helpful to some of you. He also has sites on Spanish health materials on the web and organisations serving migrant workers.

He offered up this history of today's anniversary...I really don't know that much about Mexican history, and found it interesting. I asked him if I could post it here, and he said okay, so here goes:

The Independence of Mexico is celebrated every September 16. It began in 1810 in the town Dolores located in the state of Guanajuato. The president of Mexico starts the celebration about 11:00pm on September 15. This is in commemoration of a friend finding father Miguel Hidalgo late at night another friend’s house. He was being warned that the Spanish soldiers were coming up from Mexico City to arrest him. A postal worker in Dolores had told his boss in Mexico City that a priest had been encouraging groups of citizens that they didn’t need to depend on Spanish ships to bring them clothes, shoes, and goods from Spain and then pay exorbitant prices.

About 2:00am early in the morning Father Hidalgo stood on the steps of his church in Dolores and made his famous speech. And, then, he left with a group of followers and began to move around to different parts of Mexico. When you see pictures of him carrying a banner, that banner is from the church in the village Atotonilco. You may have heard of the
mariachi song also called Atotonilco.

For each of the six years that the Mexican president’s term, at 11:00pm, in the government palace he takes the Mexican flag from a soldier and marches to a window overlooking the Zocalo, waves the flag, and says to the throng of people below something usually like “Viva Mexico, Viva Hidalgo, Viva los Niños Héroes, etc. Then he rings a bell that is just
above him. This bell is from the church in Dolores where Father Hidalgo made his famous speech.

Today the town of Dolores is known as Dolores Hidalgo. It’s in the state of Guanajuato. As you enter the state you will see a sign that states ‘La Cuna de la Independencia’ or ‘The cradle of Independence’.

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