While Cinco de Mayo is a holiday started to mark Mexico’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla over 150 years ago and to celebrate Mexican culture and heritage in regions of Mexico and across the United States, in each college around America there is one student who owns a big sombrero who is so pumped for Cinco de Mayo he can hardly handle it.
I interviewed 20-year-old sombrero-wearing college student Brendan to get his thoughts on the holiday.
I see you’re wearing a sombrero. Is it safe to assume you’re celebrating Cinco De Mayo today?
Yeah dude, of course. I bought this sombrero when my family visited the Grand Canyon my senior year of high school and I knew I was entering into a binding contract: Every Cinco de Mayo from here on out I gotta BRING IT!
So the sombrero means a lot to you?
One hundred percent, man. One hundred percent … A sombrero in general terms refers simply to a wide brimmed hat, good for keeping the wearer’s face and neck out of the hot sun and typically worn in Mexico and the southwestern United States. In college, though, wearing a sombrero is used to signify the resident “party animal.” The guy who is big and fat and good-natured and always running around drinking a whole bunch, pulling his shirt up and squeezing his belly so it looks like a butt crack. I’m so honored to be wearing this sombrero.
What do you have planned for the big day?
Me and my buddies Klingler, Bowman, and Jeremy are rolling a keg into the quad. I’ll be standing by the keg with chips in the brim of my sombrero eating and belching as loud as I can. It’s gonna be so funny!
Are you starting the party after your classes?
We’re all gonna skip class. Finals are next week but we just gotta party. This sombrero is teaching me a lot of great leadership skills anyway, like when some chicks bogart the jambox and start playing too much Katy Perry I just saunter over to them and take the iPod out of their hands and they know they can’t do nothing because I have on a sombrero so it must be my party.
Cinco de Mayo has become mostly just an excuse to party for many Americans, but are you doing anything to specifically honor Mexican culture?
We’re putting limes in everything, dude! Got a brick of Keystones and we’re gonna salt the rim and put a lime wedge in each of them. Like a margarita or some shit. It’s like a play on the cheapness of the beer mixed with doing something fancy to it, ya know? What was the question again?
Do you believe that Cinco de Mayo is sometimes used to reinforce stereotypes of Mexican culture?
I’m a sombrero boy! YEE HAW!
Are you already drunk?
You’re being very offensive right now, Brendan.
NO WAY MAN. I LOVE MEXICAN FOOD!