Many Finns have asked us, “What is Cinco de Mayo?”
I ask my American friends What is Cinco de Mayo?
Most would guess it might be Mexican Independence Day or some might say it is an excuse to drink Mexican beverages and eat lots of Mexican food. Both of these are incorrect. Their Independence Day is actually on September 16. Actually, Cinco de Mayo is only a national holiday in one area in Mexico called Puebla. Cinco de Mayo was American created back in the 1860s in the American West. It has to do with a battle that took place in Puebla, Mexico where their army unexpectedly had a victory over the French. Latinos in California celebrated this day and up until the 1950s or 60s. It spread to the rest of the US. In the 80s the beer marketers got involved and made it what it is today. Basically a drinking excuse, but I like to think of it as away to celebrate our neighbors to the south and their culture and heritage.
Christian and I were drawn to a marketing poster here in Espoo from what we thought was a Finnish beer company, OLVI. A brightly colored beer can so we thought . I had cooked up some quesadillas and tacos and I picked up some fresh limes to go with our Mexican beer and then to my surprise it poured out red. We quickly learned that our beer was some sort of exotic fruit drink. We now mix three cultures and learn that Lonkero means long drink in Finnish. A long drink or tall drink is a mixed drink. They typically tend to be a gin drink in a can. This lonkero beverage originated in Finland and is one of my favorite new beverages here and now we have adopted to our American-Finnish Cinco de Mayo Celebration!
So Feliz Cinco de Mayo!