Happy Independence Day!

Last night, Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) delivered “el grito de independencia” (“cry for Independence”), to commemorate the onset of the Mexican war for Independence, on the first hours of September 16, 1810.  Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, the Catholic priest who made the call that night in the town of Dolores, exhorted Mexicans to defend the “Holiest Queen and Mother of all Mexicans”, the Virgin of Guadalupe, and fight against the bad government, ringing the bell from his parish church; an image of the Virgin became the banner of the movement.  After that, September 16 has been commemorated almost every year throughout Mexico’s History; as early as 1812, general Ignacio López Rayón led a military ceremony and festivities in the town of Huichapan in the Mexican state of Hidalgo (named after the priest).  After the war culminated with Mexico’s Independence in 1821, states and municipalities have joined the national re-enactment by the president.  In 1857, the holiday became secular, and the Mexican flag and the bell of Dolores (which was brought to the National Palace in Mexico City, and placed on top of the central balcony, see photo above) are currently used as symbols of Mexico’s Independence during these ceremonies.  Although AMLO had the antecedent of other Mexican presidents re-enacting this pivotal event in Mexican history, and mentioning several of the leaders of the movement is tradition, as he had promised, he modified his “grito.”  In an upbeat jumble of “¡Vivas!” (“long live … !” exclamations), AMLO included calls and praises not only to male citizens and Independence war heroes, but to Mexican women (¡mexicanas!) and the “mothers and fathers of our nation”, as well as Mexico’s courageous people, indigenous groups and its sovereignty.  The ceremony concluded in the traditional way, though, ringing the bell of Dolores and with three emotional calls of:



6 thoughts on “Happy Independence Day!

  1. It looks and sounds like he is saying Beba, not Viva. Are “V”s pronounced with a “B” sound in Spanish? It’s news to me as duolingo never brought it up.

    That independence ceremony is well-attended!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In Mexico, yes, “B” and “V” sound the same; in Spain, definitely no; that’s probably why Duo does not mention it. To be safe, make the distinction; Mexicans will still understand and Spaniards will be happy.

      Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s