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MEXICO: 5th of May in the US

Why has the Mexican holiday May 5 become more popular in the US than in Mexico? Bert Westbrook says it's a plot by Corona beer and salsa manufacturers: "Cinco de Mayo is the very American festival of Mexican food and lots of beer and sitting outside in the sun. It was invented largely by the marketing folks at Corona (now owned by the Belgian conglomerate Interbrew, if memory serves) to capitalize on the early '90s fashion for Mexican beer, and perhaps more generally, the increasing influence of Mexico on the rest of gringo culture, evidenced most spectacularly by salsa sales overtaking those of ketchup". RH: Clearly ketchup manufacturers and American brewers need a patriotic holiday. Ketchup (a Malay word of Chinese origin) is made of tomatoes, onion, salt, sugar and spice. Perhaps some Malay or Chinese holiday would provide a pretext.

Ronald Hilton - 5/7/03