The Ambivalent Welcome

Debra Lattanzi Shutika

in Beyond the Borderlands

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780520269583
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520950238 | DOI:
The Ambivalent Welcome

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This chapter reviews the history of Cinco de Mayo festival, which was a turning point in local ethnic relations, and also explores the transition of Kennett Square. The Cinco de Mayo festival was hailed as a turning point for Kennett Square's majority English-speaking population. It provided an opportunity for Mexican settlers to lay claim to their place in the community; their numbers alone indicating that they were a force which must be recognized and that they were ready to take part in the community. The festival was too successful in the sense that it may have required English speakers to engage the Mexican population to the point of discomfort. Generally, the Cinco de Mayo festival is a cultural performance of the Kennett Square that the English-speaking community would like it to be: A rural American town with a Mexican flavor, but one which is not too noticeable.

Keywords: Cinco de Mayo; local ethnic relations; Kennett Square; English-speaking population; Mexican settlers

Chapter.  12069 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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