A Quiet Celebration

El Grito

The annual El Grito celebration will take place tonight at City Hall. For those not in the know, here’s a description from a city website:

El Grito, which translates to “The Cry,” celebrates the cry for Mexican Independence from Spain. The annual tradition includes food, fun, and Mexico’s President ringing the bell that was originally used by the Mexicans who shouted the cry for independence that started the revolution in the early 1800s. El Grito has also become a Los Angeles tradition, with our city’s mayor sounding the chimes of freedom by ringing a bell at a local ceremony.

Of course, the real El Grito happens at the Zocalo in Mexico D.F, where pride of La Patria is taken seriously. Forget the words of the excruciatingly long national anthem and in Mexico you can be fined. Jenni Rivera, who infamously flubbed the lines at the Los Angeles Grito celebrations a few years ago was lucky to have an audience of fans who didn’t care.

Monday, September 15, 2008
El Grito festivities tonight at 7:00 p.m.
Los Angeles City Hall (200 N. Spring Street in Downtown Los Angeles)

Where are the flags?

Usually every year around El 16 de Septiembre, Mexican flags small and large can be seen waving from car windows, houses, poles and various other places around Los Angeles, except this year they aren’t. In fact, every year I notice less and less flags. Even after 9/11 in 2001 when everyone had the small American flags on their cars, I saw folks with Mexican and American flags. It seems though all the propaganda by anti-immigration groups and right-wingers has made Mexicans have second thoughts about displaying La Bandera Mexicana. Last year in Lincoln Heights around this time, I counted two flags on cars, this year not even one. In years previous, I couldn’t count the amount of Mexican flags I saw around town. How about the rest of you? Notice any difference this year?

4 thoughts on “A Quiet Celebration

  1. Im so bummed because i am sick and I may not be up to my preffered grito health, but i will take my kids and buy some churros worst comes to worst (they are the 5th generation of my family to participate in this event at LA city hall).

    One of my many lowest points of raza/eastlos pride occured on ind. day a few years back. After taking my kids to city hall we stopped to eat at La Parilla on Brooklyn. As we circled the block to find street parking we noticed a lot of cholo activity and the sound of an ambulance and police. We found a spot nearby and right as was taking out my kids’ stroller (and paying attention to the ambulance backing up in front of the market across the street) a kid walked by and told me that someone just got shot across the street and then pointed at my feet. I was standing in a pool of blood (it was sorta dark) and we were directly between the shooting scene and a group of young cholos mid block which probably held on of the shot/shooters. Total Raza pride buzz kill in the moment. Anyways, I hope they let the vendors work their magic at city hall manana. My tios were mariachis and doing the grito is one of my strong points.

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