Cultural days are celebrated on campus with their music and performance accompanied by their symbolic flair of style.
Mexican Independence Day brings about a variety of riches in the form of clothing and food as well as its historic roots. It took place 200 years ago, in September 1810.
Jorge Herrera, Cal State Fullerton Chicana and Chicano studies professor, defined the cultural day as the culmination of the Mexican War of Independence led by Mexican-born citizens, Spaniards and mestizos who saw independence from Spain.
“We as Chicanos, Latinos, Mexicans (and) Mexican-Americans celebrate the separation from Spain on that day,” said Herrera.
Celebrations consist of gathering as a community and celebrating independence, Herrera added. These celebrations include Mexican music, cuisine and dance.
Mexican Independence Day is also called El Grito meaning “the yell.”
In Mexico, Independence Day is celebrated with el grito in which citizens yell out, “long live independent Mexico.”
Historically, this day constitutes the victory for the country and its people. Culturally, this day is celebrated with festivities in the United States and Mexico.
The different regions of Mexico celebrate their festivities with what they eat and how they dress and dance. The costumes and their colors originate in Jalisco.
Yesenia Altamirano, a Chicano studies and political science double major, said the traditional fashion is a combination of different attires due to intermixing of cultures that are defined by separate regions in Mexico.
“Stereotypically it’s the girl with the big falda, with a mariachi dressed guy” said Altamirano.
A falda is a skirt with the option of being different lengths.
“A falda is usually large where you could raise your arms and cover your arms. It’s usually seen in the traditional folkorico dancing,” Altamirano said.
Jennifer Perez, a criminal justice major, said these traditional forms of clothing are accompanied by flowers in the hair.
The females wear a multi-colored dress or skirt and the males wear mariachi attire. Mariachi attire consists of a black suit with gold embellishments on the sides and a sombrero, Altamirano said.
Not all regions have the same fashion due to the influence of culture and climate. In Veracruz, the typical clothing is a white dress because the region is tropical, Altamirano said.
“Because it’s so hot, to keep themselves cool they use a lot of white because it’s translucent, kind of like Jalisco but it’s shorter,” Altamirano said.
Altamirano’s family does not celebrate or dress up for Mexican Independence Day.
“In my family we commemorate it with a special dinner and staying up at night to watch el grito,” she said.
Jose Luis Guardado, a biochemistry major, is a member of the Chicana and Chicano Studies Alliance. He said the fashion in traditional towns such as Jalisco are not visible on campus but he does notice some representation of pride on the cultural day.
“When I come to school I see people wearing either soccer jerseys of the Mexican team or something related to the culture of Mexico that shows that there’s pride,” said Guardado.
Just as Mexico has its different regions with different fashions, CSUF students have their own fashion to represent Mexican Independence Day.