They´ll be no Corona and nachos at this May celebration in Latin America – well, at least not intentionally.
¨People of Zamunda…¨
photo from www.lanacion.com.ar
Today is the 25 of May, one of the two major national Argentine holidays, the other being the 9th of July. On May 25, 1810 the Spanish were kicked out, ushering in one of Argentina´s earlier experiments with military rule. Though, this time it was a home-grown army, so ostensibly it´s better. As I write thousands (possibly hundreds of thousands) of people are assembled at the Plaza de Mayo to celebrate the holiday. As you´ll recall from previous entries, the Plaza de Mayo is Argentina´s central political forum, akin to the National Mall in D.C. Bloomberg says that the President, Nestor Kirchner is going to use this huge demonstration to launch his campaign for re-election, which will happen in 2007. Reportedly El Presidente - who was originally elected with a whopping 22 % of the vote in 2003 – now enjoys one of the highest approval ratings of any Latin American President, so the buzz is he´ll be virtually unbeatable in 2007.
On a personal level, this means I don´t have to work today, thereby freeing me up from the obligation of having to teach English at a business 30 minutes away from my apartment at 8 am. Yes, the highly coveted ¨day off work and class¨ has finally transferred into meaning for yours truly. Last night I went to a huge party thrown by Hillel at a club in Puerto Madero, the poshest part of the city, and had a great time. Strangely enough, I actually ran into probably a dozen or so people I knew, somewhat providing me with the semblance of being in a familiar place like back home. The entire place was filled with college students and young professionals er, commemorating the holiday in the best way they know how - throwing down copious amounts of overpriced drinks. While the DJ tortured me to an extent he´ll never know as he blared ¨I Will Survive,¨ ¨Love Shack,¨ and ¨YMCA¨ when I first arrived (though, given the demographic I suppose it all makes sense), eventually everything worked itself out and I found myself hanging out until 5:30. To that, I say, viva la revolución! Viva Argentina!
P.S. Slate has a great photo slideshow today on Argentina: http://todayspictures.slate.com/20060525/