On Thursday, September 15 we had the pleasure and honor of being invited to the Mexican Embassy in Moscow to celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day (Sept. 16). Thoughts of the evening can be generalized by an amusing interaction with a Hispanic man as we not-so-patiently waited in a slow-moving line to acquire (and consume) mixed drinks.
Although I can’t quite remember the exact phrases used, it went something like this:
- Man: “¿Están en la fila para los cócteles?”
- Me: *blank look*
- Man: “Вы в очереди за коктейлями?”
- Me: *blank look*
- Man: “Are you in line for cocktails?”
- Me: *nod*
- Man: “If that didn’t work then I don’t know… maybe Arabic!”
This small interaction exemplifies the extent to which cultural diversity was present throughout the event. Thank you, Спасибо, and Gracias were each spoken and heard countless times as everyone tried to find the right language to use and be understood.
Of course, this communicative confusion didn’t detract from the enjoyment of the gathering one bit. Even from outside the embassy premises, we were hit with a wave of culture as popular Hispanic and Russian songs were played from inside the walls. I have to admit that upon entering, I was immediately excited to see Mexican decorations, including the Mexican flag and iconic staples such as Jose Cuervo liquor and Corona Extra garnishing several tables and clenched in the hands of the guests.
I have to praise the organizers for their consideration with selecting the night’s activities. I thought for sure we would be subjected to at least one long speech before getting on with the celebrations—but no, the celebration was ongoing from the moment we walked through the metal detector.
Dinner was sponsored by the brand Corona Extra, which is very popular in Mexico and evokes a feeling of the ’90s’ in Russia. Living in Moscow, it’s no secret (and no surprise) that there is a complete lack of tasty Mexican food in the city—and in Russia as a country. So I was ecstatic to see and taste delicious Mexican dishes that I hadn’t enjoyed since I was last in America and I likely won’t enjoy again until I visit Mexico this coming December.
After grabbing some food and beer, we enjoyed the talents of various live musicians as they played their hearts out for Mexico. Meanwhile, some people were walking around and taking photos in traditional Mexican clothes and a conga line began to form with everyone dancing along happily.
Later, a formal speech was delivered in Spanish and the rewarding ceremony for the officials seemed to be very honorable. It was quick as well – 98% of the evening was dedicated to music, dancing and tequila, which perfectly exhibits the festiveness of the Mexican soul.
Congratulations again to the organizers and sponsors – the event was very well managed. The vast amount of photographers was never disturbing, the lines were never too messy, the diverse cultures were united, the dance floor was never empty and the main point – Independence day was celebrated very well!