Monday, May 14, 2012

Postponed Mayday

    Mayday is a holiday celebrated in the working-class Powderhorn Park neighborhood of south Minneapolis.  The assigned day proved to be too wet, windy and miserable to enjoy the advent of spring and the continued existence of the workers so the fete was postponed for a week and held on May 13.  A parade down Bloomington Avenue to Powderhorn Park was followed by live music and general mingling among the entrepreneurial efforts of mini-donut and hot dog vendors for the rest of the day.

    Two of the more visually exciting groups in the parade were dancers representing the now large Mexican community in the area.  These dancers were dressed in what they conceive to be Aztec costumes and performed dances that evidently are meant to replicate those of the Aztecs that once ruled Mexico.

    The Aztecs had come to dominate central part of  the area now known as Mexico during the 15th century.  They aquired this domination by ruthlessly subjugatting other tribes through violent warfare.  When Spaniard Cortez moved toward the Aztec capital of Tenochitlan he was joined by warriors from other tribes only too happy to see their hated enemies put to the sword.  In fact, the Aztecs could not have been defeated by the technologically superior Spanish without the help of the other natives that they had enslaved and forcibly used in grotesque human sacrifices.  Nobody was sorry to see the Aztecs defeated in 1520 except the Aztecs themselves.

    That's why it's so curious to see the bloodthirsty Aztecs celebrated  in costume and dance by mestizo 21st century Mexicans.  A similar thing would be the celebration 400 years from now of the German Nazi heritage, with uniformed storm troopers goose-stepping down Bloomington Ave. singing the Horst Wessel.  The Aztec dancers are sick.

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