Mexico Celebrates 200 Years
Silvia: Hi, this is Silvia. I'm from Guatemala.
Diego: And this is Diego. I'm from Mexico.
Silvia: I want to talk about Mexico today. I know your independence is coming soon.
Diego: Yes, Mexico's Independence Day is September 16, but we usually start celebrating the night of the 15th, and it's usually a long weekend so everybody has holidays.
Silvia: And what do you do for that day?
Diego: We do a lot of traditional things. The first one and the most obvious one is we gather to eat a lot. We eat the most traditional food or dishes. One of them is Chiles en Nogada. And chiles is peppers, like you know, and what is so interesting about this dish is that it has the same colors of the Mexican flag, like it's red, white and green, and well the peppers are green and it has like a white sauce on top and it has these sort of like fruity grains that are red on top, so it's really, really nice.
Silvia: What else? Apart from the food? Do you have any activities that you do that day?
Diego: Yes, we usually refer to this holiday as like the screaming day because when the War for Independence occurred there was this priest or this independence character that was like screaming to the people to fight for liberty so in each independence party there's usually this guy who reenacts that and he rings the bell and he starts screaming like liberty and freedom, so we usually do that and it's quite funny I guess. It's very amusing for people who see it for the first time.
Silvia: And it's always on the same time, am I right? Is there a specific .... I remember someone telling me that it's at a certain time, like at midnight.
Diego: It is at midnight. You do it like I said. We celebrate on the night of the 15th and then as soon as it turns to the 16th that's when that happens.
We do a lot of traditional things. The most obvious one is we eat a lot.
When something is easy to see or understand we say it is obvious. Notice the examples:
- Jack failed the English test. It’s obvious he didn’t study.
- The city can be dangerous at night so for obvious reasons you shouldn’t walk alone.
War of Independence
The War for Independence happened 200 years ago.
When one country is controlled by another foreign country it is not independent. Sometimes a war is necessary to gain freedom from the foreign country. We call that freedom ‘independence’. Here are two examples.
- France celebrates Independence Day on the 14th of July.
- Mexico gained its independence from Spain in 1810.
fight for liberty
He was screaming for the people to fight for liberty.
Liberty’ means the freedom to live life as one wishes. Here, it talks about the freedom of people to practice their religious or political beliefs. Notice the following.
- Early America borrowed much of its concept of liberty from the French.
- Many Western democracies believe liberty to be the right of everyone.
The people re-enact the War of Independence.
If you re-enact something, you try to make it happen again as a performance or role play, in exactly the same way that it happened the first time. In this case, people re-enact the war as a way to help remember an important event. Notice the samples below.
- Police officers re-enacted the crime for reality TV.
- They re-enact the famous battle every year.
as soon as
As soon as it turns midnight, the holiday starts.
We use the phrase 'as soon as' to talk about an event that will happen immediately after another event. Notice the following samples.
- Mom said I could watch TV as soon as I finished my homework.
- You may leave as soon as you finish the exam.
Did NASA actually go to the moon?
Shirley talks about being a custom official.
Shirley talks about working with Customs.
A holiday that's more famous abroad.
How Mexico celebrates its independence.
liberty • as soon as