“Hello everybody! Bienvenidos a la Casa Blanca,” said President Barack Obama trying out his Spanish and welcoming representatives of America’s Hispanic community to the White House.
The occasion was May 5 or ‘Cinco de Mayo’ – the annual holiday which marks a military battle that took place back in the 1860s.
“Today we remember with gratitude those brave fighters who triumphed in Puebla all those years ago and the generations of Mexicans and Americans who have sustained and strengthened us ever since,” reminded the president to what even he had described as a ‘rowdy crowd ready to party’.
The battle which is traditionally re-enacted on May 5, was a fight against overwhelming odds – when outnumbered Mexicans fended off an invading French army.
These days what is sometimes referred to as a ‘Mexican St Patrick’s Day’ is a chance to hold parades, dance, sing, enjoy traditional Mexican food and have some fun.