¡Viva México!

September 14th, 2014, 11am

Precisely fifty years ago, my friend Ralph and I, spent a couple of months roaming around Mexico in a little Austin A30, a gift from his estranged father on his 16th birthday. Surprisingly, our parents gave their worried consent for this adventure, though not without a few stern lectures on the dangers posed by the Mexican bandito on the long drive from Oklahoma City to Mexico City. In the event, in 1954 we were much more at risk from Montezuma’s Revenge than from the depredations of outlaw bands.

Today, with the massacre of the 43 students fresh in mind, I suspect we would take the outlaw warnings rather more seriously, although, strictly speaking, ‘outlaw’ is not the right word for powerful drug cartels which own whole governments and entire police forces and which do not hesitate ‘to disappear’ a busload of students that get in their way.

On the sunny Melbourne day, pictured above, a band of good will ambassadors help Australians celebrate Mexican Independence Day, bringing a little taste of Mexican popular culture to this distant land. We do have a few good Mexican restaurants in Melbourne, and possibly as many as 200,000 Australians can claim Latin American ancestry. I will never forget the kindness and worldly intelligence of Mexicans I have met over the years, a people who perhaps revere their Aztec, or Nahuatl, and Maya ancestors, rather more than the peninsulares who contributed their language to the lively cultural mix that is the Mexican nation. ¡Viva México!

Shu, Adrian, Peter and Christine said thanks.

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David Wade Chambers

Born in Oklahoma: 30 years in US. 6 years in Canada, 40 years in Australia. Academic field: history and philosophy of science. Currently, teach indigenous studies online at Institute of American Indian Arts (Santa Fe, NM) and Brandon University (Manitoba). Come visit our B&B on Australia's Great Ocean Road. Mate's Rates for Hi community! (http://www.cimarron.com.au)

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