Edited by Anna Popper

Independence Day of Mexico, also known as “El Grito de la Independencia”, is a vibrant and culturally significant annual celebration dedicated to the country’s hard-fought freedom from the Spanish crown. This is a momentous time that brings the nation together in the spirit of patriotism, unity and joy that fills the air, while recalling the historic date of 16 September 1810. It is often celebrated with great enthusiasm and passion throughout the country, as well as by Mexican communities around the world.

Mexico’s independence movement began with “El Grito de la Independencia”, a meaningful event that transformed the course of Mexican history. It refers to the famous speech by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla (1753-1811), a Catholic priest and revolutionary leader, who played a key role in the Mexican War of Independence. On the night of 15 September 1810, he gathered his congregation in the small town of Dolores, in Guanajuato and encouraged them to join the fight for freedom. Hidalgo rang the church bell and while waving his banner, which consisted of an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe affixed to a lance, Hidalgo shouted his patriotic call: “El Grito de Independencia”. His legendary cry was a call to arms that sparked the Mexican War of Independence. The long struggle lasted until 1821 and led to the Latin-American country’s independence from Spanish colonial rule. In 1811 Miguel Hidalgo was captured as a rebel and shot. Immortalized by posterity, he is honoured as a national hero and recognised as the Father of the Nation. Every year during the celebrations, his “Grito” is echoed by the nation and re-enacted by the leaders, capturing the heart and soul of the Mexican people, and the 16th September was declared Mexico’s National Day.

On the occasion of the National Day, H.E. Mrs Rosario Molinero, Ambassador of Mexico to Hungary hosted a reception at her Residence in Budapest, attended by officials from the Hungarian government, members of the diplomatic corps, representatives from social, cultural and business circles, as well as friends and nationals of Mexico, living in the country.

After the Mexican and Hungarian National Anthems were played, Ambassador Molinero addressed the audience:

“Welcome everyone to this Residence, your home. Today is a very special and emotional moment for me and for all Mexicans. We celebrate not only the 213th anniversary of Mexico’s Independence, but also the significance of our unity, solidarity, common aspirations, values, sovereignty and the dream of building bridges with all nations and regions, following the sentence of the great Mexican leader, Benito Juárez‘Among individuals, as among nations, respect for the rights of others is peace.’

For Mexico, every country has its own way and knowledge to navigate its own destiny. Every country matters and mutual respect is the key to endure long-lasting friendships and partnerships.

Today, Mexico continues seeking to build on that engagement to fight for freedom, equity and equality, integrity and plurality that we started in 1810. In other words, we celebrate the need to come together to survive the battles of the past and the future.

We remember today not only the heroes who started the movement of independence, but also all the great Mexican men and women who have made a difference and inspired us and the world to shape a common future.

Today, we also celebrate our friendship with the government and the people of Hungary. We celebrate our similarities, bonds and common commitments which are built taking into account the principles of non-intervention, self-determination of peoples, peaceful settlement of disputes, proscription of the threat or use of force in international relations, dialogue and cooperation for development.

After 51 years of friendship between Mexico and Hungary, I must highlight that we are heading in the correct direction: building capacities, partnerships, links and commitments; opening the doors to different opportunities; summing willpower with action, having more Hungary in Mexico and more Mexico in Hungary, and integrating our people, enterprises and authorities.

Both of our countries understand that it’s not only about engaging with leaders, but also collaborating with ordinary people who drive our nations forward together. We are both moving locally.

We thank Hungary for being our friend and partner, and for opening us new avenues of cooperation and dialogue.

Our thanks also go to our invaluable friends of the chambers, the Parliament, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Latin American Group, Hungarian universities, local governments and diplomatic corps. Thank you all for helping us build more networks that will surely influence, transform and make functional our present and future cooperation.

I also express our gratitude to our sponsors: I Drink (tequila, margaritas and mezcal), Koch winery, CEMEX, Mogyi, Iguana Mexican restaurant and Property Services KFT. Without their solidarity, sense of unity and love for Mexico, we would not be able to celebrate our National Day in Mexican style. Everyone has added a small grain to make it possible and that really makes the difference.

Finally, allow me to thank the Embassy’s diplomatic and local staff, our honorary consuls in Croatia and Bulgaria, the spouses and partners of our diplomats and the Mexican community for working all together.

It’s time to have a taste of Mexico. While you all enjoy the scents and flavours, I am honoured to present the performance of our Mexican composer and pianist Sebastian Ramirez Sandoval, awarded the Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship at Franz Liszt Music Academy, as well as our traditional Mexican opera singer Manuel Betancourt Camino, from the land, where our independence started, in Guanajuato.”

Just like Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla once did, the Mexican Ambassador, standing on the residence balcony waving the red-white-green national flag of her country, called out the names of the fallen heroes of the War of Independence, ending with “Viva Mexico!” and “Viva Hungría”.

The official part ended with the cake cutting ceremony, and the reception continued with music and friendly conversations in joyful mood.

Source: Embassy of Mexico in Budapest

Photos: DPA, Wikipedia