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Viva México 🙂 Viva la Independencia 🙂

On the occasion of the celebration of the 206th anniversary of the National Independence of Mexico, the Embassy of Mexico and the Honorary Consulate of Mexico in Mumbai hosted a dinner on Tuesday, 30th August, 2016. It was held at the Ball Room of Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Colaba.

I was invited at the behest of the Embassy of Mexico. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet the current Mexican Ambassador Melba Pria. I had met her predecessor, Jaime Nualart in New Delhi in June 2013.

The Ambassador, looking lovely in a traditional Mexican dress, warmly greeted the guests as they walked in. The guests included Mexicans residing in the city, consul generals of different countries, diplomats, businessmen and all those connected with Mexico.

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Yours truly with Ambassador Melba Pria…

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A bit about Mexican Independence…

After the Spanish Conquest in 1521, the Mexican people had to silently suffer at the hands of their rulers. Then one day, in the early hours of September 16, 1810, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a priest in the small town of Dolores, near Guanajuato (gwah-nah-hwah-toh), rang the church bell to call for the people to rise up against the Spanish Crown. Although he was later captured and shot for his insurrection, his actions sparked a movement that would lead to Mexico’s eventual independence from Spain in 1821.

Hidalgo’s call for freedom known as the Grito de Dolores (or Grito de la Independencia) or just “Grito” is commemorated across Mexico every year on the night of September 15. On the last strike of eleven, the president of Mexico steps out in the central balcony of the Palacio Nacional, overlooking the Zócalo, to give the Grito to the people gathered in the square below. He rings the historic liberty bell that Father Hidalgo rang to call the people. He shouts “Viva México!” “Viva la Independencia!” and the crowd enthusiastically echo back. People do this at the same time all across Mexico. Crowds of people gather in the zócalos (“town squares”) of cities, towns, and villages. The Grito is re-enacted by reciting Hidalgo’s words and ringing a bell. The crowd shouts “Viva México!” (vee-vah meh-hee-koh) amidst flag-waving, confetti throwing and lots of noise.

Read: Mexican Independence Day &  The Mexican Independence Movement 

Ambassador Pria gave the Grito commemorating Mexican Independence by reciting Hidalgo’s words and ringing a bell. The crowd enthusiastically echoed back “Viva México!”

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In this video, you can watch Ambassador Pria giving the Grito:

Yours truly near the bell with Ambassador Pria …

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And then, it was time to savour the food…

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It included some Mexican dishes like Shrimp Diablo, Ancho Roasted Chicken Quesadillas and Enchiladas. The bar was where the guests lingered most.

A day earlier, the Ambassador inaugurated a Mexican Photography exhibition and a Mexican film festival at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA).

The two photo-exhibits, “Mexican Family Portraits” by Lourdes Almeida and “Mi Veracruz” by Ana Lombard, highlight Mexico’s diversity and family values.

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The photography exhibition is open till 8th of September.

The film festival showcases Mexican contemporary cinema through seven films with English subtitles. It ends on 17th of September.

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Image courtesy: https://twitter.com/EmbaMexInd

Last evening, I visited both venues. The photography exhibition is held at NCPA’s Piramal Art Gallery which is open from 12 noon to 8 pm.

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Yours truly…

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The film festival is held at NCPA’s Little Theatre. I watched the film Las Horas Muertas.

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The photo-exhibition as well as the film festival are free events.  So, if you are in Mumbai and love Mexico, head straight to NCPA at Nariman Point. Check the dates for the film screenings beforehand. And after the show, take a walk along the beautiful Marine Drive. You will love it! Enjoy 🙂

Happy Friday, see you soon 🙂

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