Zinacantán, Mexico, Sept 16 (EFE).- Around 3,000 Tzotzil Indigenous People, along with municipal authorities, education committees and students from Zinacantán, Chiapas, in southern Mexico, participated in the parade to commemorate the 213th anniversary of the Mexican War of Independence.
Prior to the civic ceremony, the Tzotzil Mayan authorities prepared an ancestral ritual in which they placed the Mexican flag on a flower altar next to the image of the Virgin Mary and Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, one of the heroes of independence, both symbols of Mexican identity.
Francisco Javier Santiz, an elementary school teacher, told EFE that this heritage “goes back to the Mexican rural schools of the 1930s, but especially to the 1950s with indigenism in Mexico.
During the ancestral ceremony, the indigenous people dance to the rhythm of the flute and drum, and clean the flagpole and the image of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla with olive oil. Each piece is smoked, purified with aromatic substances and then ready to parade.
The flags gave way to the beginning of the parade in which hundreds of Mayan Tzotzil indigenous people gathered at the entrance of the municipality to travel more than three kilometers to the local town hall.
During the march, municipal and community authorities, education committees, and directors of different levels of education were present carrying Mexican flags.
Behind them, contingents of boys, girls, adolescents and young people, dressed in their typical costumes, waved hundreds of paper Mexican flags, while in the background shouts of “Viva México!” and “Long live Zinacantán!” could be heard, along with the names of each of the Mexican liberators.
For the indigenous people, these celebrations are lived intensely, patriotism is expressed at all levels, José Calixto Hernández Gómez, a resident of Zinacantán, told EFE.
“We carry all of our culture, our traditions here in Zinacantán, we carry them very strongly and we are very Mexican. As we say, we are Zinacantecos, we are Chiapas, we are Mexicans,” he said.
The parade ended with a white balance in front of the City Hall of the municipality of Zinacantán with the performance of sports games. EFE