Posts Tagged ‘Buen Fin’

Today, the 20th of November, Mexico commemorates the 108th anniversary of the beginning of the Mexican Revolution. It raged on for ten years, as various factions battled for power, and the peasantry fought for, in the words of Emiliano Zapata, ¡Tierra y libertad!  (Land and liberty!)

From the smallest of pueblos to the mega metropolis of Mexico City, most every town and city has a street named 20 de noviembre, including Oaxaca.  In addition, Oaxaca has a 20 de noviembre market, where you will find Conchita, my favorite chocolate store, Pasillo de Humo (hall of smoke/grilled meats), aisles of stalls filled with bread, and lines of counters offering menudo and other traditional street food — a very popular destination for locals and adventurous tourists.

Alas, the Mexican Revolution has a complex and bloody history — 1.9 to 3.5 million lives were lost, revolutionary leaders assassinated each other in turn, and promises were repeatedly broken.  The goals of land, water, liberty, justice and law for the peasantry and workers went unrealized.   However, once the armed conflict ended, a cultural revolution began that celebrated and honored working people, peasants, and Mexico’s indigenous roots and helped to forge a new Mexican identity.  As the documentary The Storm That Swept Mexico concludes:

“If we celebrate the revolution, it appears as though we are celebrating the status quo: the miserable conditions of the farmers, workers and the average Mexicans.  And if we are the inheritors of that revolution, then there is nothing to celebrate. Now if we think of the Revolution as an explosion of creative energy then I think we do have reason to celebrate because it was a movement to create a nation more just, more equal, more honest, and an identity we could be proud of.”

To highlight a Oaxaca connection, today’s NVI Noticias published the article, Enciende Madero mecha revolucionaria; Visita Oaxaca en 1909, about Francisco I. Madero’s visit to Oaxaca to light the fuse of revolution in this remote state.

By the way, in 2005, Article 74 of Mexican labor law established the third Monday of November as the “official” holiday — thus following the USA’s “time-honored tradition” of creating 3-day holiday weekends and setting the stage for the bargain hunting shopping extravaganza promoted as Buen Fin.

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Signs reading, “Buen Fin” began to appear on shop windows around town last week.  How nice, I thought, with a 3-day weekend coming up (Monday, 11/19 was Mexican Revolution commemoration day), the stores are wishing one and all a “Good Weekend.”

Sign on carved wooden door reading, "Buen Fin. El fin de semana mas barato del año."

I’d only glanced and didn’t come close enough to read the smaller and more important print, “Weekend:  Cheapest of the Year.”  What’s it all about?  Last year’s LA Times article, “A ‘Black Friday’ shopping ritual coming to Mexico?” explains it all.

Apparently, I’ve been oblivious or this newest US export has taken a while to make its way all the way down to Oaxaca.  But, make its way down to Oaxaca, it has!  According to Monday’s Noticias, “This weekend hundreds of Oaxacans went to department stores and shops of all kinds in the city, to stock up on essentials and electronic products, mainly taking advantage of ‘Good Weekend’ promotions.”

Depressing, is all I can say…


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