Mexican Charros: Before rap there was Coplas


It’s time for a  “Coplas” battle!  A couplet back & forth between the two men that were the epitome and embodiment of the Charro way of life. The  legendary Jorge Negrette & Pedro Infante. The kings of the silver screen during what is called Mexico’s “Golden Cinema” era. Pedro was knows as the charming and delightful, playful, playboy of sorts, while Jorge who once had sung opera was known for his grand, deep & velvety voice,  along with his overall gallant & chivalrous, romantic, sophisticated demeanor. Coplas are very much  like rap battles in that the singers talk back & forth to each other during a song.  The famous coplas were very common in  Mexican  films  dealing with Charros.

TRANSLATION OF THE SONG

PEDRO: People state sincerely every time that wedlock is going take place. “The groom should love her always or else prepare him a wake(he’s dead).”But for this bride there’ll be  no worries for she’ll have a good husband.  Good Jorge, he’s a good thing.  Well, at least his last name is. Good Jorge, he’s so good. Son of  a good man, and his grandpa oh soo good too.  Oh to be named like him!

JORGE: I will procure to be as good as my name states.  Let he who asks for a wake, down his own poison.  Pedro is bad down to his last name, backing out is his forte. He’s just a show off , because he knows he’s not just bad, he’s really bad.(bad as in  poor quality, faulty, weak). Bad Pedro, he’s so bad. Bad by obligation, and his grandpa oh so bad! We must buy him his lion.

PEDRO: On a golden morning someone darkened the landscape. It was a crow and a  parrot tearing each others feathers out.  Let us forget the past if  fate is the true culprit. Don’t you know that if  you mix good and bad, it turns into something regular. (* He’s hinting at that fact that he’s been wooing George’s sister)Yes I’m bad.  I don’t deny it, but I want to try mixing, and see if I  can get something regular as a  the result.

JORGE: A certain poisonous scorpion visited a beehive. He want to see if he could get rid of his venomous condition with honey, but what is good & pure does not lend it self for the pleasure of the wicked. With the mix of honey & poison he is now purged.  Let it be understood by who ever can understand. If, he can understand it. If he does not… then obligate him to, we must.

PEDRO: You know very well that I am not foolish like you…. have boasted.

JORGE: Dumb maybe not, but a meddler….  due to hunger… for friendship.

PEDRO: My hunger, I always quell with a friend’s feast.

JORGE: Not a beggar, but a scoundrel,  he who steals from friends.

PEDRO: So you say.

JORGE: I sustain it!

PEDRO: Don’t get tired.

JORGE: Don’t  elude this!

PEDRO: I think I will!

JORGE: Then this ballad is over!

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Violins on FIRE!


You have to take a look at this vid!  This performance is freaking amazing! Super speed, super passion, Love this performance!!♥♥♥♥, Mad crazy skills both instrumentally & vocally.  Everyone really put their all into this piece, & played like there was no tomorrow! The violinists, trumpeters, the singer the guitarist everyone! So proud to be Mexican =D
So sad that Mariachi music is so underrated, it has the power to rival more well known & hyped music such as opera & classical.

THIS IS WHAT MARIACHI IS ALL ABOUT!

*Ladies tell me these  gentlemen don’t look incrediably sexy! Those strong resonant voices the gallant attire, the passionate playing. Whoo! That’s way hot! Testosterone overload!  In a majorly good way =P

Quick & Easy Faux Ceviche


Ceviche is a dish that can consist of:  raw fish, shrimp, and other shellfish or sea food,   marinated/ cooked lime juice. It is very popular in coastal parts of Mexico knows for their ports and fishing industry.The marinated fish ,  is further flavored with the addition of chopped: chiles(serranos), tomatoes, avocado, onion & cilantro.  Then the mixture is served a top golden tostadas.

Now if you’ve ever tasted REAL ceviche, then you know that there is no substitute for such a rich, yet simple & refreshingly satisfying delicacy. The problem is that making Ceviche is like making sushi, you must be able to start with the absolute freshest fish due to the whole raw factor. Finding fish sometimes can be a hassle, you need it to be  fresh, cheap can and sometimes you just don’t get lucky. More often than not, we are way to put on our chef hats. During those times we are just looking for a quick yet yummy bite to eat.That’s where our “Faux Ceviche” comes in. Of course it’s no where near the real deal, but it’s an interesting concoction that taste pretty good.

PREP-

Chop your ingredients into bite size equal dices, make sure that you have enough ingredient to flavor your tuna, but  too many, so as to out number or overpower. Make sure to finely  ingredients such as onion & chile. The smaller the dices, the more even &  mellow the flavor will be. Trust me in the middle of enjoying your tostada you don’t wan’t to bite into a big ol fragrant onion piece or a spicy chunk of chile.

After your done with your ingredients, open your can of tuna & drain. * I recommend tuna in water, because this is a dish that should taste fresh & light. Tuna in oil can have a more of  deeper complex flavor, we want simple & clean. Drain your tuna & add your chopped ingredients, don’t forget your salt & pepper . Then add your lime juice & mix up evenly. Refrigerate & let sit & chill for as long as you wish, there’s no need for waiting too long since it’s cooked all the way.

* One word of caution about lime juice make sure that you add enough lime juice so that your tuna won’t be too dry & so that it will be flavorful, but taste it as you go along so it won’t become too bitter. Some people like to add cucumber to the mix, but I think that works better with fresh fish, on the other hand I’ve never tried it on tuna. If you’re intrepid enough go ahead & try.  That’s simple enough isn’t it?? Cheat your way to a cool, fun, Mexican food inspired meal.

AS ALWAYS, BUEN PROVECHO(Bon appetite, enjoy your meal.)

WHAT YOU WILL NEED*

(Amount will vary according to portions, remember you need enough to top tostadas with a moderate amount not to heavily.)

Tomatoes = any kind will do, but try going for a firm variety, we are using them raw not cooked like in spaghetti sauce or anything so a bit of firmness is ideal.

Limes= because the tuna is not raw, you will only need enough to flavor the Tuna.

Onions = Red or white will do. You just need enough to sprinkle into the mix not a whole bunch. If you are making very little, you probably won’t even use up a whole one.

Chiles= This recipe calls for Serranos.

Avocados= A good avacado will not be to green or to dark. Make sure if you squeeze it, that it is not too firm or  inversely give in too much. These are indications of a  flavorless unripe one or one that is bitter, mushy and past its prime.

Tostadas= find them in the internationals foods isle, or next to the tortillas which are sometimes in the displays at the end of isles.

Don’t forget the Cilantro!  It really is one of the ingredients that makes the dish.

ALSO VERY IMPORTANT : Don’t forget to put in a least a little dash of hot sauce.

Mexican Culture: Sharing, spreading, thriving,celebrating.


Check out these awesome videos of different cultures showing their love for Mexico!  It’s awesome to see others not only enjoying, appreciating our

Mexican roots, but also immersing  themselves in them & celebrating them.

Mariachi Divas is represented by women of: Mexican, Cuban, Samoan, Argentinian, Japanese, Colombian, Swiss and Anglo decent. Founder and Musical Director Cindy Shea states, “Music is a way of uniting our cultural backgrounds and Mariachi Divas represents the “melting pot” of ethnicity that the United Sates is today.”- latinprecussion.com

MIKA AGEMATSU & her rendition of  Mexican song “El Cascabel” (the little bell.)


Mexican Traditions: 2 Birthdays for the Price of 1


Did you know that Mexicans get sort of a birthday do over? How? Well, I’ll tell ya. Today’s lesson in Mexican culture is all about  Birthdays & Santos.

In Mexico you have two days that are all about celebrating  YOU!  2 days  through out the year.  #1 The day you were born and #2 The day Of Your Santo(Saint).  Once upon a time in Mexico, because the nation is primarily & fervently Catholic people where named after Saints, because they were born on the day that was dedicated to the remembrance of that Saint. So when your birthday came around people would either wish you a happy birthday or Saint’s day.  As time went on that tradition died down, people  began to choose name in other ways.  Although both names &  naming methods now differ,  peoples names still coincide with those of Saints & so…. When a certain Saint’s day coincides with your name, people celebrate you!  This is  because it is a reminder of old birthday traditions & it’s another reminder of how awesome it is that you are a part of this world & their lives.  Some people like to celebrate their birthday real big & have just a little treat or reminder on their Saint’s day. While others do the opposite, the like just a hug or phone call on their bday & a big deal celebration on their Saint’s day.

HOW ARE BIRTHDAY OR  SANTOS CELEBRATED??

On the day of a loved one’s “Santo” or Bday : Mom, Dad, Grandma, grandpa, bros, sis, friends, Girlfriend/boyfriend, etc…  It is tradition to wake them up with a serenade in the early morning. You sing them the traditional birthday song “Las Mañanitas” = which translates to something like… The darling/sweet  Morning song or melodies. This  song is considered a very important & meaningful present.

Usually the serenade is done with a  Mariachi band, but you know Mariachis are expensive….  & So sometimes the serenade consists of whatever  you can swing. Some people sing by themselves with a track for accompaniment. Others  like flat broke youngsters in love  lol  , get their friends together & they help the guy sing to his girl. It really doesn’t matter as long as it’s done with love, it is a present that is beautiful, romantic & memorable.  Besides the really cool serenade, it is customary to make the persons favorite food on that day, take them out for a treat & prepare a special event or surprise. Presents are given on this day too, but it is more about showing a person how much you care through actions rather then through presents.   The whole day is about treating to all the things they love , & being extra nice & loving toward them.

LAS MAñANITAS  LYRICS
These are the Morning Melodies that King David sang. This is the song sung to all the lovely maidens(you say handsome gentlemen if you’re singing it to a guy.)Today it is your Santo &  so we sing them to you. Wake my love arise & see…  Daylight has come. Little birds are singing & the moon has tucked it self away.  How beautiful today is. This, the  day on which I have come to greet you. We all come full of delight & cheer, filled with pleasure to come & congratulate you. On the day that you were born, all the flowers were born. Atop your baptismal font nightingales sang.  The night is now turning to day, daylight has touched us now. Wake up early in the morn the night  has turn to day.


On someones birthday you can take them to a nature park/national park/historical landmark.

(All these arevery popular in Mexico, many of these parks can be found throughout.)

A walk in a regular public park is also suitable. You can enjoy fresh air buy a colorful balloon from a vendor at the park.  Or a yummy cotton candy.

Theme Parks & National Land marks

In Mexico Bañiarios (water parks) tend to be more popular than roller coaster parks.

Hybrids of theme park & land mark exist such as “El Bosque de Chapultepec” (Chapultepec Forest) in Mexico City

which is a giant park in middle of the modern, bustling  part of the city , but it’s right next to  historical Chapultepec castle. Modern meets, classical.

Or you can just go down town to  “El Centro” (the center) as people call it & shop around , take in a meal, & even catch a show by street performers.


Mexican TV: Today, a Children’s Classic


Today it is my pleasure to introduce you to a classic :”Carrusel” (carousel). This video is from  the show’s intro. Mexico is well know for it’s Novelas(dramas, soap operas, what ever you want to call them) this particular novela(series) was actually a children’s program. The successfully popular show  aired in the 90’s. It was broadcasted both in Mexico & abroad, including  here in the USA.  If you’re a 90’s brat & Hispanic… Chances are, you grew up on this. (I sure did =P)
ABOUT THE SHOW:  It’s a really sweet, cool  story about a teacher & her class. The children in the group are diverse, come from different walks of life ,backgrounds, & situations.  There’s : rich preppy kids, poor kids from humble homes,  nerdy kids, cool kids, trouble making kids, kids with happy home lives, and those with dysfunctional families.  The show dealt with an array of interesting topics such as: friendships, family, first loves, spoiling kids, getting along with others,domestic violence, kidnapping, discrimination, the importance of education….etc
Some of  Mexico’s most popular celebrities started their careers with this Series.
Speaking of the class being diverse, Side note: While some people think that if you go to  Mexico all you’ll find is brown skinned people with dark black hair…. The truth is,  if you really traveled about Mexico you’d be surprised by what you’d find. Because Mexico & it’s people  has been influenced by a history of invasions, immigrating  groups & foreign settlers , you can find Mexican citizens with touches  of influence from different countries &  ethnicities, Such :as Asian, European,  African.. etc

Meanings & Origins of Last names in Spanish


A_Name_Tag

Last names in Spanish are broken down into several categories : Patronymic & Matronymic Surnames – Based on a parent’s first name. Many of the most popular Hispanic last names fall into this category.  Names in this group are often made by adding -ez, -az, -is, or -oz to the end of a father’s first name.  For example : Leon Alvarez = Leon son of Alvaro. Another type of last name is :Occupational Surnames – these are of course last names which are based on the person’s job or trade. EXAMPLE:  Roderick Guerrero – Roderick the warrior or soldier Yet another last name category is that of , Descriptive Surnames – stemming  from a unique quality or physical feature of the individual, this type often developed from nicknames or pet names EXAMPLE: Juan Delgado – John the thin. Geographical Surnames – The most common type of Spanish surname, these Hispanic last names are derived from the location of the homestead from which the first bearer and his family lived  EXAMPLE:  Ricardo de Lugo – Ricardo from the town of Lugo.

LIST OF POPULAR LAST NAMES IS SPANISH

SOURCE : http://genealogy.about.com/cs/surname/a/spanish_names.htm

GARCIA =There are several possible origins for this popular Hispanic surname:

1) The most common meaning of the Garcia surname is “descendant or son of Garcia (the Spanish form of Gerald).”
2) From a medieval given name meaning “like a fox.”
3) One who came from Garcia, in Spain.

MARTINEZ=  is a patronymic surname meaning “son of Martin.” Martin is from he Latin “Martinus,” a derivative of “Mars,” the Roman god of fertility and war.

Torrex
TORRES= A name given to a person who lived in or near a tower, from the Latin “turris.”

FLORES= The surname Flores has existed in Spain since the 12th century, but a common origin has not been found. It is believed to most likely derived from the first name Floro, meaning  “flower.”

CHAVEZ=   An acient Portuguese surname which literally means “keys,”  from the Portuguese “chaves.”

sanchez_coat_of_arms_family_crest_magnet-p147496536202758371qjy4_400
SANCHEZ= a patronymic surname derived from the given name Sancho meaning “sanctified.”  (Sanchez= son of Sancho).

VARGAS= One who came from Vargas (steep hill); origin may be Celtic barica or barga (steep hill, or small cottage); principally from Santander.

DIAZ=The surname Diaz comes from the Latin dies which means “days”. Although it is a common Hispanic surname, it is believed to have Jewish origins, predating the Hispanic world. Related to the Spanish surname Diego.


SOTO=  Definition:  Forest, grove, or swamp. From the Spanish “soto” meaning grove. Most likely referred to one who lived near or in a forest or grove of trees.

ruiz2
Derived from the Old English word “geong,” meaning”ruiz,”(young) this surname was used as a descriptive name to distinguish father from son or to the ruizer(younger) of two relatives with the same first name (similar to the usage of Junior).

FERNANDEZ=A patronymic surname meaning “son of Fernando,” with Fernando being a given name meaning “journey, venture.”

RIOS=Dweller near the river.

LOPEZ=A patronymical surname meaning “son of Lope.” Lope comes from the Spanish form of Lupus, a Latin name meaning “wolf.”

VASQUEZ =Definition: 1) Son of Vasco 2) one who came from the Basque country (from the words vasco, velasco and belasco, each suggesting a place or ethnicity in the Basque provinces of Spain) 3) a shepherd, one who tended sheep.

HERNANDEZ = “Son of Hernando,” or “Son of Fernando,” the Spanish form of the  Old German name Ferdinand, meaning “bold voyager.”

CASTILLO= Dweller at or near a large fortified building; worker in a castle.

REYES= From the Old French rey, meaning king, Reyes was often bestowed as a nickname for a man who carried himself in a regal, or kingly, fashion. Alternative meanings include “one who plays the part of a king in a pageant” or “someone who works in the king’s house.”

RAMIREZ= Ramirez is a patronymic name meaning “son of Ramon” (wise protector).

GOZALEZ =Gonzalez is a patronymic surname meaning “son of Gonzalo.” The given name “Gonzalo” comes from the medieval name Gundisalvus, which was the Latin form of a Germanic name composed of the elements gund, meaning “war” and salv which is of unknown meaning.

RODRIGUEZ= Rodriguez is a patronymic name meaning “son of Rodrigo.” The given name Rodrigo is the Spanish form of Roderick, meaning “famous power,” from the Germanic elements “hrod,” fame and “ric,” power.

cruz_family_crest_postcard-p239530257537978429trdg_400
CRUZ=Cross, dweller near a cross. Cruz means “cross” in Spanish, referring to the cross of the Crucifixion.

MORALES =  1) “Son of Moral,” a given name meaning “right and proper.” 2) Dweller near a mulberry or blackberry bush. 3) “From Morales,” the name of several Spanish towns.

GUTIERREZ= Definition: A patronymic name meaning “son of Gutierre” (son of Walter). Gutierre is a given name meaning “he who rules.”


GARZA =Meaning “heron” in Spanish, the Garza surname usually translates as “dweller at the sign of the heron or dove.” 2) Sometimes a variation of GARCIA.

ROMERO=A pilgrim, one who visits a shrine. This nickname was originally applied to travelers from the western (Roman) empire who had to pass through the eastern (Byzantine) empire on their way to the holy land. According to the Instituto Genealógico e Histórico Latino-Americano, the Romero surname originated principally in the Spanish areas of Galicia, Aragón, Valencia, Catalonia, Andalusia and Castile. Romarin is a French version of this surname, while Romer is the German variation.
Mendoza Coat of Arms Stein
MENDOZA =One who came from Mendoza (cold or high mountains); from the Basque root “mendi” suggesting son of the mountain dweller. An ancient surname in Vizcaya, Navarre, Aragón, and Castile, Spain.

MUñOZ= A patronymic surname meaning “son of Muño (a hill) or of Nuño (ninth).”
PEñA=  Dweller near a large stone or rock, from the Spanish “Pena” meaning rock.

SANTIAGO=  A contraction of Santo Jacobo or Saint James.The Santiago surname is common in Burgos, Aragón and Galicia, Spain.