Now another installment of a section I like to call “Mexican Manners”. One of the many fun, interesting things when it comes to learning about other cultures is studying manners and customs. If you want to impress Mexicans friends/acquaintances, this section will provide some tips for you.
Today’s Tip is: WATCH YOUR BACK.
I think this is a custom observed in most Hispanic cultures, not sure if it’s observed in other cultures, though. I’ve been with people who aren’t Hispanic and don’t follow the “watch your back” rule. They didn’t mean anything by it, it’s just a custom they don’t observe. In Mexican culture though it’s an important rule. Why? Because, it is considered very rude to have your back turned to someone. This is called “dar la espalda” = give someone your back. It’s considered as a sign of ignoring someone, a physical affront…etc. In all fairness, there are times when you must turn away from someone to talk to someone else, and certain situations when due to positioning, having your back face someone can’t be helped. For politeness sake though, it’s best to keep the location of your back in mind and try to position yourself at an angle where you’re not directly turning your back to anyone. Or if you do turn your back, excuse yourself & try and try not to do it for too long.
VIDEO: Marching band “Banda Musical Delfines” from Xalapa Veracruz Mexico performs at the 2011 Rose Parade in Pasadena California. For many, especially if you’re from SoCal, the new year doesn’t officially start till you’ve seen the Rose Parade.
Video, aerial view of the band’s formation spelling “Mexico”:
Baby it’s cold outside ♪ Then let’s have some ponche & champurrado! Take a look at these vids about warm drinks that are traditionally enjoyed during Christmas =)
I’ve heard Champurrado described as mix between hot chocolate & porridge. The drink is thickened with cornstarch/cornflour. Champurrado comes in many flavors, & can be seen during Xmas time served with tamales =) During “Posadas” = Xmas processions/parties, “Ponche Navideño” (Christmas Punch) a warm drink brewed with a blend of fruits is given to guest. The basic punch recipe contains: Guava, Cinnamon, Hibiscus flower, tamarind, cane, Tejocotes (hawthorn). For both the champurrado & ponche pilloncillo are used which is cone shaped Mexican dark brown sugar.
Over time I’ve seen and heard the “that’s so Mexican” jokes going around . You know the type, the derogatory, stereotyped ones. Sadly these “jokes” are all too often propagated by Mexicans themselves. So this post category will be dedicated to things that are “so Mexican” and so POSITIVE! For example often times jokes are about Mexicans and their attitudes on life, such as the “cut corners, do it the Mexican way” joke. Well, did you know, in Mexican and Hispanic culture the following saying exists : “Pobre pero, honrado” = Poor(concerning wealth), but decent/honorable.” This saying is used as a reminder to be true to one’s self and be proud of who you are and where you come from. You don’t need to be fake to fit in. It’s important to be rich in spirit. No one, regardless of social status or wealth can ever look down on you as long as you’re and upstanding person.
This saying is so popular that there’s even been movies with this saying as their tittle. In novelas there’s the example of the maid being accused of stealing the boss’s gold watch or what have you, upon being accused she’ll respond “Seré pobre, pero honrada” = I may be poor/just a maid, but I’m honorable.