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.
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.
If you tune in to the Spanish tv stations, chances are you’ve seen this commercial. For those who have not, glad to share it with you guys. It’s a Degree ad featuring Andrés Guardado from team Mex/ left midfielder with Deportivo La Coruña, Spanish League.
The commercial’s storyline is simple, yet very silly & entertaining : Some crazy fans break into Andrés’s home and snatch his deodorant. Andrés swears by his Degree & can’t do without it, so… The chase begins! Throughout the commercial the whole city unites for one goal: Successfully play keep away with Andrés’s deodorant xD Why? Because the products slogan is : “Players should sweat, fans shouldn’t”
BEHIND THE SCENES :
Lol at Andrés driving the forklift. His driving it has nothing to do with the ad, but I bet he asked the director if he could and of course, how could they refuse? =)
ANDRES’S STUNT DOUBLE
Ha! The stunt guy has a twin, so Andres says, “so now there’s 3 Andrés Guardados” Funny.
So many beautiful things about our cultures, things that are worth: admiring, learning about and most of all keeping alive & thriving. One of those things most definitely has to be language. In Paraguay 88% of the population speaks Guarani along with Spanish. In Taiwan though most people speak Mandarin and the older generations are most knowledgeable when it comes to traditional Taiwanese, and though Taiwanes youngsters outside of Taiwan are a little sketchy on it, native Taiwanese kids are still taught about it (traditional Taiwanese) and understand it a bit even if they don’t practice it as often as say their grandparents, or so I’ve heard. So, I listen to different kinds of music and there’s this Taiwanese pop girl group I like. I totally fell in love with one of the songs off their latest album, and I especially thought it was super cool when I heard the group recorded that particular song not in main stream Mandarin but instead in traditional Taiwanese. This is our heritage ,our vestige…. We should take pride in these beautiful treasures. That is why in today’s post I’d like to share a traditional Mexican song. This post as they all are is for everyone, but especially those who’d like to learn a short little something in Nahuatl(aka Aztec). The song is called “Xochipitzahuatl” pronounced: soh-chee-pee-tzah-hoo-wah-tahl, meaning: little flower. This song is AKA “Flor Menudita” in Spanish.
Are these kids too COOL or what?! And such talent =D Plus they look so cute in their outfits.
It’s just a few short lines, but it something cool you can learn & impress your friends with. Show ’em you can sing in Nahuatl!
This song is usually sung at weddings in the Huasteca region of Mexico. From what I’ve been able to research, it is sometimes danced rather than sung. The song is preformed for the Virgin of Guadalupe as away of asking for the event to be blessed. I’m not incredibly familiar with this song, so not sure how long the song actually is . The girls in the first vid seem to be singing more lyrics than the guy in the 2nd vid =S Went on a hunt for the lyrics online and can not for the life of me find proper lyrics. There’s very little info online, could be that is due to the fact that the song is often know as a dance rather than a piece that is sung. I can only get little excerpts here & there, plus everyone’s version differs =(
Still so glad to see people taking pride in their roots and passing them on especially youngsters. =) Hope you ENJOY GUYS!!
Videos: Pianist Salvador Rodriguez Aldrete from Nayarit. Professional musician of 30 years. As a professor of music he is currently heading the “Elemental Music” & “Oratory Principals” workshops at the Catholic University of Puerto Vallarta.
This ballet version of the Jarabe Tapatio was a performance that took place as part of the concert celebrating Mr. Rodriguez’s 30 yr career featuring ballerina Ruth Marcela Perez Contreras.
Amaranto is a traditional Mexican candy also know as “Alegría” (happiness, joy, cheer). A treat who’s ingredients & manufacturing process have a long standing history. The candy’s main ingredient is the intensely nutritious grain knows as amaranth, it is so nutritious than it surpass both rice & wheat. Amaranth was a staple food of the Aztecs. Alegría candy bars contain : nuts, pepitas(pumpkin seeds), rasins, & the amaranth grain which are “glued” together with pilloncillo(a type of unrefined sugar that usually comes in cones, known to some as “Mexican brown sugar”)
MORE INFO :
I’d been dying to do a post like this, thought it’d be super fun to share with the readers! I had already done a post on the meanings of last names in Spanish, so I went in search of names in Mexican indigenous languages next. I searched the web, and I found this cool list of Aztec/Mayan names. Sorry if there are any discrepancies, feel free to add your two cents on the subject if you’d like. You can do so by visiting the comments section. I’m learning along the way too =) Ok, so a million thanks to my source all credit goes to them. I only excerpted some names & tanslated their meaning. You can find the complete list by following the link =D
TLEXOCHITL= Fire flower
METZTLI / MEXTLI= Moon
CUAUHTÉMOC = descending eagle
TONALLI= Day, energy, warmth
TOPILTZIN= our dear little boy, our prince
TLAZOHTZIN= he who is loved
IZTACOYOTL= white coyote
TEOXIHUITL = Turquoise divinity, beautiful one
EHÉCATL = Wind
ATLANXOCHITL= The most beautiful flower of the sea.
CEYAOTL = Warrior
CITLALTONAC = Dazzling star
CITLALTZIN = little star
QUIAHUITL = rain
TLEYOTL = heart of fire
YAOCIHUATL= woman warrior
There are so many gorgeous and inspiring names, but if I had to pick just one… I guess I’d like to be named: QUIAHUITL( rain) because I adore the rain, it’s so romantic. Plus I’m from So Cal where we don’t get that much rain, so it’s all the more precious to me . Then again, CITLALTZIN (little star) is such a cute and pretty name too. But with a name like TEOXIHUITL (Turquoise divinity, beautiful one) wow who wouldn’t feel like a godess?! Lol So super hard to choose, all the names rock!