USPS to release Latin Music Stars Stamps


USPS plans to release stamps honoring legendary Latin music stars, among them Mexican American singer Selena.

More on this story:

http://www.thedailyswarm.com/headlines/usps-announces-latin-music-legends-series-stamps-featuring-selena-tito-puente/

SELENA’S WIKI PAGE:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selena

Xmas Songs in Spanish


In Spanish carols are know as “villancicos”

Los Peces en El Rio= The Fish in the River

Va a nevar= It’s gonna snow (Let it snow Spanish Version)


El Niño Tamborilero = Little Drumer Boy


Hispanic Heritage Month


Sept 15-Oct 15 is Hispanic Heritage month.  I’d like to share some awesome sites and a cool article with you guys.  Found this great article from The Smithsonian in their Hispanic Heritage section. The article celebrates the Mexican sportsman’s spirit.

“The Little League World Series’ Only Perfect Game”
“The surprising story of the 1957 Little League team from Monterrey, Mexico.”

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/The-Little-League-World-Series-Only-Perfect-Game.html#ixzz1074se0w1

(related to article)Photos of the actual game : http://www.smithsonianmag.com/multimedia/photos/?articleID=90018867&c=y

VIDEO of the 1957 baseball game: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/multimedia/videos/The-Perfect-Game-Heard-Round-the-World.html

Other COOL HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH SITES:

http://www.hispanicheritagemonth.gov/

http://www.biography.com/hispanic-heritage/featured-bios.jsp

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2010/09/15/presidential-proclamation-national-hispanic-heritage-month

http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/hispanic/history.htm

What Spanish speakers are watching


So glad that I was lucky enough to find subbed versions of  a string of really amusing Corona commercials that have been running during the world cup to share with non Spanish-speaking  readers.  They’re really cute &  funny, but the best part is the concept being promoted: brotherhood, pride in your roots and the heritage which we share. This idea  is championed by the  motto “refresh who we are”. Though yes, in the end they may only be trying to sell some beer or whatever lol ,  and the commercials are pretty comical compared to other more austere and grandiose symbols of unity , in light of  recent political events and the tense climate that has been fermenting as a result of the growing  movement by groups with antagonizing sentiments towards Hispanics it’s really very cool to see gestures like these.  Speaking of  togetherness, it has also been felt during the worldcup when it has become “1 for all and all for 1” when it came to rooting for teams.  That indeed is mega super chido! VAMOS TODOS!

“Corona Extra, better known as Corona, is a brand of pale lager owned and produced by Cerveceria Modelo at a number of breweries in Mexico. It is one of the best-selling beers in Mexico and is one of the top-selling beers worldwide.[2] Corona beer is available in over 150 countries.[3] ” –http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corona_Beer

Mexican Novelas : Chameleons


Novela time! This post for all drama lovers, drama addicts , & to those who are just getting into dramas. If you have never seen a Mexican drama(Novela) and are interested may I suggest a series that was a hit in Mexico, a drama that recently premiered here in the states. Camaleones=Chameleons is barely on its second episode so right now is the time to tune in. You’ll be able to follow the story as it develops from the very start.  The drama is being aired at 3:00 p.m. pacific  on Univision or if you miss it on tv there are awesome uploaders on YouTube hooking up Camaleones fans.  For example channel belindaperegrinchile

So excited to watch this drama as it is singer Pee Wee(Irvin Salinas) debut in novelas. Pee wee in a school boy uniform , doesn’t get much sexier than that =P Also in the drama are singer Belinda and ex RBD member Alfonso Herrera.  I hope you guys will get into this drama and let your imaginations flow with its crazy adventures and have an awesome time, because that’s the fun of dramas.

PLOT: Camaleones is the story of Valentina and Sebastian. Both skilled thieves, they are united when a man they call “El Amo” forces them to commit crimes while passing as a prefect and an art teacher at the illustrious prep school San Bartolome which is attended by  rebellious, troublesome, snobby rich kids. They must do what they are told in order to protect their loved ones. Pee wee plays Ulises, he is a student on a scholarship who is chosen by the school’s vice principal Augusto to attend San Bartolome. Sol a girl in Pee wee’s class is daughter of the school’s principal and vice principal. Her parents are separated and constantly challenge each others’ authority at the school. Her father is manipulative and aggressive, but Sol sees him as a model father. Her mother does nothing to uncover his true ways because she doesn’t want to break her daughter’s heart.  Even though her mom loves her and tries to protect her, to Sol whenever her mother sets rules and boundaries she always come off as the bad guy. Sol’s dad wants to run for office and schemes to reunite with his estranged wife only for sake of his political career.

CAMALEONES OFFICIAL WEB SITE http://www2.esmas.com/entretenimiento/telenovelas/camaleones/

Novelas becoming a Hit in China


It’s being reported that two Novelas are making it big right now in China. The first is a story that everyone fell in love with as soon as it debuted. It garnered so much success and ratings that it wasn’t long before remakes by different countries were being produced.  I’m talking about  Colombia’s “Betty La Fea”= Betty The Ugly Girl .  Mexico’s version was, “La Fea Mas Bella ” = The Most Beautiful Ugly Girl”, the US had “Ugly Betty”,  Germany had “Alles Betty”,  just to name a few.  And still the concept’s popularity continues as China prepares to air the 4th season of its version of the story “Ugy girl with no Rival”. While this novela is being remade with Asian actors, the other drama which is enjoying success in China is being broadcasted in it’s original state.  That dramas is… Mexico’s “Destilando Amor”= Distilling Love. That’s right this is a novela who’s concept is not being borrowed, tweaked, and remade.  The actual original work in its entirety, including: original actors, and storyline is being showcased. Thus our wonderful culture is crossing borders and diffusing it’s beauty. According to the article which reported the success of these two novelas, they are in the Top 3 most watch Dramas of the moment in China. I hope that this is a sign of things to come.

For sometime now the Asian Culture wave has been expanding & as it has, it’s been winning followers and creating enthusiasts where ever it spreads. A large part of its success is due to the diffusion of pop culture, especially music and dramas. If you are not a drama fan, you may not be aware…But dramas are a HUGE deal! Drama fans or “Drama addicts” as they like to call themselves are very devout enthusiasts. Here is an example: Dramas that are not broadcasted across borders or subbed by the original broadcaster still make it big thanks to dedicated “subbers” and “up-loaders”. These are fans who work to help those who couldn’t otherwise enjoy dramas through special sites, sites made by Drama fans for Drama fans. Drama’s are a big deal, because there’s a very special chain reaction that occurs thanks to dramas. Thanks to dramas: fans have become interested in Asian music when listening to the soundtrack while watching the drama , they also  fall in love with the actors which leads them to follow said actors on other shows, and while becoming so fascinated with all these cool and fun things some fans become interest in the language in which they watch dramas,  eventually deciding to study it. I would love it if our culture could be shared, and appreciated with such enthusiasm. I’d love to see sites where Novelas are being subbed and shared with others. I’d love to see more of our actors & singers become popular in countries where Spanish is not spoken.

S is for Sell Out


“Yea sure ,whatever’s trendy” seems to be the sentiment with some now a days.  No scruples attached, absolutely no sense or sensitivity involved , however plenty of ignorance & strong indifference is what leads to such attitudes & eventually selling out. Carlos Mencia receives a lot of criticism for his boorish,racist, sell out brand of  comedy(and very well deserved it is), while on the other hand George Lopez seems to be riding high now a days thanks to his comedic style.  He somehow seems to garner more approval.  But don’t be fooled, just because the sell out factor isn’t  as obvious does not mean it is not present.  He too loves to showcase & concentrate on ignorant stereotypical portrayals of Hispanics( especially Mexicans) that are: disrespectful, undermine our beautiful culture and are damaging our image as a people.  He loves to talk about gangsters,(His famous, “I know huh?” joke) Mexicans who speak messed up English(His “Mexicans who work at Jack in the Box” joke), and lazy Mexican who’ll do anything to skip work( “Danny boy” character on his sitcom played by him)

Being a person who is in a position to be heard, he gives all this “help” to his people in a country where we are already being bombarded with an onslaught of derogatory , racists put downs and each day the anti immigrant= anti Hispanic movement grows with fierce animosity.

His entire comedy angle revolves around talking about how if your Mexican,by nature you’re: antisocial, aggressive, obsessively frugal, and basically live a ghetto lifestyle all your life. His jokes say, that we can pretend to be educated, and cultured, even interact with other cultures, but in the end our vulgar, uncouth, simply ghetto sides comes out, because this is our true nature. He talks about his family &  explains their (according to him) ghetto experiences to those who don’t know the REAL Mexican culture in a way that seems to say, “just imagine all of Mexicans being this way.”  Those  in the audience who are Mexican , Chicano, or Hispanic &  have lost true connections with their roots laugh and agree stupidly along with all those who are not Mexican & ignorantly find it amusing.  He calls himself Chicano, a beautiful word, but I think some use it as their safety net. It’s convenient at times to be Chicano , because that means your not so Mexican. That’s what it seems like when people like George Lopez keep flip-flopping.

During his sitcom you’ll notice that  he keeps switching between,  knowing how to speak Spanish with ease, like when he wants to cuss and then being all white washed and acting like he can’t pronounce words properly in Spanish without an English accent. There’s one episode (George Lopez Show)where he exhibits this “I don’t know Spanish” attitude, he goes to a  drive through and finds it exceedingly hard to comprehend the worker at the window due to his Spanish accent. His reaction is like “Huh? What is this gibberish?”, so as to augment the ignorant appearance of the Hispanic character.  Also here is another very ignorant comment he made during an episode of his sitcom when he had to attend a wedding . He was afraid to reveal to his wife that he was embarrassed due to HIS lack of dancing skills. He said “It’s easy for you, you’re Cuban you got dancing in your blood. I’m Mexican, the only dance we have is around a hat .”  First of all I’m tired of people being so ignorant about our culture that is a dance that important to our  folklore representing the wonderful state of Jalisco,”El Jarabe Tapatio” = Jarabe meaning syrup or elixir, referring to the mixture of rhythms in this style of music & Tapatio referring to anything coming Guadalajara. I hate when the real name is totally disregarded and changed in English to  “The Mexican Hat dance”.  And the song for this dance is thought of as funny Mexican music, because you’ll see it played in all kinds of stereotypical media. Well George saying that he can’t dance because he’s Mexican, is just so stupid.  That was such a mega super, ridiculously ignorant comment of him to make because Mexicans & Mexican Americans love, love, love to go dancing.   And news flash, there are Mexican dances.  There is Mexican Cumbias, La Quebradita, Banda music, Durangese style dancing,  and the list goes on…..

Why talk smack on your culture and in essence yourself.  Why be pseudo Latino = just  Hispanic enough to be “in” for Hollywood, but not too much so as to be able to turn it off at times.

So George Lopez is getting a lot of attention lately with his new talk show where he continues to contribute & be part of the problem. (The talk show has the character Chola girl, maybe following suit & drawing some “inspiration”  from Jimmy Kimmel’s side kick boorish,clod Guillermo.) Seems though that might have something  to do with the fact that  The Tonight Show with Conan O’brien is no longer on air. I think that such a big name leaving  gave other lesser shows, especially newbies a sort of confidence &  So this new talk show starts to gain an “up & coming” rep.

Spanish:Valentine’s Day Phrases


In Spanish Valentine’s day has a few names:
Dia de los enamorados= Lovers’ day
Dia del amor y la amistad= Day of love & friendship
El Dia de San Valentin= Saint Valentine’s day

For all my fellow incurable romantics out there here’s a video of phrases for U to have some fun romancing in Spanish! Enjoy learning something new just for fun!  Also really handy if U have someone that you’d like to impress by whispering sweet nothings to in Spanish. I’m not up on the rules of indicating pronunciation like the dictionary does, so instead I used spellings that use sounds found in English to indicate something close to what the words should sound like. Of course if you want to really perfect them & get an authentic sound, find a Spanish speaking friend to go over them with you.  But, even if the pronunciation is a teeny weeny bit off, at least you’re somewhere in the ball park & trust me whoever you are trying to romance will get the message. They’ll probably find an accent : cute, and interesting.  ENJOYNESS MUCH!!♥♥♥♥♥

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xc8atn_vday-spanish2_lifestyle

*oops I got distracted and said “see-eh-loh” = sky instead of “Loo-nah”= moon for I’d bring down the moon & stars for you. Sorry.

It’s all about Serenades!!♥♥♥♥


SOOO ROMANTIC!! A  practice that is not only very popular in Mexico, but in every Spanish speaking country I think… Is that of romantic serenatas=serenades. In these countries serenades are preformed for: birthdays, anniversaries, just to say I love you, say I’m sorry, to propose marriage, or to confess ur love/ask someone to be ur guy or girl.  A classic serenade is preformed with a  Mariachi band, a guitar trio or soloist, also it is customary to wake  ur loved one with your song at dawn. As time goes on the tradition has taken on new forms, but I’m so happy that it’s still alive & well. It’s a very: cool,beautiful, special part of our culture, that I’m very proud of. Modern serenades: Now a days people will opt for pop music,Rnb, punk, rock, Banda music..etc for serenades. Another modern take on the serenade is that of surprising the recipient in public places during the day. A very common question about serenades “What about the neighbors?” With a classic serenade, I guess there might be a neighbor or two that gets annoyed with music so early in the morning, but for the most part it’s a well accepted and embraced tradition enjoyed by almost everyone. I mean come on, you’d have to be  a total scrooge to make a fuss about it 🙄 A serenata makes those directly involved & those around them happy, makes them feel warm inside, brings out the romantic in everyone, love is always beautiful, it’s just a really cool thing to behold. The neighbors or whoever is around will end up cheering the person giving the serenade on & root for the girl to come out. Once the couple is together on lookers will chant “Beso, beso, beso!”= a Kiss,a kiss, a kiss! Really cool right?! If you get a serenade it’s one of the most wonderful gifts u can receive. A pro serenata(hired musicians) is not cheap lol, if u decide to play and sing by yourself or get friends into the act it takes a lot of hard work, and earnest effort. So it’s really touching that someone would care so much as to prepare such an awesome surprise for you. With the Valentine’s day holiday coming up I wanted to take this post as an oportunity to honor this kickbutt tradition & share it with those who are new to it.

Enjoy these awesome serenade vids posted by crazy romantics on YouTube.

*Serenade scene from popular novela “Rebelde” (Rebel) Although the guys went all out,with spectacular fireworks & hired a full mariachi band… They had messed up big time, & the girls were still way ticked off at them, so their serenade efforts were shot down. 😳

*Cheating! Come on dude u gotta sing! Just going straight for the sugar 😛 He’s got some really cool friends to hook him up like that. The heart costumes are just too adorable.

A 60’s rock theme serenade. Very cool & original 8)

Althought it’s kinda embarrassing to be ambushed @ work or school, it’s all good, cuz  it’s so flattering to be in the spotlight & have witnesses that turn green with envy @ ur totally cool romantic moment. :mrgreen: Ooh loving the flower petals and votive candles on the desk, makes for a very romantic ambiance.

Ummm the girl did not come out during this serenade. Well… U win some, u loose some. A+ for effort though guys ❗ It really takes dedication to bring out your whole set up & rock out in the wee hour of the morning.

When u decide to go Banda with ur serenade, it quickly evolves into a party!! 😀 Lmao the camera’s shaky cuz the camera guy was dancing along.

Beautiful Mexican Poetry


SILENCE by Octavio Paz

As if from the background of music

springs forth a note,

that while it vibrates it  grows and thins out

till it becomes silent in other music,

It sprouts from  the background of silence

another silence, sharp tower,sword

and it rises,and it grows, and suspends us

and while it grows memories fall, hopes, small lies and the big ones,

and we want to scream and in our throats the shout fades away:

We flow into silence where the silences fade away.

SILENCIO , Octavio Paz

Así como del fondo de la música
brota una nota
que mientras vibra crece y se adelgaza
hasta que en otra música enmudece,
brota del fondo del silencio
otro silencio, aguda torre, espada,
y sube y crece y nos suspende
y mientras sube caen
recuerdos, esperanzas,
las pequeñas mentiras y las grandes,
y queremos gritar y en la garganta
se desvanece el grito:
desembocamos al silencio
en donde los silencios enmudecen.


sources:

http://www.poesia-inter.net/op01030.htm

Incluido en Obra poética (1935-1988). Octavio Paz. Seix Barral. Primera edición, diciembre 1990.

y en Libertad bajo palabra. Obra poética (1935-1957). Octavio Paz. letras mexicanas. Fondo de Cultura Económica. Primera reimpresión en España, 1990.