Sing a long Friday : “Xochipitzahuatl” (traditional Mexican song)


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!!

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Hispanic heritage month reads


Here’s a short list of books I thought worth recommending, because what better way to celebrate your culture than by learning and exploring. No?  Here’s wishing you much discovery and enjoyment =D

2010 being the Centenial of the Mexican Revolution, how can I possibly forget to mention ” Los De Abajo”  (by Mariano Azuela ,1915 ) = “The Ones At  The Bottom/The Underdogs”

A very prominent book in Mexican literature. You can find an English version of this book, but if you read Spanish, truly recommend that you read it in it’s originally context.

Mariano Azuela, Mexican author and physician, best known for his fictional stories of the Mexican Revolution of 1910. He wrote novels, works for theatre and literary criticism. During his days in the Mexican Revolution, Azuela wrote about the war and its impact on Mexico. He served under president Francisco I. Madero as chief of political affairs in Lagos de Moreno, Jalisco – his home town. After Madero’s death, he joined the military forces of Julián Medina, a follower of Pancho Villa, where he served as a field doctor. He later was forced for a time to emigrate to El Paso, Texas. There he wrote Los de abajo, a first-hand description of combat during the Mexican revolution, based on his experiences in the field. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mariano_Azuela

“The revolution benefits the poor, the ignorant, all those who have been slaves all their lives, all the unhappy people who do not even suspect they are poor because the rich who stand above them, the rich who rule them, change their sweat and blood and tears into gold…” (excerpt from “The Underdogs).

Los De Abajo Synopsis- http://www.mexconnect.com/articles/835-the-underdogs-los-de-abajo-a-novel-of-the-mexican-revolution-by-mariano-azuela

Aztec, Inca, and Maya (Eyewitness Book Series) –  Learn about native indigenous cultures to Mexico & Latin America.  Discover facts about what their religion, traditions, civilizations, what their  daily way of life was like.  Filled with “eyewitness” pictures and illustrations.

The Course Of Mexican History Seventh Edition- ( by Michael C. Meyer, the late William L. Sherman, Susan M. Deeds) This book offers a completely up-to-date, lively, and engaging survey from the pre-Colombian times to the present. Such a text is considered to be an indispensable tool for students of : Mexican History, Politics, Economics, and Culture.

My Sweet Mexico: Reciepies for authentic pastries, sweet bread, beverages,  candy and frozen treats (by Fany Gerson)

Frida: Viva La Vida! Long Live Life (by Bernier-Grand, Carmen T) This book is a 14 yrs + text. It is part of a group of works in which biographies are told through poetry. The book also contains reproductions of Mrs. Kahlo’s work.

Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez (by Kathleen Kull) – This children’s book  takes a  look at Cesar Chavez’s life and how he grew up to become a leader for justice.  Learn about Cesar’s: chilhood, his family, and how he pushed for the ever  important  migrant farmworkers’ cause.




Happy 100th UNAM


An institution with a rich & deep history, a educational & cultural mainstay that is well worth getting to know is turning 100, Mexico’s famed UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico)

FACTS ABOUT UNAM

*Established Sep of 1910 two months before the beginning of the Mexican Revolutionary War

*Based primarily in Mexico City

*Has Nobel prize recipients among it’s alumni: Alfonso Garcia Robles(for Peace), Octavio Paz (Literature), Mario Molina (Chemistry)

*Main campus is a world heratige site.

*Served as a sanctuary for exiled republican Spaniards, and  refugees of Latin American dictatorships.

“Murals in the main campus were painted by some of the most recognized artists in Mexican history, such as Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros.”

“Generally considered to have the largest enrollment among universities in the Americas.”

UNAM’s soccer team Los Pumas participates in the first division of the Mexican Soccer League.

” The club became two-time consecutive champions of the Apertura, and the Clausura in 2004. Their home ground is the Estadio Olímpico Universitario stadium.”

“UNAM students and professors are regarded throughout Mexico as very politically-aware and sometimes intensely politically active”

The list of those who have attended the prestigious university includes: heads of state, humanitarians, writers, physicians, sports stars and diplomats.

The school currently has : a radio station, its own TV channel, and a philharmonic

Source: quoted lines are info from Wikipedia

UNAM ALUMNI (just to name a few):

Miguel Alemán Valdés (president of Mexico)

Rodolfo Neri Vela (the first Mexican in space),

Hugo Sánchez Márquez (one of Mexico’s most acknowledged football players)

Carlos Slim Helú (businessman and engineer and the richest person in the world)[39]

Jorge Calles-Escandón, M.D. (endocrinologist, a specialist in thyroid biopsy, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, insulin pumps at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, USA)

Alfonso Caso(archeologist)

UNAM Philharmonic plays at Uxmal ruins. Sorry if the vid’s a little off it’s a home video someone posted. The music’s awesome though, so I just had to post it.

Official UNAM soccer team mascot Goyo the Puma!

UNAM soccer cheer: “Goya, goya, cachún, cachún, ra, ra, cachún, cachún ra, ra, goya UNIVERSIDAD!”

MORE SITE WITH INFO ON UNAM

http://www.unam.mx/index/en (Official site)

UNAM TV: http://www.tvunam.unam.mx/

UNAM Pumas (soccer team site) http://clubpumasunam.com/index.php/portal/inicio/

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

http://latercera.com/noticia/educacion/2010/09/657-293117-9-la-unam-cumple-100-anos-como-principal-universidad-de-latinoamerica.shtml

http://www.worldheritagesite.org/sites/unam.html

http://www.unam.mx/index/en

Mexico 1985 Earthquake remembered


Today Mexico remembers the 1985 earthquake. It’s been 25 years already.  On Sep 19, 1985 at about: 7:19 a.m. a 8.1 magnitude quake struck causing devastation. Though disputed, the sum of 10,000 in fatal human casualties is estimated. The epicenter was located off the Pacific Coast & being that Mexico City sits on an old lake bed incredible damage resulted there.  It is said to have been 3-4 billion dollar worth of damage,  412 buildings collapsed, and those that were significantly damaged sum up to 3,124 infrastructures.  To make matters worse one of the areas that  affected most severly happened to be one with a concentration of hospitals. Today of course the quake is a ” Trending Topic” on Twitter Mexico, again and again the same sentiment is expressed: ” In time of crisis Mexico can band together &  stand in brotherhood. Charging onward with a fighting spirit! Mexico can not be kept down!”

Here are a few exerps from Wikipidea with details on the event.

“According to government figures, approximately 250,000 people lost their homes directly due to the earthquake. Unofficial sources put that figure much higher.[14] Some sources state that more than 50,000 families lost their homes, and INEGI reports that 700,000 people in the Federal District and the suburbs in the State of Mexico lost their homes.[6]

“More than 4,000 people were rescued alive. 9,600 injured people received treatment, including 1,879 who needed hospitalization. Despite the loss of 5,000 hospital beds, there was never a shortage of facilities for the injured. Some of the reason for this was that those with postponable care were discharged, but mostly because the public and private facilities unified de-facto during the crisis.[13] There were also people rescued as late as ten days after the initial event.[17]

The “Torre de Hospitalización” was built in 1970 with the main building being twelve stories tall. It had two wings, one facing north and the other south, with an inpatient capacity of 536 beds. At the top was a helipad. It was also surrounded by a number of other buildings belonging to the hospital complex such as a blood bank, teaching facilities, offices as well as the original convent. At the time of the earthquake, the hospital was 80% full, and it was shift change time for nurses, doctors and residents. Within minutes, the steel-frame structure collapsed, crushing and trapping many people inside.[18]

“On the other hand, the disaster created an opportunity for political opponents, especially at the grassroots level.”- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1985_Mexico_City_earthquake

Read More about the quake:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/september/19/newsid_4252000/4252078.stm

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/earthquake-shakes-mexico-city

http://www.glynn.k12.ga.us/BHS/Juniorprojects/Hopkins01/miguelo23724/

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/world/events/1985_09_19.php

Night of the Bicentennial Celebrations Mexico (Videos)


The “Colossus” being raised. The “Colossus” is a statute representing every Mexican.

In case you missed the awesome Bicentennial party, you can get the inside scoop and find pics & vids of the extraordinary celebration at http://www.bicentenario.gob.mx/

Mex Bicentennial Flickr channel

http://www.flickr.com/photos/53924008@N06

Mex Independence Day Videos


Found two awesome movies and a great program to share with you guys on Mexico’s independence.  The first movie is  “Cries of Death & Liberty”. It’s actually a  short series that was  released in commemoration of the Bicentennial. Posted the trailer & part 1. Click on the vid and it will take you to YouTube where there rest of the vids are =D

The second movie is entitled “The Lit Torch” also a series based on the Independence struggle this section is entitled “The taking of Alhondiga of Granaditas”.  What’s  is the Alhondiga of Granaditas &  what’s its importance? You can discover the story and get some background at the following link before watching the movie:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alh%C3%B3ndiga_de_Granaditas

As for the show, it has a very interesting premise!  The show has a time machine concept, they bring back historical figures and interview them. I’ve posted an edition with interviews with heroes of the Mexican Independence movement.

I’ve only posted the first part to each of the interviews, but if you click on the respective video it will take you to YouTube where you can find the rest. All vids are titled with the hero’s  name & all parts are numbered.

What’s up today Mexico?


Ok we’re only 2 days away from Sept 16, Independence day for Mexico & the grand celebration that will mark  the 200th anniversary of the  launch of the Independence movement.  Also, remember that the annual “El Grito” ceremony is held at midnight on the 15th.

As for Sept 13, today is the day on which heroes of the Mexican-American war are commemorated. Young soldiers dubbed “Niños Héroes” ( Child Heroes). Six young cadets and the story of how they sacrificed their lives at Chapultepec Castle are highlighted and extolled.  President Felipe Calderon headed the annual commemorative ceremony this morning in honor of those who died a  patriotic death.

Learn who the “Niños Heroes” were & about the battle at Chapultepec castle.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ni%C3%B1os_H%C3%A9roes

Niños Héroes” Webpage on Bicentennial website :

http://www.13septiembre.bicentenario.gob.mx/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=63&Itemid=48