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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Cool Aztec Names


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

Source : http://mx.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070317122716AAbQUdd

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!

Mexican National Anthem:Indigenous Languages Versions


Check it out!  Just got this awesome link from @Bicentenario the official twitter page for Mexico’s Bicentenial 2010. The link= a webpage with Audio of versions of the Mexican National Anthem sung in Mexican Indigenous languages!  Is that too cool or what?!  Ever heard any Mexican indigenous languages? Curious to find out what they sound like? You can by clicking this link http://www.inali.gob.mx/bicen/himno_nacional_lenguas.html

The page has versions of the National Anthem sung in : Náhuatl from Central Veracruz , Purépecha, &  Cucapá, among  others.

For those unfamiliar with the Mexican national anthem here’s a video so you can compare the version in Spanish to those in the Mexican indigenous languages. Also lyrics in both Eng & Span can be found at : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Himno_Nacional_Mexicano


Let’s learn some Spanish: About Good Manners


When learning a language  who isn’t  eager and excited to learn what will make you sound cool, fun, and friendly, so that you can make new friends &  enjoy communicating with others in your new language?  Well, nothing makes a person cooler than great manners, & so today that’s what we will be learning about. Today’s lesson specifically talks about one little word: “Qué.” While it might be common knowledge that “what” in Spanish = “Qué”(pronounced Keh). The meaning & usage of this word as it pertains to Spanish is sometimes ,not entirely understood. In Spanish missuse of the word  can mean sounding very rude.  Many times I’ve seen on TV the depiction of various characters who speak Spanish(Mexican more often than not), upon listening to another language, umm…say English he/she will automatically respond in a stereotypical voice “Qué??!”

It truly is a most disturbing sound to hear. It’s  a  method used for the purpose of augmenting  inanity, boorishness when it comes to  the portrayal of that character.  The reality of it is that, ““Qué” would not really the first thing someone would say in Spanish. Why? Well, because manners are held in very high regard & are  treated with utmost importance  in Hispanic culture, regardless of social position or the amount of education received.  When you are told something  & did not hear or understand, the polite way to respond is by using the phrase “Mande usted” (mah-deh-oo-steh-ehd) the formal version or “Mande”(shortened version).  The word “mande” literally  means= “You may request/ instruct.”  In essence it means excuse me. Only it has more of a : beg your pardon, excuse me what was that, say that again please,  I’m sorry I  couldn’t hear, but if you’d be so kinds a to repeat you have my attention”…etc  kind of connotation to it.

Another time when “Mande” is used is, when being addressed or called over.  Say your boss has decided to give you an assignment &  so he addresses you “Mrs. X come over for a minute”  You would respond by saying “Mande usted Señor/Señora” = Yes boss(sir/ mam).  At a store if a shopper would adress a clerk , the shopper would also receive a  “mande usted.” Another example, Say your mom calls you into the kitchen . You go to the kitchen and say “What?”, because you’re used to the “what”   in the English expressions: “what is it/what’s the matter?”  It’s quite likely that you’ll receive the following scolding : “What do you mean Qué? Don’t be so rude/disrespectful, you don’t say “Qué, you say Mande usted”. “Mande” in  This sense= yes mom, you called, Yes ma’m. “Qué?” does have it’s place in Spanish however,  “Qué?” alone is used as more of an interjection than a question, and it’s used to express: surprise/shock /or confusion in a  direct, and explicit manner, thus using it alone sounds rude at times.  The moral of the story? One little word can mean the difference between sounding abrasive & disrespectful, or friendly, and well mannered.

Simple Phrases in Aztec(Nahuatl)


Learn some simple, basic, very cool phrases in Nahuatl.

“Náhuatl – The Mexican language,
from the root
‘Nahua’ meaning
“a dance done with the hands
entwined, a concordance, to
move in cadence”
. Also known
as the
turquoise smoke
harmonious speech, which is pleasing to the ear.”-
casademexico.com

PHRASES

Tlazocamatli – thank you

Ikniuhtli – friend

Niltze – hi, hola
Amo – no
Kema – yes

Ken Motoka? – what is your name?

Nehuatl Notoka… – my name is…

Kenin Otimo Uika – how are you doing?

Kualli – good

Hue Kaulli – very good

For more tips on pronunciation, info on the Nahuatl alphabet, other phrases…etc,  feel free to visit the source link.

Source:http://casademexico.com/nahuatl.html

Real MEXICAN Music


Today’s Music section features the group Huichol Musical( pronounced =Wee chohl) SONG= Cumbia Cusinela (Cook’s dance)

ABOUT THE ARTIST:

Known for mixing indigenous culture with contemporary musical styles, Huichol Musical are a quintet from the Sierra Madre Occidental region of Jalisco, Mexico. The band takes its name from the Huichol, an indigenous ethnic group of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range whom the Aztecs called “the Ancient Ones.” Huichol Musical made their major-label recording debut in 2008 with Desde México… “Cumbia Cusinela” on the Universal-affiliated label Machete Music. Given its novel mix of indigenous cultural cues with contemporary regional Mexican musical styles, Desde México… “Cumbia Cusinela” became a sensation, spawning the hit singles “Cumbia Cusinela” and “La Cusinela,” the former of which features lyrics sung in the Huichol language. ~ Jason Birchmeier, All Music Guide (off Amazon.com)

Unfortunately there’s been a mixed reaction to such a group. Some are taken back by how: original,creative, and wonderful their music & sound is. Others say that they are embarrassing, that those who see them will think badly of us Mexicans, & think that we are all :poor, uneducated  little villagers. Yes these men have humble origins, but so what?!  They are our people, and our culture is theirs ,our culture IS people like them. They are part of  those few special people who refuse to let their roots and heritage die. Yes some of us are city people, and we have different stories, and lives then them. No NOT ALL Mexican are  the same, BUT neither of us is better or worse!

The disc contains two version of “Cumbia Cusinela” The original, a techno version.



INTERVIEW WITH THE GROUP

TRANSLATION OF THE INTERVIEW:

HOSTAnd we are back with our big bash today.  We are here with the guys from Huichol Musical. They are visiting us here on the show for the first time. Guys thank you so much for being here. How are you?

Huichol MusicalWe are doing well, thank you so for inviting us. We are truly proud , firstly to be able to represent our state, and the region of of Mesquiti Jalisco. You see we(the Huichol)reside in the states of Nayarit, Durango, and Jalisco.

HOST-And  your’s is a quite interesting story ! Your style of music is something  that is very new to us.  It’s something we had not see either in Mexico or here in the States. Huichol is the name of your tribe right?

Huichol MusicalYes our tribes name is Huichol & our language  is also called  Huichol. Hence our name Huichol Musical(musical Huichol)

HOSTHow did you guys get started in music?

Huichol MusicalWell you see, in the Sierra there is not many jobs, other than agricultural fare. Of course that works well with those who own land and livestock. For us we had no such assets, we had look elsewhere in search of  our livelihood. So we would travel from our villages into the cities especially during fairs and we would slowly started forming what the group.

HOSTWhere did you guys learn how to how to play and write?

Huichol Musical- Well, we learn amongst friends. When you like something you find those who know, and you learn. We have never been officially attended a school or of music or any such institute. We are self-taught.

HOSTNow this instruments, are they traditional instruments of your culture of your native music?

Huichol Musical-Yes this is according to regional music. As those who are knowledgeable about music would say, this is an acoustic style of music. We do not use any electronic instruments or devices. Our instruments consist of : Two guitars, two violins and a toloche(The tololoche is a traditional instrument of northern Mexico. Is actually a slightly smaller version of the European bass, big respect for the instrument to produce low sounds. Usually has 4 strings, is played with a bow and is noted with the fingers. It is not used in classical music, being purely a folk instrument.- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tololoche)

HOST By the way guys, I’ve heard that it’s going very well for you.  Everywhere you go, when in Texas you gained quite a following. In Mexico of course, as well. You have even been awarded a gold disk. Your first album and, you have achieve a gold record. How does this make you feel? You guys coming in with a brand news style and everything.

Huichol Musical-We honestly, are very happy. We want to thank everyone, the audience for supporting us. We ask that you please continue to give us your support. Up until now everyone’s been very supportive, for example with our song “La Cusinela”.  We want to give thanks to those like you who have opened the doors for us to come and visit, and perform. So yes, we are very happy, yet somewhat nervous, as we are receiving a gold record for the first time.

HOSTJust a bit huh? Now going back to your origins, the song “La Cusinela” speaks of a female cool correct? However, this song is in the Huichol language?

Huichol MusicalYes it is. Some people, may actually be thinking that we are speaking nonsense or profanity or just find the sound weird all together. Kinda like a “what the heck is that gibberish ?!” kinda reaction.

HOSTWhat the heck must they be saying” right?
Huichol Musical-But we assure you, it’s nothing like that. The song is about a cook. Cusineala, simply means cook. Now these are folk songs, so this song is simple. Just imagine a guy telling the girl he loves that she’s pretty and that she is great cook.

HOSTAww how sweet! Now are these the typical kinds of song that you would hear in your culture?

Huichol Musical-It was more like, we were inspired by the need to praise the beauty of women and their importance. For example in our village women contribute more than a great deal, and so in our own way we sort of pay homage to them. All of their work is amazing and , for example all you see here: our accessories, and clothing was made by women of our village.
HOSTNow this clothing is traditional correct?
Huichol Musical –Yes this is authentic Huichol clothing.

HOSTNow a very interesting fact: You guys told me that it takes up to 2 years to finish one of these outfits? The embroidery is all done by hand correct?
Huichol Musical-That’s correct ,all this beautiful, ornate stitching is done by hand.

HOST So I can see why you guys are very proud to be able to take your music and traditions to other places and share them.



Buy the CD 61KjDcUjN3L._SS500_

http://www.amazon.com/México-Cumbia-Cusinela-Huichol-Musical/dp/B001BYQN9G

How did you guys get started in music?

I apologize for any misspellings .