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.
Today’s saying is : “Ponte las pilas” which literally means “Put your batteries in”. LOL to someone hearing this for the first time it might sound weird, but it’s a very common saying. The saying is referring to comparing yourself to being a toy or robot of sorts. This saying is used to mean: get on the ball! , straighten up and fly right! , put some effort in!
A parent might tell their child “ponte las pilas” if he or she brings home a not so great report card.
If a girl has a not so great boyfriend, her friends might say “ponte las pilas” & advise her to look for a better man.
If someone wants a promotion, but there’s a lot of competition they could be told : “ponte las pilas” and you’ll get it.
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”:
Parade float with folkloric dancers :
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.
Fashion inspired by the Mexican Bicentennial. Clothes reflecting Mexico’s history, and it’s people.
Forty six new cultural assets have been added to UNESCO’S (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) list of “Intangible Cultural Heritage”. A list containing traditional treasures from different corners of the globe, cornerstones and representations of diverse communities and cultures. A list that gives these treasure distinguished status, & tells the world they are patrimony that is to be admired and safeguarded. Among those treasures are Mexican customs & staples. Please enjoy the following videos showcasing the Mexican assets that have made it on to UNESCOS’s list. Congratulations Mexico & fellow Mexicans! May we continue to feel pride for our roots and preserve them with honor.
More on this topic: UNESCO’S Webpage –http://tiny.cc/k8xra , Article: Mexican Cuisine Makes UNESCO’s Heratige List– http://tiny.cc/0porm
Mexico – Parachicos in the traditional January feast of Chiapa de Corzo
Mexico – Pirekua, traditional song of the P’urhépecha
Mexico – Traditional Mexican cuisine