Mexican Manners


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.

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

Mexican Sayings & Colloquialisms


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.

 

Rose Parade: Marching Banda


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”:

http://univision34.univision.com/felicesfiestas/desfile-de-las-rosas/videos/video/2011-01-01/ilos-delfines-dieron-lo-mejor

Parade float with folkloric dancers :

http://univision34.univision.com/felicesfiestas/desfile-de-las-rosas/videos/video/2011-01-01/carroza-con-sabor-hispano

Mex Xmas Drinks


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.


Mexican Cultural Treasures added to UNESCO heritage list


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 Listhttp://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



What Spanish Speakers are watching: Funny commercials


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.

(For more info on Andrés: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andr%C3%A9s_Guardadohttp://www.goal.com/en/teams/spain/127/deportivo

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”


ORIGINAL COMMERCIAL

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.

Mexican Food: Machacado con Huevo


It’s that time again! Time for some delicious Mexican gastronomy!  Today’s dish is  know as  “Machacado con Huevo”, “Machaca con Huevo”, or simply “Machaca” = Eggs & Mash/ shredded with eggs. Pronounced something like  : mah-chah-kah-doh-kohn-oo-eh-boh.  The verb “Machacar” means to mash/grind.

This is a typical dish from Monterrey &  is “said to have originated in the town of Ciénega de Flores, about an hour north of MonterreyMexico.” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machacado_con_huevo

This yummy & easy recipe makes use of  eggs & cured, dried meat. In other words beef jerky, but not the kind you buy at the 7 eleven, the one you buy at the butcher shop.  Although, hmm who knows?  Maybe if you’re  in a bind the 7eleven jerky could work?  lol  Maybe not =S   The original dish, traditionally would call for beef jerky, since people in the olden days use to swear by cured meats due to the convenience and shelf life.  Variations do exist , some use shredded beef instead.  I’ve seen my mom make this with “carne seca” (meaning dehydrated meat) she’s brought home from Mex,  meat like this: http://www.vtdviaje.com.mx/vtd/images/stories/Nuevo_Leon/Gusto_Gourmet_Nuevo_Leon/carne-seca.jpg & shredded beef, so both ways.

In the first video they have a pre-machado mix, which I had never seen, actually…  But in the end it’s up to what’s to your liking & or convenience  =) You can look for “carne seca”  in packages in your local Mexican, Latin American Supermarket.  Like this for example: http://loscorrales.net/products.htm This is just me, but I think the dish is neatest when you can start  with whole pieces of “carne seca” from the butcher shop.

 

*Notice how the first recipe adds a tomato sauce, but in the  succedent recipes the tomatoes are diced and added. See there are many variations, just learn the basics and make the recipe your own.

This chef notes that, the dish is typically eaten with flour tortillas, but is equally tasty with corn tortillas.

That’s so Mexican


Over time I’ve seen and heard the “that’s so Mexican” jokes going around . You know the type, the derogatory, stereotyped ones. Sadly these “jokes” are all too often propagated by Mexicans themselves.  So this post category will be dedicated to things that are “so Mexican” and so POSITIVE! For example often times jokes are about Mexicans and their attitudes on life, such as the “cut corners, do it the Mexican way”  joke.  Well,  did you know, in Mexican and Hispanic culture the following saying exists : “Pobre pero, honrado” =  Poor(concerning wealth), but decent/honorable.” This saying is used as a reminder to be true to one’s self and be proud of who you are and where you come from. You don’t need to be fake to fit in. It’s important to be rich in spirit.  No one, regardless of social status or wealth can ever look down on you as long as you’re and upstanding person.

This saying is so popular that there’s even been movies with this saying as their tittle.   In novelas there’s the example of the maid being accused of stealing the boss’s gold watch or what have you, upon being accused she’ll respond “Seré pobre, pero honrada” = I may be poor/just a maid, but I’m honorable.