PSA for my fellow gringos (or anyone else who didn’t know this)
Latino/Latina: originating from parts of the Caribbean, South or Central America. Gender neutral term (in English) is usually written as latinx.
Sentence: María was born in Ecuador, so she is Latina.
Hispanic: Spanish-speaking, or originating from a Spanish-speaking country. A term used in the US to classify people from a country that speaks Spanish. From what I’m aware of it ROUGHLY corresponds with the Spanish word “hispanohablante” although the two are not interchangeable in every circumstance.
Sentence: José was born in Brazil, so he is NOT Hispanic, since his country’s official language is Portugese, but he IS Latino.
Mexican: from the North American country named Mexico, NOT a language. NOTICE! not all Latinos in the US are from Mexico.
Sentence: Enrique was born in Mexico, so he is Mexican. Enrique speaks Spanish, since “Mexican” is not a language.
Chicano/Chicana/Chicanx: a person of Mexican descent (usually born in the US)
Sentence: Anna’s parents were born in Mexico, so she identifies as Chicana. Her friend Miguel’s parents are from Colombia, so he identifies as Latino.
Spanish: a language spoken by many countries all over the world/ originating from the country Spain. NOTICE! not the only language spoken in Spain or South/Central America.
Sentence: Juan was born in Madrid, so he is Spanish. He only speaks Spanish, but has friends who speak other languages.
Quechua, Catalan, Nahuatl, Gallego, Euskera: other languages spoken in countries where Spanish is the ‘official’ language. Many Hispanics are bilingual and Spanish may not be their native language.
Sentence: Alba was born in a region of Spain called Catalonia. Even though she is considered Spanish, she speaks Catalan with her family and friends and considers herself Catalan.
Sentence #2: Sofia was born in Mexico and does not speak “Mexican,” but her family does speak Nahuatl, a native language originating in Mexico.
Beyond the shocking profanity at a family
Mexican restaurant, one line of the bigot’s rant stood out to the victims.
“You can go and beat it. If you don’t like this country, leave,” the man told the girls.
Osman reported that all of her friends subjected to the demand to leave America are from Chicago.
Poor Snowflake… crawled out of his “safe place” and, with courage that will be spoken of for generations, went to a MEXICAN restaurant! He was triggered by a couple of women wearing scarves and was forced back to the cess pool he crawled out of. This use to happen all the time to black people. Racism and discrimination are part of the American fiber. She should have told him to go back where he came from.
Unfortunately there are enough racists in America to provide material for a video like this DAILY, if not HOURLY.
María Izquierdo, Mexican painter, “Mis sobrinas”, 1940.
“María Izquierdo’s career helped open the door for many women artists. The Mexican artist’s prestige is often compared to that of Marie Laurencin from the School of Paris and although she is not as popularly known as Frida Kahlo, she helped establish a foundation for women artists. Maintaining value in art rooted in traditional Mexican values, Izquierdo’s art stood out for it s ingenious portrayals of Mexico among an area of highly politicized art. (…) A believer that women should have the chance to explore different professional realms, she also held strong to the traditional family roles instilled in her by her aunt and grandmother. While her painting /The Jewelry Box/ sends a satirical message surrounding the roles of woman roles and her work, Alegoría del trabajo (Allegory of Work) does provoke the idea of misogyny and oppression. Painting Mis Sobrinas (My Nieces) shows how she valued and believed in family ties and the “obligation” to family. She often depicted women in a variety of social settings and backgrounds, but only painted herself with her family or alone.
(…) Izquierdo made it clear through her paintings that she believed women could be active members of society, helping to perpetuate culture and define the national identity of Mexico. Her altar scenes in particular bring her intimate style together with themes of feminism and nationalism, drawing connections that were profound for her time. Through these cupboard altars, Mexican women were able to add a rich religious context to their everyday domestic roles, and thus “propagate their national culture, generational traditions, and religious beliefs” (Donovan 162).”
Born into a traditional Mexican Catholic family in the 1940s, Graciela Iturbide was expected to become a wife and a mother. And that she did—with a camera in hand. Gifted a camera by her father before leaving home for Catholic boarding school, she began shooting black-and-white film photographs and never stopped.
As a young woman she navigated a brave path, carving through the male-dominated photography scene of the 1970s to become one of the best-known photographers in the world.
Over her long career Graciela has been both filmmaker and photographer, student and mentor and, as she turns 75 this year, she is both artist and subject in a new a graphic biography—a first for Getty Publications—about her life and her story titled Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide.
Read the behind-the-scenes making of Photographichere. You’ll see Graciela’ neighborhood, her studio, and meet the author and illustrator bringing her story to life.
With his glittery capes, slinky dance moves and ultra-romantic lyrics, Mexican superstar Juan Gabriel was an unlikely king in a country known for its machismo. He never spoke about his sexuality, yet was widely assumed to be gay. It’s no surprise that the singer was an icon in Mexico’s gay subculture.
Having sold over 100 million copies worldwide, Gabriel is among Latin America’s best-selling singer-songwriters. His eighteenth studio album, Recuerdos, Vol. II, holds the distinction of being the best-selling album of all-time in Mexico, with over eight million copies sold.
During his career, Gabriel wrote around 1,800 songs. Releasing 35 albums over the course of his45-year career, he became beloved by multiple generations of fans in Latin America, Spain and the United States. His genres varied widely, from mariachi to salsa to disco.
In 2002, a few years before Mexico City legalized gay marriage, the famously effeminate singer shut down a journalist who asked if he was gay. “You don’t ask about what can be seen,” he said.
Although Gabriel never publicly claimed the gay community, that community certainly claimed him, with his romantic Spanish-language ballads belted late into the night in drag bars on both sides of the border.
Many have credited Juan Gabriel with opening the door to greater expression of gender and sexuality, even if he never explicitly called for it. Like Prince, or David Bowie, Juan Gabriel was known for his gender-bending clothing and occasional touch of eye makeup.
“I think he made a deep cultural change not by talking about his sexuality but by living it out on stage,” said Alejandro Madrazo, a law professor in Mexico who is an expert on the legal battle for same-sex marriage in the country. “Juan Gabriel taught us how to be feminine.”
Madrazo recalled seeing Juan Gabriel perform before a large crowd at a cockfight, a sport that exemplifies Mexico’s machismo culture.
“He would dance in a way that was sexy and provocative in front of all these stereotypes of a Mexican man,” Madrazo said. “He would literally shake … in their faces, and they would go crazy.”
In an homage to Juan Gabriel published on the website of Mexico’s Millenio newspaper, journalist Alvaro Cueva recalled friends making fun of Juan Gabriel for his effeminate stage presence. At some schools, his name was used as an anti-gay slur.
Cueva called Juan Gabriel subversive. “You … became an idol in a country of macho men,” he wrote. “You made homophobic people sing and dance.”
Eduardo C. Corral, the gay Chicano poet, shared a story on Twitter about how it was easier for his parents to accept him after he came out to them because of Juan Gabriel. “In high school, I came out first to my mom. She told my dad when he got off work at midnight. She was nervous. Afraid of his reaction. My dad’s response? He said, in Spanish, ‘So what? So is Juan Gabriel,’” Corral wrote.
The poet relayed an experience that was common for LGBT Latinos and their families. “Over the years, Juan Gabriel became part of many Mexican families. Yes, he was mocked. But there he was. In our homes. Familiar & strange. Queerness, then, became a presence in Mexican homes. In my home. This familiarity with queerness helped my father to keep loving his son,” tweeted the poet.
In all his glory, Juan Gabriel was an incredible performer and singer-songwriter, but it is his impact on the LGBT Latino community that must not be erased from the narrative of his legacy.
I’ve noticed a lack of full-on Mexican perspective in the profiles and I hope this helps, before going starting remember that my experiences do not reflect a global view of the life as a mexican, nor does invalidate the Mexican immigrants or mixed-race people who identify themselves with their Mexican heritage around the world.
Spanish is the main official language, but there over 50 indigenous languages all over the country, among the most commons are: Nahuatl, Maya, Mixteco, Zapoteco, Tzozil etc. (really there an entire Wikipedia article on it look it up)
Family is really important in México, quality time with your family is stressed over since early life, and chances are that at least half of your best childhood friends will be your cousins, someone straying away from the family permanently is severely looked down and criticized, only if it’s by choice mind you, family will be understanding if it’s for causes beyond your control (job transfers and opportunities) and Christmas and New Year is usually the time of the year where every relative from every corner of the country (and even from other countries) will come visiting you.
Family roles are still seen in a very traditional way, with the mother being in charge of the home, and the father working, however given that family abandonment is sadly very common; in all places and economic backgrounds not just poor families; this tends to place an even greater responsibility for the mother, and is not uncommon that a grandparent, uncle or even older cousin steps in as a paternal figure.
Families where the siblings never move from the parents’ house and all live in with their own families are still around, such families usually have the grandmother as the center of everything and be the one calling the shots on important decision, this is however a dying tendency (at least in the Bajío)
Dating and Friendships
Despite its conservative ideologies, parents are surprisingly permissive when it comes to the dating life of their children, sure there are some really strict parents around but they’re usually mocked even by other parents for being so prudish. An interesting contrast with American parents that I’ve seen, is that while the americans want to know who their kids are going out with, their parents, their school, etc. etc. Mexican parent rarely concern themselves with these details, as long as you get to the house at the promised hour and not smelling like alcohol or cigarettes, you’re good, it’s a given that if you’re taking someone into the house and to meet the family it’s because is a serious relationship or an incredibly good friend, and a way of telling your parents that you (and by extension them) are gonna keep seeing them.
Two key things about food in Mexico: tortillas and chile, sweet bread is also a must, but only for breakfast. Even the the most posh, stuck-up (or fresas as we call them) people will occasionally indulge into the nearest taco (or larguitas) stand for lunch, or dinner. A usual meal around here consists of soup, some steak or guisado accompanied by juice or water, dessert is not really accustomed either, unless you’re eating out.
Another thing is that fast food (pizza, burgers, fries, etc.) is not really popular around here, unless you’re from one of the big cities (DF, Querétaro, and Guadalajara) is usually seen as either something you only do for your kid’s birthday, or when you just don’t have the time for cooking because of a tight schedule.
In Mexico compulsory education is divided by 6 years of elementary school (primaria), 3 of middle school (secundaria), and three of high school (preparatora or bachillerato). Afterwards college lasts usually 4-5 years. If you graduated on medical career (nurses, doctors, dentists, psychologists and psychiatrist) are required to have in between 6 months or a year of social services before getting matriculated.
I should say that Mexicans value education A LOT, over here claiming that “college is for losers” will get you a smack in the head (by your parents) and rolled eyes from everyone else; even from people who were born before such requirement for a job were a thing, that doesn’t mean that everyone goes to college, but is usually seen as the ideal path for your children, if you don’t want to go, that’s fine but then you’re gonna have to work, and you will be expected to settle down with a family as soon as you can financially support yourself instead.
As with the majority of Mexicans, even though I’m no longer practicing (I’m atheist) I was raised as Catholic, with moderated requirements, so I had to go to mass on Sunday (which always last the same 45 min. or 1 hr. tops) with formal wear, I prayed the “Padre Nuestro” and “Ave Maria” before going to bed (this usually only last ‘til puberty hits, they stop forcing you by then) thank God for the food after each meal, but the whole thing about not eating meat on Fridays is usually only on the Cuaresma, and it only applies to red meats, so most people eat fish and chicken during those days anyway. I had to do my confirmation, my first communion, and do confessions with the local church.
These are 5 important Holidays in Mexico (in order of importance):
Independence Day (September 16th) – National off the school (and the job) day, there are parades all over the country and on the midnight of the 15th the President will give the Bell Ring to commemorate the Father Miguel Hidalgo and lots, lots of fireworks, usually the decorations and festive moods last all September month.
Day of the Dead (November 2nd) – Depending on the region, some places celebrate the 1st too as the “All Saints Day”, it’s also depending on the region the level to which is celebrated, in the Bajío we get an off-day, there are altars contests and Catrina parades, and we go the Cemetery to clean and adorn the graves of our families, but I know there are other places where they treat it like a regular day, leaving the visit for the most close weekend, and then there are some other places, where it’s such an important day, that everything is closed, stores, hotels, restaurants, to give off the ‘mourning’ more weight than the celebrating part, even the parades are done in silence.
Christmas’s Eve (December 24th) – No Santa here (kids know about it, but most don’t ask presents to him), it’s exclusively a religious and family day, it’s tradition to put a manger of the baby Jesus. Family dinner at midnight, ALL the family is gonna travel to their childhood homes with their kids and spouses, a longer Mass is also attended too at night, some more religious families also perform several prayers before said dinner, and attend to the morning mass of the 25th day in which usually everything is closed down (except in bigger cities)
The Wise Kings Day (January 6th ) – This is the day kids get their presents, the 5th is usually used for kids to hang their letters in the tree or in some places to a balloon into the air with the things they want, and wake super early and everything, that same night we get the “Rosca of Reyes”, which has several figurines of the baby Jesus in it, and anyone who gets one, has to make a meal (traditionally tamales but it can be anything) on the February 2nd for all the assistants, in schools is also done, and the expenses of are shared by the people who got the figurines as well.
The Mexican Revolution (November 20th) – Similar to the Independence day, except that is less prominent, and depending on which weekday falls is less likely to get it as an off-day from school (usually never for jobs, unless you work in a school) the parade for this day is different from the Independence day one, because this one is less militaristic and more sporty with schools having an athletic or dancing routine for it.
Mother’s Day (May 10th) – Usually not an off-day, but people tend to leave both school and jobs early that day to spend the day with their mother (or at least give them a call in case they can’t), it’s more…about the publicity and gifts than any other holiday
Mexican beauty standards vary according to the region, I grew up in the “Bajío” the mid-land of the country, where most of the population range from brown to white-passing of skin-color, and my family like many others in the area has sprinkled this range in the whole family, case in point, me and my siblings: my little sister is pale as they come and definitely white-passing (she has been told as much by our mexican-american cousins), my older brother is dark-skinned and really really hairy, I’m in the middle of them being light-browned:
Skin tone: Colorism is definitely a thing here, since birth you’ll hear how pretty and cute pale babies are, and how ‘funny’ darker babies are, this is something that never really goes away as one gets older people will just stop being polite about it seeing as negroandprieto (black) are common derogative words to describe a particularly dark brown person, sometimes even calling them chango (monkey) whereas the neutral term would be “moreno (a)“
Hair: You’re gonna have a hard time finding anyone who is doesn’t have brown or dark-hair, personally I can count with one hand the number of naturally blond people I’ve met in my 20-something years of life, I’ve met more red-heads than blonds honestly, I mentioned natural blond, because what you’re gonna get a lot are dyed blondies here, (and yes it does have to do with American-european beauty standards and prominence in the media) still, this is starting to change and it’s far more common with older women (over 35-40)
Body Types: Despite the stereotype of the voluptuous latina, Mexican women have a wide array of body types, from petite to XXL (bigger than this is rare though) The curvy but still not-really-overweight is preferred over skinny, especially if said skinny girl doesn’t have full bottom, hips and legs (which are seen as waay more appealing than big breasts), she will often be called out for having “patas de pollo” (chicken legs) or “huesuda” (boney) in case she’s not pale.
Make Up: There’s something you should know, 90% of Mexican women will always grab their make-up (especially the lipstick) when going out even for a mere errand, I was thought how to use make-up before learning about periods. The only schools that will not let you wear it are usually the religious ones and of course the elementary level.
Clothing: As of late, Mexico is a place where casual clothing is the norm, even for most jobs and schools dress-codes are really lax and even then rarely enforced (unless you really push your luck of course, no one is gonna go to work wearing yoga pants and sneakers), but there are still subtle hints and differences, you can often tell people’s family background, income and even occupation by the way they dress: people from poorer families tend to favor sports clothing and sneakers (they’re easy to move in, cheap and comfy), middle-class people will have jeans and dress shirts of all types, colors and styles, formal shoes, sandals, and boots, only wearing full formal attire if the job requires it, or on formal occasions, even then richer people favor casual fashion styles, but they can be spotted because they are the ones wearing super tall high heels, jewelry brand clothing and purses etc.
Things I’d like to see less of
The spicy Latina, the illegal immigrant or the stereotypical poor Mexican family with little to no education, also the jornalero too.
Tropes/Stereotypes I’m tired of seeing.
Also I’m tired of seeing the Latinx community as a monolith, where the Mexicans, the Colombians, the Chileans, the Argentines, the Brazilians etc. etc.
Things I’d like to see more of
Educated mexicans, hard-working mexicans, legal and born into America Mexicans, indigenous Mexicans.
Following the above, I’m not saying that we should erase the presence of the undocumented Mexicans, I want to see the follow up to that story, do people even understand the reason why Immigration is so common in Mexico? Do they know that more often than not, it’s only the father of the family that goes away and send money to their family in Mexico? So they can have a better life, a better education? Where is the following to that?
I’ve seen tons of depictions for the immigrants and their struggle for that better life, which feel more often than not, as a way for americans to have sob story about how “bad” our lives are and how we seek the better, richer ‘American dream’ in order to what? Feel sorry for us? But why don’t we see them having that result which is often reflected on their children? Did you know that Education is the most valued asset in Mexico? Did you know that most jornaleros won’t even risk bringing their kids with them, because they tell them to stay in school, to be better? (I always found that ridiculous, children labor exist and is a problem, but virtually no parent in gonna do that unless they are irresponsible or non-caring about them), where are the doctors? The lawyers, the engineers, the writers, the teachers. Why are we always singers or dancers, narcos or cops? We are not ‘entertainers’ at heart for you to have fun, nor dumb muscle for your gang problems.
I know this isn’t part of the POC Profile but if you want to have a better view of the Mexican way of thinking and our culture I highly suggest these titles:
The Labyrinth of Solitude by Octavio Paz
The Broken Spears by Miguel León-Portilla
Psychology of the Mexican by Rogelio Diaz-Guerrero
The Book of Lamentations by Rosario Castellanos
Mañana Forever?: Mexico and the Mexicans by Jorge Castañeda
Combine flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Make a well, put shortening in the middle of the well and add some of the warm water and combine. I ALWAYS use my hands. Add more water until dough is moist but not sticky. Flour your surface and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
This would be a great time to get your pan out on the stove and warm it and find a plate or some vessel to hold the fresh tortillas. I usually put the pan on med-high
Cut dough in half and repeat until you have a ball a little larger than a golf ball. (You could actually make them any size you want but you’ll get different size tortillas and varying amounts of tortillas if you do. It’s really up to your discretion) Flour your surface and rolling pin and roll them out.
The synopsis of The Inexplicable Logic of My Life:
Sal used to know his place with his adoptive gay father, their loving Mexican American family, and his best friend, Samantha. But it’s senior year, and suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and realizing he no longer knows himself. If Sal’s not who he thought he was, who is he? This humor-infused, warmly humane look at universal questions of belonging is a triumph.
And it’s wonderful. Like, if you are about found families and dealing with grief and self discovery narratives- you’ll enjoy this. You may also cry.
I’ve seen a couple negative posts about the upcoming Pixar movie Coco based around the Mexican holiday Dia de Los Muertos and how Lee Unkrich shouldn’t have made this film because he doesn’t have Mexican roots.
No one ever complained about two white Jewish guys writing the music for a musical about black people facing racism in America (Hairspray). Lee is a gifted storyteller who has had an entire team (with many Latinos) doing immense amounts of research and work on this film and even the director of The Book of Life has said he is excited for the film.
Be supportive of a production that will showcase Mexican culture in a MOTHERFUCKING PIXAR FILM that will reach millions of people and have a main character (Miguel) who will definitely resonate with little Mexican kids and their families.
On her days off, Claudia Saenz scours used record shops, thrift stores and yard sales, keeping her eyes peeled for records her parents grew up on. They remind her of her childhood.
“I just feel that [vinyl] is definitely more intimate than playing it on my phone on, like, Spotify or a streaming app,” Saenz says. “I just like holding that piece of history.”
She’s founder of the Chulita Vinyl Club, an all-girl vinyl collecting crew spread throughout the Southwest and California. And although they collect all kinds of records, Chicano soul is one genre that rings near and dear to the club’s heart and style.
Chicano soul is the product of black and brown communities living side by side. The group Little Joe y La Familia is the perfect example of this fusion. Little Joe grew up on the cotton fields of Texas, where his was one of the only Mexican families living in a community of largely black families. It should come as no surprise, then, that he was one of the pioneers of Tejano soul.