La Virgen de Guadalupe: ¿símbolo de México?
“El día en que no se adore a la Virgen del Tepeyac en esta tierra, es seguro que habrá desaparecido, no sólo la nacionalidad mexicana, sino hasta el recuerdo de los moradores del México actual”, .
Los mexicanos son guadalupanos por la cultura en la que fueron educados, y para muchos tiene un significado de Símbolo nacional, Confidente y Autoridad. “Nada recuerda tanto a la Patria lejana en el extranjero, dicen los viajeros mexicanos, como la imagen de la Virgen de Guadalupe”, .
En los orígenes de nuestro México hay una conquista, dos pueblos en guerra, lucha, muerte, resentimiento, dominio y esclavitud. “En 1531 aparece la Virgen de Guadalupe, con una imagen que integra dos culturas distintas, la cultura española e indigena.
es un imagen que dice mucho a los indígenas, toma su cultura porque aparecerá con aquellos símbolos de las deidades indígenas, aquello que era importante, para el indígena, el color en su vestimenta que era el color que utilizaban los principales, aparecerá el sol la luna y las estrellas, pero ella esta sobre la luna, se viste de las estrellas, el sol esta atrás, es más que sus deidades, y les esta hablando en su propio lenguaje”
“La aparición de la Virgen Vino a unir nuestra Patria, unir a 2 razas. Vencedores y vencidos se tomaron de la mano.
convencido de que si no hubiera existido la Virgen de Guadalupe, México hubiera sido muy distinto de lo que es ahora.
símbolo representativo de la identidad de un pueblo determinado”.
La Guadalupana no está sola en la imagen
Impacta mucho ver tantas cosas inexplicables en el ayate.
¿Quiénes aparecen en los ojos? “un indígena que esta sentado casi desnudo… un hombre bastante anciano, demacrado, que por comparación con pinturas parece ser el Obispo Zumárraga, junto a él hay un joven, posiblemente el traductor del obispo, después esta propiamente Juan Diego, que se le podría reconocer porque está desplegando una capa o tilma… aparece una mujer de raza negra”, comentó el Dr. Aste.
Mexico, as every very catholic country, has its own Virgin- La Virgen de Guadalupe. Her day is celebrated the 12th of Decembr because on that day the Virgin appeared to an indian man, Juan Diego, telling him to build a church, which is now in el Cerro del Tepeyac. On this day kids dress like the indian people of the times of Juan Diego, and they go with their parents to churches where special masses are celebrated and where they have their photos taken with the image of the Virgin.
Mexicans in general tend to be very friendly, outgoing, and love to talk.
Whernever they go they can easily make small talk with the person next to them, be it at the market, at the doctors office, or at the bus stop.
They love to joke about everything, even death. A sad event can be made fun of just to keep the mood right. Mexicans also use alot of hand movements to speak or get a point or feeling across. To show annoyance at something for example, the person would flick their hand as if shooing something away and at the same time make a quick tssk sound.
They communicate more easily with their hands, facial expressions and touching.
An american usually likes a good space between himself and the person he speaks with. With a mexican its different, it normal to stand very close to who they speak with, often invading what an american would consider personal space.
Mexican women who are chit chating e.g gossiping often touch each others hand and shoulders when the juicy parts come up. It is not easy to describe what I mean, but its a light tapping to get the others attention or to signal that an interesting or surprising part is coming up.
A funny one for me is an expression that is said often when something surprising is said.
For example say a woman is telling her friend something then when she gets to the good part , the other will be shocked and say loudly 'callate la boca!' (shut your mouth) but it means something like ' WOW, I can't believe it!"
I am not kidding. Supposedly Charlie Chaplin once called Cantinflas 'the funniest man in the world' and he sure was very funny and endearing.
Quote: " According to a legend that he agrees with, a young Mario Moreno (Cantinflas), overwhelmed by stage fright, once, in the Ofelia carpa, forgets his original monologue. He begins to say what comes to mind in a complete emancipation of phrases and words, and what comes to mind is an incoherent brilliance. His assistants recite his attack on syntax, and Mario becomes aware of it: destiny has placed in his hands the distinctive characteristic, the style that is manipulation of chaos. Weeks later, the name that will mark the invention is invented. Someone, taken in by the nonsense, screams: "Cuanto inflas!" [C' ntinflas] (You're annoying!) or "En la cantina inflas!" (You become egotistical in the barroom). The contraction catches on and becomes proof of the baptism that the character needs."[
Cantinflas is loved and admired in Mexico and all over the Spanish speaking world. His form of humor is a hilarious word play of the Spanish language that made him famous. It was nonsense but touching and endearing nonsense. He made Mexico laugh like no other and for this he is loved and remembered.
Contrary to popular belief, not all Mexican food is spicy and hot. but Mexicans can make it hot with salsa which consists of chilis boiled, crushed and then mixed with a water to a thick or watery consistency depending on tastes.
You will find some sort of salsa concoction in most Mexican households. It is eaten with everything from eggs to chicken to tacos to enchiladas. (sprinkled on top) or used as a dip for tostadas. (you can kind of compare its use with hummus used in middle eastern and arab countries, its a dip for them)
Many Mexicans do not consider a meal a real meal without salsa of some kind. Or jalapenos. I count myself in here. Who cares if your eyes water and if your tongue stings, what matters is the taste this salsa adds to your delicious food! And what a variety of foods there are!!
The very basic and famous staple food of Mexico is beans and tortillas (that can can be maiz or harina) but other typical mexican dishes are: tamales, enchiladas, mole, chiles rellenos, tostadas.
If you are a visitor to Mexico do not fear, you can certainly ask for food without any chilie at all. Tacos, Quesadillas, Tamales, and Tortas for example are mild.
Note: Just in case some dont know.... there are of course many types of chilies and usually the bigger the chili the less hot it is. The smallest chili is usually the hotter it is.
Mariachi Music is romantic , poetic and often melancholic.
This has become the traditonal kind of Mexican music. Every Mexican whether or not he is a fan of it can sing along with some of the good old ones.
It often is played in all kinds of events; mothers day, birthdays, weddings, funerals.
This is the music of serenades, the one where the Mexican man might let his guard down and let out his soul and cry (sing) over love.
The King of Rancheras always accompanied by a mariachi band is definetely Vicente Fernandez.
Here is a part of one of his famous songs:
Si nuestro amor se acaba, si nuestro amor termina
ya no me queda nada para vivir la vida.
Si ya olvidaste todo, tambien tus juramentos
y llenaste de lodo mi mundo de recuerdos
Nomas por tu soberbia no das explicaciones
encima me condenas sin escuchar razones.
Si terminar conmigo ya lo venias pensando
dejame estar contigo, aunque no este a tu lado
Si me dejas, no me olvides por favor, nunca me olvides
tu sabes cuanto te quiero, que desde siempre te quise.
Translation: (lost in translation lol)
If our love is ending, if it is gone
there is nothing more to live for in this life
If you have forgotten everything, all your promises
and filled with sorrow all my memories
Because of pride you leave without explanations
and condemn me without reasons
if you already planned the end of our love
then let me be with you even if not by your side
if you leave me, please do not forget me, do not forget me
You knew how much I loved you, how much I always did.
For some of us, nothing conjures up a sense of Mexico quite like the sound of a mariachi band. Every region of Mexico has its own version of mariachi but somehow the sound and the look is universal. The sound - made up of guitars of different sorts, violins and trumpets, with influences of Spain, Indian and African rhythms - is lush and romantic. No fiesta, wedding or other big party is complete without a mariachi band in their distinctive dress of short, tight jackets and flared trousers- usually elaborately braided and trimmed with silver buttons and (and sometimes safety pins ) and sombreros.
Plaza Garibaldi in Mexico City is the place to go to see the bands waiting to be hired for a party - or just a song - but my favourite sight was the little mariachi office in Oaxaca, across the road from the main market - a tiny little doorway with a charro suit and sombrero hanging outside and a boy who looked no more that 12 manning the desk inside the miniscule "box office". Every town and city of any size will have a similar place to go to find the local bands.
It is over 150 years now since the Mexican state first sought to break the power of the Catholic Church - a long, and at times, bitter battle between the two major establishments of the country, which has seen the church stripped of most of its property, its place within the political structure of the country and much of its control over people's lives. In its turn, after a calamitous beginning which saw the Church's fervour for saving souls forcing baptism on hundreds of thousands of Indians, and the Conquistador's lust for wealth forcing most of them into slavery, the Church has fought hard for the rights of indigenous people, beginning with the call for an end to slavery as early as 1544.
The state may well have won the battles but it has yet to win the war. For the majority of Mexicans the Catholic church remains at the very heart of their being, and their devotion shows no sign of waning. It's important to remember this when visiting churches and cathedrals around the country - at any time of day there will be people in them praying, lighting candles, waiting for their confessions to be heard, making penance. It can be all too easy to be overwhelmed by the magnificence of many churches and see them as simply historical or artistic treasures, living museums, to be admired, photographed and exclaimed over and forget that for many others they are places of devotion and worship - a source of comfort and dignity in a life that may well be deprived of many of the things most of us take for granted.
The variety of traditional dress worn by indigenous Mexican women is truly fabulous, much of it very particular to a group or even a village. Although most women these days wear either a simple version of their traditional clothing or standard European style clothes, it's still possible to see women wearing beautifully embroidered and woven clothing of stunning design. Village Mayan women in the Yucatan almost all wear a huipil dress as their everyday outfit - though city women rarely do. Fiestas invariably see women dressed in their best finery.
Much of what is worn today as traditional dress has very ancient origins though the arrival of the Spanish saw changes in many places as the Catholic priests thought much of the indigenous dress was indecent ( the huipil was then a sleeveless tunic worn over a wrapped skirt - it was open at the sides and simply held closed by a sash around the waist). European-style blouses and skirts were introduced and indigenous clothing adapted to what we see today.
The dress worn by the woman in the photo here is particularly interesting - not only for the shape and style which is typical of the villages of the Tehuantepec Isthmus of Oaxaca, but also or the colour of the cloth it is made from. The deep reddish-purple is obtained from two threads in the weave - the warp being indigo and the weft purpurpa obtained from a shell fish ( the same dye that created the royal purple of Rome and Byzantium), very hard to obtain and nowadays rarely used except by those who cling most strongly to the old traditions. I was delighted to see it among all the bright embroideries of the more usual dress of the women from this part of Oaxaca.
The shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City is held dear in the heart of all of Catholic America, but it is especially important and revered in Mexico itself. The story of how the Virgin appeared to a poor Indian boy is known and loved by all devout Mexicans and they have come in their millions in the 470 years since then to see the cloak, miraculously imprinted with the Virgin's image, that confims the miracle, and to pray at the shrine - many of them making the last part of their journey on their knees, a laborious progression around and across the vast courtyard in front of the basilca that is painful to watch, let alone perform.
When the original church, begun in 1521 and constantly added to and aggrandised over the succeeding centuries, became both too small and too unsafe (subsidence is part of the problem, as it is at the Metropolitan Cathedral) to be used so hard, the precious image was moved to a striking new church that can accommodate 10,000. Juan Diego's cloak is positioned high on a wall where it can be seen from all points of the basilica. For a closer look, you must join the queue on a moving walkway that carries a constant stream of people along in a never-ending procession of the faithful and the curious.
The Basilica is thought to be second only to St Peter's in Rome for its importance as a Catholic place of pilgrimage. It is undoubtedly the most visited shrine in all the Americas.
A lot of people used to belive that the spirit of the dead person would come back during the 2 days of the Day of the Dead and because of this the family might bring food for them to the graveyard.
There are special goods that are made during this time, such as sweet candies in the shape of a skull and a bread called pan de muerto - 'bread of the dead'.
Families come to the cemetery bringing flowers and beautiful decorations . There they clean up the grave of their family members. Afterwards they usually sit for a bit to talk of the old times and share a few laughs.
The main main road leading into the cemetery is almost usually always closed on this time. The street will be packed with people like a carnival. They set up food stalls with all sorts of antojitos - tacos, sandwiches, Mexican corn on the cobs (yum), raspas, churros, candies, aguas frescas. Vendors also sell fresh flowers and other sell other hand made decorations for people to buy as they go in.
Street kids or very poor children will be waiting around the entrance to see if you want them to help you clean the grave for a few coins. Musicians also come and wait for anyone who wants them to play some sad traditional songs for their loved ones.
Mexicans, at the cry of battle
prepare your swords and bridle;
and let the earth tremble at its center
at the roar of the cannon.
Your forehead shall be girded with olive garlands,
by the divine archangel of peace
For in heaven your eternal destiny
has been written by the hand of God.
But should a foreign enemy dare to
profane your land with his sole,
Think, beloved fatherland, that heaven
gave you a soldier in each son.
War, war without truce against who would attempt
to blemish the honor of the fatherland!
War, war! The patriotic banners
drench in waves
War, war! On the mount, in the valley
The terrifying thunder of the cannon
And the echoes nobly
resound to the cries of
Fatherland, before your children
Beneath the yoke their necks in sway,
And your countryside be watered with blood,
On blood their
And may your temples, palaces and towers
crumble in horrid crash,
and ruins remain saying:
The fatherland was made of one thousand heroes.
Fatherland, fatherland, your children swear
to exhale their breath in your cause,
If the bugle in its belligerent tone
should call upon them to struggle with bravery.
For you the olive garlands!
For them a memory of glory!
For you a laurel of victory!
For them a tomb of honor!
I remember hearing it almost every morning at 6 or 7 in the morning when I was a kid. It really did make an impression and I fear it. :)
Pok ta Pok is the game the ancient Mayans played in the famous Ballcourt. It is a sportive game, where a ball has to be send through a ring in the wall, using only elbows and hips. It was a game connected with worshipping the gods. Scientists today are not sure, whether the winning team was sacrificed to the gods or the loosers after the game. The name comes from the noice the ball makes when the ball bounces against the wall.
Mexico City center is quite chaotic with busting traffic, and its high density of businesses and street vendors require not only people but also goods to be moved from place to place. A convenient way to do so is by hand-pulled carts which, at least, do not contribute to the high levels of pollution. Nevetheless, such an aerobic activity might unpleasantly absorb nasty particles from the air!
Two great traditions come together in the murals you find in public places all over Mexico - the influences of pre-Colombian Meso-American traditions have combined with European techniques of fresco painting to produce a huge body of work that is not only uniquely Mexican but also forms one of the major public art movements of the 20th century. Beginning in the 1920s with the work of Diego Rivera and his contemporaries and continuing right through to the present day, the works tell the story of the country and its people in a most extraordinary and powerful way. What began as a government-funded initiative to foster unity and education in the years following the Mexican Revolution has become an integral part of the country's identity.
You'll see wonderful murals all over Mexico but the greatest body of work is undoubtedly to be found in Mexico City. As well as the murals at the Palacio Nacional, you'll find another enormous set (over 200!) by Rivera and other artists at the Public Education Secretariat ( a few blocks north of the Zocalo - free but photo ID required) whilst the Museo de San Ildefonso (also near the Zocalo) is another excellent place to look for works by all the great names of the art.
If you are there over the weekend, do forget to check-out the rate. We paid about US$165 excl tax...more
Our travel agent told described the accomdations here as luxury but they were a bit less impressive...more
Clean well maintained and on a very nice private beach setting. Several restaurants on the property....more
More Regions in Mexico