Tuesday, February 20, 2007
'mexicanidad', carnavale and julieta
Mexican people are very polite, and I feel as though it has rubbed off on me in the last couple of months. They are full of diminutive turns of phrase for every moment. 'enjoy your meal', when someone passes you by when you're eating, always saluting you with a 'good afternooon, morning' etc, and always remembering their p's and q's. The cultural trend in Mexico is much more collectivist than in Australia - preserving the group comes first, before number one. You pick this up in little ways here and there, and gradually you start to 'mexicanise', poco a poco.
I arrived back yesterday very tired from a weekend celebrating Carnavale in the Caribbean port of Veracruz. It was a wild time - possibly the greatest achievement was our amazing feat of fitting 8 people into a tiny taxi - all squashed in and strewn across each other. This sort of thing is the least of the worries for police in mexico. Taxi drivers willingly partake in the crazy game of sardines that everyone seems to prefer. For Carnavale, there was a huge parade along the seaside boulevarde (mardi gras but bigger and far less regulated!) and the treat of seeing Mexican star Julieta Venegas perform live. Wow, she is amazing, I love her! I was lucky to already have a couple of her albums and know her stuff, but seeing her live was brilliant. Yes, she is a popstar, everyone knows her name - but talk about talent! Accordian-playing, guitar-strumming and red shoes to kill too!
To me, she conjures up the same reaction that Frida Kahlo does for me - strong, bold, playful and colorful. I am currently going through a dreamlike phase believing that she is the modern manifestation of Frida. Ha!
Quintessentially Mexican, I wanted to quote one of Julieta's lyrics for you all - consider this a late Valentines gift for all you beloved readers, and a dedication to my adopted home Mexico. I have a huge affection for this place - the fun and diversion (lemon), as well as the frustration (salt).
Yo te quiero, con limon y sal ( I love you, with lemon and salt).
Besides that adoring babble, I just wanted to say from afar how excited I am about Rudd sticking it to Howard, eh?! Keep up the pressure comrades (okay, dont pay me out for using lefty scum phrases - I am in Latin America!)
And also, I hope you enjoy the photo of the giant monkey float in the Carnavale parade..