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..


Dave said...

Piano accordion, or the humble squeezebox? I ask not only for myself, but for James, who was once a dab hand on the old piano accordion.

Hey, when's the day of the dead? Actually, don't worry about it. I'm a grown man, fully capable of researching Mexican cultural occasions on my own.

Madeleine said...

Yes indeed, it was the piano accordian. Complete with an impressive curly solo. I will be sadly missing the Day of the Dead as it is at the end of the year. (Nov 2)

Dave, while I have you - any tips for my cranky blog which isnt wanting to load photos? Forvgive me, it's probably a bit hard to give me detailed instructions from halfway across the world...

Madeleine said...

I take that back.. yay my photos are now working!!

Dave said...

persistence is the only advice i can give, re: the photos.

Point of order: it's not the other side of the world, it's the other side of the Pacific. That is much closer and, I am sure, a source of much comfort to your mother.

Finally, seeing as I am the World's Greatest Retroactive Detective, I should have realised that the Day of the Dead is on November 2, as I had previously been told that and had remarked upon the coincidence (in the most transparent etymological sense) between that festival and All Souls' Day.

Drop by the spanner sometime, wontcha?

Amanda said...

Hey Maddy
carnivale looks and sounds great gosh im jealous hope ur still having a blast.
things are going great over here oaktree is steaming along it's been awesome so far thankyou for inspiring us!
love u