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Why Do Mexicans Wear Those Shirts?
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Dear Readers: The Mexican is currently in the hills of Kentucky, drinking white dog with the good ol’ chicos while doing tamborazo covers of “Molly and Tenbrooks” and bluegrass versions of “Las Isabeles”—because hillbillys and paisas are brothers from another madre, you know? Anyhoo, onto some oldies-pero-goodies. Salud, and yee-haw!

 

Dear Mexican: It seems that whenever Chicano professors want to show off their mexicanidad, they wear a guayabera. In fact, I saw a picture of you in the Los Angeles Times donning the shirt, along with Dickies pants and Converse All Stars. How trite and bourgeois! You go to a café or bar in any university town in Mexico, and the students will think you’re totally naco. I stopped wearing the guayabera when a friend said I looked like a waiter in a Mexican restaurant. Do certain clothes determine your Mexicanness?

Sexy Mexy

Dear Pocho: Abso-pinche-lutely. “The bigger the sombrero, the wabbier the man,” is a commandment all Mexicans learn from the Virgin of Guadalupe. But seriously, Mexican clothes correspond to social and economic status—sweaty T-shirt indicates laborer, calf-length skirt means a proper Mexican woman, and if a cobbler used the hide of an endangered reptile to fashion your cowboy boots, you’re probably a drug dealer or a Texan. The guayabera (a loose-fitting, pleated shirt common in the Mexican coastal state of Veracruz and other tropical regions of Latin America) also announces something about its owner: the güey is feeling hot and wants to look sharp. Why the hate, Sexy? Remember what Andy Warhol said: “Nothing is more bourgeois than to be afraid to look bourgeois.”Who cares if people mistake you for a waiter if you sport a guayabera? Just spit in their soup. And who cares if Mexican university students call me, you or any guayabera wearer a naco (Mexico City slang for bumpkin)? They can’t be that smart if they’re still in Mexico.

 

Why do Mexicans pronounce “shower” as “chower” but “chicken” as “shicken”?

Vietnamese About To Orate (VATO)

Dear Chino: This column has provided readers with many indicators of the differences between recently arrived Mexicans and los que have lived here for generations: skin tone, car purchases, whether the Mexican in question flushes his soiled toilet paper or tosses it in the trash can. Another sure-fire way is the ch/sh phonetic test. Proper Spanish doesn’t feature a “sh” sound (known among linguists as a linguapalatal fricative), so Mexicans pronounce English words using an “sh” sound with the harsher “ch” (known as a lingualveolar affricate). However, many indigenous Mexican tongues use linguapalatal fricatives. The most famous example is in the original pronunciation of Mexico: as said in Nahuatl, the word sounds like “meh-shee-ko.” The Spaniards couldn’t pronounce the middle consonant, though, instead substituting a guttural “j” (as in “Meh-hee-ko”) early in the Conquest. They killed most of Mexico’s Indians in the ensuing decades, but the indigenous “sh” sound never wholly disappeared: if you do hear a Mexican using “sh,” it’s probably a Mexican Indian. So next time you hear a Mexican ask for a “Shinese shicken sandwish with Sheddar sheese,” VATO, por favor don’t shortle.

 

Ask the Mexican at themexican@askamexican.net, be his fan on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

 
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  1. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Gustavo, I agree with you regarding the guayabera. The Mexican custom of wearing nice clothes when they socialize in the evening is civilization itself. A proud man wearing a nice guayabera, linen pants and a soft shoes is the picture of elegance. A warm evening in a restaurant on the Malecon, lights twinkling on the bay, Pescado Veracruz on the table, a five piece string ensemble playing softly in the background, muted lights, polite waiter…what could be finer????

    Read More
    • Replies: @Yo Trump
    I agree. I'm a gringo (Euro-American) and I find Mexico to be way more civilized and having politeness than our coarsened culture here in Amrika.
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  2. @Anonymous
    Gustavo, I agree with you regarding the guayabera. The Mexican custom of wearing nice clothes when they socialize in the evening is civilization itself. A proud man wearing a nice guayabera, linen pants and a soft shoes is the picture of elegance. A warm evening in a restaurant on the Malecon, lights twinkling on the bay, Pescado Veracruz on the table, a five piece string ensemble playing softly in the background, muted lights, polite waiter…what could be finer????

    I agree. I’m a gringo (Euro-American) and I find Mexico to be way more civilized and having politeness than our coarsened culture here in Amrika.

    Read More
  3. Priss Factor [AKA "Anonymny"] says: • Website     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Hey Gustavo, how are the mexers reacting to the Ugly Americanism in Rio with Lochte and crew lying about a robbery? If one person told the lie, no big deal. But they all conspired to tell the lie. Just as bad as Emma Sulkowicz and co-conspirators.

    Latinos have tons of problems, but sometimes they are right about gringos. These bastardos are spoiled punks who think the whole world is their playground. No respect for other countries.

    It’s like when US hockey team smashed everything in Nagano Japan.

    And US foreign policy is sometimes like top jock arrogance.

    https://sports.vice.com/en_us/article/when-american-hockey-players-destroyed-the-olympic-village-in-nagano

    Read More
    • Replies: @Santiago
    Mexicans hate hypocrite Gringos (99% of them are hypocrite Gringos, black, white, latino, chicano), What makes a Gringo a Gringo is their idiotic and senseless mentality. They have been brainwashed and lack common sense. In my town we see a Gringo we pick a fight and bit the shit out of them.

    When the US is in ruins, Mexico will take Texas, Oregon, California, Nevada, Colorado, Arizona and other states back and just for spite will take Florida to.

    We loved seeing the stupid silver haired hypocrite liar be ridiculed world wide a long the fucking "exceptional" Gringos.
    , @Jim Bob Lassiter
    Hey güey ask yourself the following about those four privileged Gabacho swimmers out on the town drinking the local yeast piss and trashing the Petrobras "Mens" room in Rio-- none of which I approve.

    Had they been four Moyetes from the USA basketball team out on a wild in Rio, do you think this would have generated the hysteria and five days of saturation coverage in the Gringo pendejo prensa (while the rest of the world is burning down)? Be honest in your response cabrón.
  4. In my younger days, I started wearing fairly high end embroidered guayaberas while living stateside. My cohorts were dressing like disco John Travolta at the time. They started calling me “Doc”.

    Read More
  5. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    CHOWER vs. SHICKEN:
    I’ve been told that many people in northern Mexico pronounce the Spanish CH as an SH, it’s their local dialect/accent. Sounds a bit funny at first, but after a while I got to like it.

    Read More
  6. This is such BS, who ever wrote this: “They killed most of Mexico’s Indians in the ensuing decades…” does not know a damn thing about Mexican history, if many of the indigenous population faded was because they fucked each other literally. And as much anti Spanish hatred the fucking gringos have wanted Mexicans to have, the truth will never change, the fucking English were animals, the fucking Portuguese were animals, but the Spanish gave Indigenous Mexicans special privileges by law that not even the Spanish had, and that is easily verifiable at the Archivo General de la Nacion in Lecumberri, as well as the interbreeding that RACIST English did not want, so Mexico is a nation of Mestizos and Indigenous “Indians” People, of millions, if they were killed why are there so much of them? when it has been thoroughly established that the Breeding like Conejos (Rabbits) is a fucking fallacy.

    Gringo lies are despicable and it is time for Mexican to wake up and ignore the history imposed by Gringos on us, in our classrooms and pseudo Academics, when the Stats do not conform to their moronic and idiotic views.

    Again why so many millions of mestizos and so many millions of “Indians”? Fuck your bullshit reality does not conform to it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RaceRealist88

    Gringo lies are despicable and it is time for Mexican to wake up and ignore the history imposed by Gringos on us, in our classrooms and pseudo Academics, when the Stats do not conform to their moronic and idiotic views.

     

    What is the real history then?
  7. @Priss Factor
    Hey Gustavo, how are the mexers reacting to the Ugly Americanism in Rio with Lochte and crew lying about a robbery? If one person told the lie, no big deal. But they all conspired to tell the lie. Just as bad as Emma Sulkowicz and co-conspirators.

    Latinos have tons of problems, but sometimes they are right about gringos. These bastardos are spoiled punks who think the whole world is their playground. No respect for other countries.

    It's like when US hockey team smashed everything in Nagano Japan.

    And US foreign policy is sometimes like top jock arrogance.

    https://sports.vice.com/en_us/article/when-american-hockey-players-destroyed-the-olympic-village-in-nagano

    Mexicans hate hypocrite Gringos (99% of them are hypocrite Gringos, black, white, latino, chicano), What makes a Gringo a Gringo is their idiotic and senseless mentality. They have been brainwashed and lack common sense. In my town we see a Gringo we pick a fight and bit the shit out of them.

    When the US is in ruins, Mexico will take Texas, Oregon, California, Nevada, Colorado, Arizona and other states back and just for spite will take Florida to.

    We loved seeing the stupid silver haired hypocrite liar be ridiculed world wide a long the fucking “exceptional” Gringos.

    Read More
  8. @Priss Factor
    Hey Gustavo, how are the mexers reacting to the Ugly Americanism in Rio with Lochte and crew lying about a robbery? If one person told the lie, no big deal. But they all conspired to tell the lie. Just as bad as Emma Sulkowicz and co-conspirators.

    Latinos have tons of problems, but sometimes they are right about gringos. These bastardos are spoiled punks who think the whole world is their playground. No respect for other countries.

    It's like when US hockey team smashed everything in Nagano Japan.

    And US foreign policy is sometimes like top jock arrogance.

    https://sports.vice.com/en_us/article/when-american-hockey-players-destroyed-the-olympic-village-in-nagano

    Hey güey ask yourself the following about those four privileged Gabacho swimmers out on the town drinking the local yeast piss and trashing the Petrobras “Mens” room in Rio– none of which I approve.

    Had they been four Moyetes from the USA basketball team out on a wild in Rio, do you think this would have generated the hysteria and five days of saturation coverage in the Gringo pendejo prensa (while the rest of the world is burning down)? Be honest in your response cabrón.

    Read More
  9. The most famous example is in the original pronunciation of Mexico: as said in Nahuatl, the word sounds like “meh-shee-ko.” The Spaniards couldn’t pronounce the middle consonant, though, instead substituting a guttural “j” (as in “Meh-hee-ko”) early in the Conquest.

    The letter X in some parts of Spain was pronounced as “sh” at the time of the Conquest. Evidence of this is that when the first French translations of Cervantes were made in the seventeenth centuries, the name of his protagonist, Don Quixote, was rendered phonetically in French as “Dom Quichotte” (the “ch” pronounced as in quiche).

    According to Wikipedia:

    In Old Castilian the letter x represented the sound written sh in modern English, so the name was originally pronounced [kiˈʃote]. However, as Old Castilian evolved towards modern Spanish, a sound change caused it to be pronounced with a voiceless velar fricative sound (like the Scottish or German ch), and today the Spanish pronunciation of “Quixote” is [kiˈxote]. The original pronunciation is reflected in languages such as Astur-Leonese, Galician, Catalan, Italian, Portuguese, and French, where it is pronounced with a “sh” or “ch” sound; the French opera Don Quichotte is one of the best-known modern examples of this pronunciation.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Quixote

    Another indication of this older pronunciation of X is the English word for the wine of Xérès (now Jerez de la Frontera) – sherry. During the period of Muslim occupation, this town was called Sherish (a transliteration of the Arabic شريش).

    Read More
  10. whether the Mexican in question flushes his soiled toilet paper or tosses it in the trash can

    ….You mean to tell me people don’t flush their toilet paper?

    Read More
  11. @Santiago
    This is such BS, who ever wrote this: "They killed most of Mexico’s Indians in the ensuing decades..." does not know a damn thing about Mexican history, if many of the indigenous population faded was because they fucked each other literally. And as much anti Spanish hatred the fucking gringos have wanted Mexicans to have, the truth will never change, the fucking English were animals, the fucking Portuguese were animals, but the Spanish gave Indigenous Mexicans special privileges by law that not even the Spanish had, and that is easily verifiable at the Archivo General de la Nacion in Lecumberri, as well as the interbreeding that RACIST English did not want, so Mexico is a nation of Mestizos and Indigenous "Indians" People, of millions, if they were killed why are there so much of them? when it has been thoroughly established that the Breeding like Conejos (Rabbits) is a fucking fallacy.

    Gringo lies are despicable and it is time for Mexican to wake up and ignore the history imposed by Gringos on us, in our classrooms and pseudo Academics, when the Stats do not conform to their moronic and idiotic views.

    Again why so many millions of mestizos and so many millions of "Indians"? Fuck your bullshit reality does not conform to it.

    Gringo lies are despicable and it is time for Mexican to wake up and ignore the history imposed by Gringos on us, in our classrooms and pseudo Academics, when the Stats do not conform to their moronic and idiotic views.

    What is the real history then?

    Read More
  12. The truth is a puta madre!
    Mexico is an indigena nation with Spaniards and light skinned mestizos occupying the highest halls of justice as they have access to education and other benefits along with their habit of having kept out the “brown horde of mestizaje and native communities” out of the social milieu so the deck has been stacked. Check out the assassination of the Iguala teachers at the respective colegios where they job was to furhter education as part of societal integration! When you destroy the educational institutions, you continue the destruction of those affected communities.

    The strategy has rarely failed! Prevent the larger communities form participating in the natural congress of the nation and you have a disadvantaged community. Then you create the mentality of disruptive elements that seek to equalize that which is placed upon them. No wonder the states of Oaxaca and Guerrero (aptly named) have such a stance against the central Mexico city ladrones, the overseers of their discord.

    Read More
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