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9 oktober 2015
Here I am, back again. Recently I haven’t been posting a lot of updates because honestly, not much has been going on in my life. I am just living the normal life of a Mexican teenager, and I think I have found my rhythm. Because of this, in this blog I will not tell a lot about myself, but more about some crazy, odd, funny or nice things that I have noticed here, living in Mexico. They probably won’t have a lot in common but they demonstrate the culture or some things you notice when staying in a place very far from your home.
Everything for Mexico
I have this subject in school, professional orientation, which is meant to inform you more about universities, studies, bachelors, fields of work etc etc in order to make a good choice of what to do after high school. We fill in forms where they ask you what type of person you are, what your grades were, what you would like to study, what subjects you like and way more. But what I noticed, is that the majority of the questions are constructed as follow:
How is your profession going to make a difference in Mexico?
How is your study going to make a contribution to the Mexican country?
How is your work going to make a contribution to the Mexican society?
How do you think your profession could make us a better country?
What is the use of your studies in Mexico?
Do you see where I am getting at? This is a great example of the enormous difference between the INDIVIDUAL culture in Europe and the Mexican culture, which is about SOCIETY. I had no idea what to answer haha, I want to study Physics because it will give me a good job and I find it very interesting but I have never thought about studying Physics because it will improve my surroundings or my country. And it was funny because a lot of people have told me that our culture in Europe (not only in Europe) is very individualistic but I never really realised it. This was kind of an eye-opener.
I am going to tell you shortly how people dress in Mexico because I noticed some of you were interested in this.
Older people, and older generation, normally wear very formal clothes. Men wear neat pants, black leather shoes, a nice formal shirt and of course a hat (this isn’t necessarily the kind of huge sombrero you think of but they all call it sombrero). Older women wear big skirts or dresses, and often also typical clothing from the region. I don’t have pictures of this clothing but I recommend you to search in google “ropa tipica chiapaneca” or “ropa tipica Mexicana” to get an idea of what this looks like. It is very Mexican.
Middle aged parents, and workers mostly wear the same clothing as in Europe, but everything a little baggier. A lot of people also wear sporty clothes (i.e. jogging pants, sneakers and easy t-shirts), but most of the time it depends on how they are supposed to show up at work.
Teens wear more or less the same as my friends in Holland, except for the uniform at school. Nevertheless, I noticed that girls here put a loooooot of effort in dressing up for parties haha, so much that when one girl, who is in our group of friends, came up at the party I hardly recognized her!
Surnames in Mexico are a big deal, and there are a lot of them. Moreover, a lot of people aren’t even called by their real name but by their surname. The fact is that a lot of standard Mexican names have an automatic surname. For example, all the Jesus’ are called Chuy. All the Enrique’s are called Quique. All the Maria Fernanda’s are called Mafer. All the Isabel(a)’s, are called Chavela. All the Jose Maria’s, are called Chema. All the José’s are called Pepe. The Luis Fernando’s, are called Cancino, and the list goes on and on and on.
At first I did not get this very well, which confused me a lot, and it looked like there were twice as more people as I knew haha!
People also put a lot of diminutives at the end of names to express affection. The standard diminutives are –ita and –ito for respectively women and men, which makes me a Nilsito.
Frida Kahlo and the Second World War
Recently something funny happened which gave me quite of an eye-opener about how important we think we are in the world.
Frida Kahlo is probably THE MOST popular, known and admired woman in the history of Mexico. She lived in the 20th century, was the wife of a very famous Mexican painter, had a very particular look and worked a lot for the Mexican emancipation of women.
Honestly, I had never heard of her before.
One day I saw a painting of her and asked who she was, because I had seen the woman before, and I am telling you: they looked at me as if I had lived in a cave for the last 17 years!! They were absolutely blown away by the fact that I did not know who Frida Kahlo was. They thought everybody in the world knew who she was, and as far as I know that is not really the case. Very well… Now I know haha.
A couple of days later, a commercial about a program about the Second World War passed on TV while we were eating. Of course, everything about the history of Nazis and Hitler was displayed, when suddenly, my host mom and sister asked: Who is that man with that weird moustache?
I think you can imagine what I was thinking haha! For me it was like: HOW IN THE WORLD IS IT POSSIBLE THAT YOU DON’ T KNOW WHO HITLER IS?????? I had exactly the same type of reaction they had, when they heard I had never heard of Frida Kahlo.
It were both very funny moments, but in my opinion the point here is that: we think too often that things that are important in our country, or in our continent, are just as important in other countries. Which is not always the case, and ironically, this comes down to simple egoism. But this is extremely normal because these people, wars or events have had an enormous impact on how we live and who we are. But it does not necessarily mean that this also is the case at the other end of the world.
Tex-Mex versus Mexican food
You have probably heard of the brand Tex-Mex, which makes everything from tortillas to salsas and fajitas, burritos and everything. The joke is that most of the people think that this is actually Mexican food. Which it is not! It is all based on Mexican food but it is originally from Texas, USA. Here is a link, which I found on the Internet, and it explains exactly the difference between Tex-Mex and REAL Mexican food.
Aah unpunctuality…. Very, very Mexican. Sometimes I have the feeling the only word here you need to know is “ahorita”, which literally means “little now”. “Ahora” means “now” but ahorita is used much more frequently. But beware, it can mean now, in a while, in 2 minutes, today, tomorrow, in a week, in 5 minutes and the list goes on! It is all about the context haha, and it is also used a lot instead of a “no”.
“Let’s go to the pool!”
“Yeah, yeah, ahorita…”
You won’t go to the pool, trust me.
More about unpunctuality. I had a party last Friday, and they told me to be ready at my house at 5pm so that they would pick me up, and we would go to the place. They came at 7:30 pm haha, which is 2,5 hours later than they told me to be ready.
Time in Mexico is very relative indeed.
I also went fishing with my host dad, host sister and a friend of mine in an artificial lake. We caught some, and then fried them right after, I included some pictures.
So this was it, I guess, I hope you like it, and I’ll see you soon!
Foto's bij verslag (6)
9 oktober 2015 16:31 | Door: Roos bruggenweerth
Hoi Nilsito, je word nog een echte Mexicaan binnenkort! Ik heb weer met heel veel plezier jouw blog gelezen en ik kan me voorstellen dat je versteld stond toen je merkte dat ze " Hitler" niet kende, och ja is eigenlijk ook maar goed ook, zo weten ze ook niet wat een wreedheden hier hebben plaats gevonden in de jaren 40-45 !!! Mexico is een groot land en wij in ons kikkerlandje stellen helemaal niets voor in hun ogen, denk ik. Hebben ze wel ooit gehoord van Holland ? Ik denk eerder van Brabant hahaha, daar komen de meest intelligente mensen vandaan, ze moeten toch onze Frits Philips wel kennen met zijn lampjes in het " Lampengat" Eindhoven ! Hahaha. Jaja over chauvinisme gesproken ! Ik kreeg ook wel trek in een gebakken visje toen ik die foto zag ! Wat moet jij genieten van de natuur en de ruimte daar , het lijkt me heel bizonder ! Dit neemt niemand jou af, wat een levenservaring ! Geniet ervan Nilsito ! Liefs van oma en tot volgende keer, ik kijk er naar uit !
9 oktober 2015 21:49 | Door: Jennifer
Wat ontzettend leuk om te lezen Nils! Ik ben ook ooit in Mexico geweest, maar toch heb ik ook wat nieuwe dingen geleerd! Je volgende blogs kan ik zeer waarschijnlijk niet lezen, omdat ik ik zeer binnenkort ga varen. Veel plezier nog!
10 oktober 2015 21:48 | Door: Niels
Leuke blogs hoor Nils. Jammer dat ik niet op Mexico vlieg, dan had ik alles wat jij meemaakt zelf ook een beetje kunnen ervaren. Enjoy life!
10 oktober 2015 21:49 | Door: Sonja
Geweldig verslag weer Nils....heel veel groetjes!!!
11 oktober 2015 10:38 | Door: sebastien
et oui, tu viens de découvrir l'essentiel d' un programme " exchange student" :la vérité n' est pas la même partout!
c' est bien mon Nilsito!!!!!!
Big hug Papa
12 oktober 2015 10:40 | Door: Opa Hans
Hoi Nilsito, weer zo'n geweldig verslag zodat ik me de dingen goed kan voorstellen en nog wel in goed Engels , chapeau!! Ik heb zo het idee dat je het met de materie op school niet al te zwaar hebt en denk dat je het Spaans ook snel onder de knie krijgt. Vanmorgen de foto's ontvangen via je Mam en je mondelijk verslag en hoorde van Sonja dat ook Max graag punten zou willen verzamelen op de Mexicaanse manier. Hou je taai en groetjes uit Apeldoorn.
23 oktober 2015 20:26 | Door: Zus van je oma- tante Riek uit Deurne !
Ik heb je reisverslagen gelezen op aanraden van je oma Roos !
Veel studieplezier en een fijne tijd daar !
Groeten uit Deurne