LINGUISTICS & CULTURE
|Data:||19/ABR/2006 3:50 PM|
Lilica, for reasons I've never understood, the people of Veracruz are called "jarochos".
The adjective "veracruzana" is rarely used to refer to someone from Veracruz. They are famous throughout Mexico for being "mal hablados" (they love sacangens!). Fish or steak "a la veracruzana" has lots of onions, tomatoes, and peppers. The other night I had Portuguese-style fish, and I was surprised how much it was like Veracruz dishes. A drink typical of Veracruz is called a "torito" (a little bull). As I recall, it was quite like the "batido" I had in Rio years ago. (Lots of thick fruit juice and rum.) The harp is very common in Jarocho music. It's normally played with the musician sitting on the ground with the harp between his legs. The pick (palheta) is a sharks tooth. The music is very unusual, and I've never heard anything like it that wasn't from Veracruz. Many of the songs have double meanings. It's also common to hear songs that make you think the singer is going to say one thing, but he really says another. "Los Hermanos Pinzónes" has lyrics that do that. "Los hermanos Pinzónes, eran unos mari--neros (you think the singer is going to say "maricones" or "gays")... Fueron a Calcuta, a buscar algunas p---playas (not "putas"), etc. "El Cubanito" is even worse. "Anoche bailaba con mi suegra, ella tiene un cuerpo muy triangulo, pasé toda la noche, apretándole mucho el cu---banito soy señores. Cubanito y muy formal. Vale más ser cubanito, aunque usted me lo tome a mal." Very funny. "La Bamba" is an extremely popular song, but so is "El Cascabel". I find the song unusual in that it calls the singer's girlfriend a "prenda", just as the gaúchos of RS would call her. At the entrance to Veracruz is the fort San Juan de Ulloa. It also served as a prison and possibly a naval academy. (Today the academy or "Heróica Escuela Naval" is a few kilometers further south in the tiny town of "Antón Lizardo".) Cortez landed at Veracruz. I've visited his house in Cempoala, a few miles upriver. Nearby are the ruins of and Indian city, the site of a terrible massacre. The local tribe invited their ancient enemies to a festival. The idea was to celebrate, make friends, and stop the foolish fighting. The enemy arrived, they were convinced to leave their weapons outside, they entered the Indian city and...the people of Cempoala massacred them. Oh, in Cempoala you can still see an old Indian practice of five men climbing to the top of a tall pole. There is a square platform at the top. Four of the men tie ropes to their legs while the fifth man sites astride the platform. The platform begins to rotate and the four men are slowly lowered to the ground head first. I don't know the name of the rite, but the men are called "los voladores" (the flyers). During the Mexican-American War troops under General Scott invaded Mexico through Veracruz. A few years later the French used the same route. The most famous French detachment was a group of French Foreign Legionaires. Near Camerón they fought very bravely against numerically superior French forces. When the French had killed almost all over them and had demanded the surrender of the few remaining soldiers, the Legionaires said they would only surrender if permitted to keep their weapons. Tough guys! About `1914 American troops returned and held Veracruz briefly. One of the officers rose to fame later as General Douglas MacArthur. If I think of something else, I'll let you know.
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