Customs
Folk speech
general

Folk Traditions and Sayings from Monterrey Mexico

The informant is a pediatrician, originally from Monterrey, married to a radiologist also from Monterrey. I met her at a family barbeque where we discussed her own cultural traditions and forms of folklore. As I caught her while we were eating, she couldn’t help but think immediately of meals from back home, in Monterrey:

“Everything in Monterrey is celebrated with Carne Asada, like we are having here. Meat is central to every family gathering, celebration or get-together. Frequently, on Sundays, family visits grandparents and the central attraction is watching the soccer games, the “clásicos” where the Tigres and the Rallados are perpetual rivals. People from Monterrey are called Regios, and they were jeans for everything, all year long. “Guey” used to be a word only men used to call each other, but now even females use it to address their friends, and it such a common word, that is has made it to the dictionary, I still consider it vulgar, but it is widely used.

We love everything spicy, from fruit to meat to drinks. Whenever I go to Monterrey, I have to get street tacos and then go have a Chamoyada, which is shaved ice with chamoy, a fruit that has a strong taste, and lime. I also love Granielotes (which Jesús called Esquite), roasted corn kernels with mayonnaise, chili powder and limejuice; the spicier the better. My children don’t like them as much as we do, but they do love spice on their food. We also can pack Itacates, left-overs for our guests, and if we get a compliment, we would say, “Te bañaste, Guey”, you outdid yourself, pal! (Notice the different verbs in the identical expression)

The large family gatherings so prominent in Mexican culture are of course very famous. Across all of Mexico, the experience of watching the clásicos offers an important opportunity for one to catch up with the family. Monterrey is in some ways Mexico’s most urban and wealthy city. Regio means royalty or the quality of being awesome, so the implication is that being from Monterrey is an honor. Guey is an interesting and incredibly common saying that either means dude or bro, or can mean fool or ass if used with someone unfamiliar and in a harsh tone. Moslty the Mexican youth use the word, and adults (particularly those above her age) are still jarred by its use. Lastly, I want to call attention to the regional differences. Whereas my informant from Mexico City, Jesús, called the roasted corn esquite, She knows it as granielotes, which calls specific attention to the fact the corn is off the cob. Also, whereas another informant’s friendly saying involved “Te rayaste” (you scratched yourself), this informant’s regional saying is “Te bañaste,” or “you showered yourself”. Fascinating that although the two rhyme, they have incredibly different particular meanings, but as a saying mean the same thing.

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