USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘Mexicans’
Humor
Stereotypes/Blason Populaire

A Mexican Runs Into a Wall…

Item (direct transcription):

A Mexican with an erection runs into a wall. What does he break?

His lawnmower.

Background Information:

The informant read the joke on 9GAG, an online social media site.

Contextual Information:

The informant made it very clear that he would only tell the joke to someone he knew very well and was confident wouldn’t be offended.

Analysis:

This joke is a clear example of blason populaire, playing on the stereotype that all Mexicans are gardeners.

general
Tales /märchen

How Mexicans Became Catholic

How Mexicans Became Catholic

“Bueno, pues nosotros nos hisimos catholicos despues que llegaron los espanoles. Antes de que ellos llegaran eramos unos salvages. Si veiamos una flor, lo considerabamos como un dios, es mas, todo lo que nosotros veiamos para nosotros era un dios. Cuando llegaron los espanoles, los aztecas empesaron a hacerse catolicos, unos afuerza y otros no. como muchos no se querian hacer catholicos, la virgin maria se le aparecio a un indio, y de ayi fue cuando ya todos empesaron a aceptar la religion… esa historia la fui aprendiendo de mi mama. me acuerdo que de chabalos, mis hermanos y yo le desiamos que porque teniamos que ir a misa y ella nos desia que porque si no hibamos, se nos iba a apreser la virgin llorando.”

“well we became Catholics after the Spaniards came. Before they came, we were savages. If we saw a flower, we would think that it was a God, actually, anything we saw, would be a God to us. When the Spaniards arrived, the Aztecs began converting to Catholicism, some by choice and others by force. Since not many wanted to convert, the Virgin Mary showed up in presence of one of the Indians and that’s how everyone started to accept the religion…that story was taught to me by my mother. I can still remember that as a child, my brothers and I used to tell her why we had to go to mass and she would say that because if we didn’t go, the Virgin Mary would appear before us crying.”

The informant is an 85 year old male who has lived all his life in Mexico. He has been brought up on tales of the land. He never attended school, so all his knowledge has been passed down by his parents and other family members in his life. Since he has no other knowledge, he doesn’t really question the information, but rather takes it as the only truth. He has also never left his hometown village so the only information he knows is the information that pertains his village in particular.

This story is fairly interesting because the story is fairly similar to the one the Catholic Church gives when explaining how they were able to covert the Aztecs and other indigenous people into Catholics. Also, the fact that this informant learned this story from his mother can show that the system into which the informant was brought up into was a matriarchal society. Ultimately, the fact that this informant said his mother was the knowledge giver and not the church, even though the stories are similar, shows that maybe the Catholic church is doing a good job in disseminating their information to the public, whether it be reality or not.

 

general
Humor
Stereotypes/Blason Populaire

Mexican Rock Joke: Blason Populaire

A joke about Mexicans being musically inclined described verbatim by informant:

“My Puerto Rican mother used to say to me, if I were talking about talent or people singing or whatever she’d go, ‘Well, all you have to do is go to Mexico,’ and I’d say, ‘Well what do you mean, Mom?’ She goes, ‘Because in Mexico your turn over a rock, you turn over rock and some man, somebody comes up and they’re singing,’ and I used to be like ‘What do you mean?’ She goes ‘Everybody knows in Mexico everybody sings or plays the guitar or does something musical’ and I was like, ‘Really, Mom?’ and she looked at me like I was crazy she goes, ‘Well, yeah, everybody knows that!’

I think it’s funny because now that my mother has told me that it’s something that always stuck in my head. (laughs) And not for nothing when I turn on Univisión and if it’s like some Mexican thing I’m like ‘She’s right!’ there are 50 gazillion people that are Mexican and they can all, they’re all singing, everybody’s singing!! It’s like (laughs) I dunno, I dunno (laughs) It’s kind of interesting.”

This notion that all Mexicans sing or play an instrument is a piece of blason populaire though humorous, seems complimentary rather than derogatory. Turning over a rock in Mexico and someone coming up singing, from what I gather, is a joke that is likely influenced by stereotypes portrayed on Spanish-speaking television channels, as my informant suggests. Mexico is a big country, with a lot of people, many of whom probably are musical in some respect. Music is important to all cultures and Mexican music, both traditional and contemporary, has a large following. Of course this is encouraged by the country’s huge tourist industry, as well as it’s radio and television stations, which are also big in the United States. So, this “funny” observation of sorts is likely constructed and seems to be just that—an observation.

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