Residence: Los Angeles
Date of Performance/Collection: March 24, 2013
Primary Language: Spanish
Other Language(s): Korean, English
“Why don’t Mexicans do well in the Olympics? Because all the ones who know how to swim, run, and jump crossed the border.”
She elaborated on the joke when I did not quite understand it, that it means, the people who know how to be athletic, used these abilities to cross into the United States. My informant stated that her friends all seem to have differing opinions of the people that crossed the border. Some wished to also cross and believed that living in the States would help them solve their problems and open up more opportunities, while others had a more cynical view and looked down upon those who crossed into the States. They almost viewed these people as disloyal, and projected thoughts that their life would not be much better in the States.
I found it interesting that Mexicans told jokes about fellow Mexicans. I had not known that such a genre even existed. I imagine that people would have mixed feelings about border crossing and living as illegal immigrants, but also needing to earn more money to support themselves and their families, and feeling the lure of dreams of opportunity in the States. I guess it is similar to how Koreans living in South Korea have jokes about Korean-Americans, and vice versa. They are still technically similar, but being in different surroundings and experiencing different lifestyles may cause them to feel unrelated.