Saying – Mexico City, Mexico

El que se fue a la villa, perdio su silla

El que Se Fue A La Villa Perdio Su silla
He That Is left of the Village Loses His seat

He that leaves the village loses his seat.

My informant learned this saying when he was a young child growing up in Mexico City.  He is from a large Mexican-Jewish-Spanish speaking family that consists of him, two older brothers, two sisters, and two younger brothers.  All shared rooms with each other, usually two to three children per room, until the older ones moved out and went to universities.  This saying was remembered to be said all the time among his brothers and cousins almost everyday.

It was often most said when one child got up to go to the kitchen or bathroom and would return to see their seat taken by another child.  The child would often contest and complain that was his seat and that the child had no right to take this seat.  The other would reply with this saying, he that leaves the village, loses his seat.  This was basically a conversation stopper and would be pointless to argue even further, he just said a rhyme telling the other kid to stop whining, because that is the unwritten rule.

This saying is most popular among children for it displays childish actions, and the want for the most comfortable seat.  He remembers it distinctly because his family had one rocking chair that was his fathers and all the children would battle for this seat when his father was not home and they were watching television. The rocking chair was the desired seat all the time, and it was fair game when one brother or sister would get up, unless he or she calls out a safety word.  Often they would create a cohort and plan that one would save the seat until the other would return, giving the little brother or sister an allotted time on the desired seat simply for helping him or her out.

In English, when a child comes back to find their seat taking, the seat stealer usually replies, “It doesn’t have your name on it!”.  It is very similar, yet doesn’t really rhyme.  It has a nice rhyming element when “villa” and “silla” are read.  Although it seems incoherent to say one that leaves the village, it give its own meaning because of rhyming and perhaps the village is the area in which the children are playing.

This saying becomes extra useful when family gatherings were formed at his house and the house was filled with nearly 50 cousins and each wanted a comfortable seat in front of the game station or television.