PC is my roommate at USC. Her mother is Spanish and her father is Mexican. They both immigrated to the United States when they were young adults and work to incorporate both cultures in addition to American culture. She grew up in the suburbs of Miami and now lives in Dallas, Texas.
PC: Growing up in the suburbs my whole life I feel like I always walked the line between being Latina and being white washed. And since my mom is Spanish I was different than my cousins in Mexico too. So I would always go visit my family in Mexico and they would always say “Que fresa!” whenever I did something they considered more American or stuck up.
DO (Interviewer): I know that in English that translates to “what strawberry”, could you explain that a little bit more?
PC: Yeah so basically it’s like a term used to describe kids who were like richer Hispanic kids who have a certain personality. My family uses it as a joke but sometimes it’s used as an insult that basically means spoiled rich girls.
DO: Interesting. I know that your parents are both Mexican and Spanish, is it more prevalent to use in one culture over another or is it used pretty commonly in both?
PC: I think I’ve heard it more used by my dad’s family. It might be just a common term for Hispanic people but I think it’s more of Mexican slang. It’s sort of like the equivalent to people’s ideas of a valley girl. So saying “like” a lot, mixing spanish and english, when things are said more like a question than a statement. Things like that.
This metaphor is commonly used in Mexican culture and serves as a separator of social status. This phrase is used by lower to middle-class individuals to poke fun at the wealthier class. Oftentimes in society, it is those of the wealthier class that may be making fun of those who don’t have the same social status, so through this term, we see the reversal of that. The direct translation may not make sense to someone, not in this culture so this phrase shows the complexity of lore not in our native languages and cultures. To outsiders looking in it may make no sense, but to those in this culture, it is a common term.
- “Pepito le pregunta a su maestra, ‘Maestra me castigaria usted por algo que no hice’. La maestra le dice, ‘No pepito, por supuesto que no’. Pepito le responde, ‘Que bueno porque no hice la tarea’”.
2. “Pepito encuentra a su hermana haciendo el amor con su novio y les pregunta, ‘Que estan haciendo’ y el novio le contesta, ‘La estoy vacunando’y Pepito dice ‘Oye pero estara bien enferma porque ayer vino un amigo tuyo y la vacuno dos veces. Lo unico que parece es que ayer la jeringa era mas grande porque grito mas’”
Translated to English:
- “Pepito asks his teacher, ‘Teacher, would you punish me for something I didn’t do?’ The teacher tells him, ‘No Pepito, of course not’. Pepito responds, “That’s good because I didn’t do my homework.”
2. “Pepito finds his sister making love to her boyfriend and asks them, ‘What are you doing’ and the boyfriend answers, ‘I’m vaccinating her’ and Pepito says ‘Hey, but she must be very sick because yesterday a friend of yours came and vaccinated her twice. The only thing that seems weird is that yesterday the syringe was bigger because she screamed more.’”
The informant stated that Pepito is a mischievous little boy who in every joke, he says something funny. The informant says they were similar to knock-knock jokes because there is a structure that doesn’t change with the joke, but the content of the joke varies. Pepito’s jokes start with him talking to another person, a lot of times a parent or teacher, then Pepito asks a question, the person responds and finally, Pepito delivers the punch line. Most of the jokes are imprudent or have a double meaning, sometimes dirty jokes. The informant mentioned she would read these jokes in Mexico as well because, in certain calendars in Mexico, you would rip off the top of the current date and on it, there would be an interesting fact, jokes, or tongue twisters. She learned the jokes through friends at school as well.
The Pepito jokes seem to be common for children to know. They were popular in Mexico and seem to be a bit different from knock-knock jokes although being similar. Yes, they maintain a structure, but knock-knock jokes tend to not be funny and just quip you throw whenever you learn a new one. Pepito jokes on the other hand seem to be something where the more one collects, the better. Additionally, the dirtier the joke, the funnier it was which alludes to the feeling kids have transitioned into puberty and how they feel having knowledge about dirtier subjects.