Ask a Mexican on Puerto Ricans and Matanzas

I live in upstate New York (that's any part of the state north of the city, for you West Coasters), and though we have a relatively small Mexican population, we have a large number of Puerto Ricans, especially in the community where I live. Here's my question: A number of times, I've overheard my PR friends accuse each other of being "lazy Mexicans" as a good-humored insult. I'm wondering if on the West Coast, where I expect that there are more Mexicans than Puerto Ricans, if you ever accuse each other of being "lazy Puerto Ricans?" I've asked my PR friends this question, but they think it's crazy. I'm of Irish heritage, and I was surprised one day to find out that all of the Polish jokes I grew up with were Irish jokes in England. I'm curious if maybe it's the same thing here. Basically, I see my friends as being Latino, and they don't have a problem with that until someone calls them a Mexican. Kind of like someone saying I'm Irish, but accusing me of being Protestant when I'm Catholic.
Son of Erin

Ah, another opportunity to trot out my all-time favorite joke: Why aren't there any Puerto Ricans on Star Trek? Because they don't work in the future, either. Silly chiste, but that's the point. As brilliantly put forth by Christie Davies in his examination of ethnic humor, The Mirth of Nations, mere jokes by one ethnic group against another signifies latent hostility toward the joked-upon, but nothing serious. Ethnic insults, on the other hand, suggest a deeper-rooted hatred between the groups. In other words, Mexicans don't really care about Puerto Ricans, because we always kick their ass in boxing and aren't as colonized as boricuas, so any tweaking of them is relegated to jokes — and even then, I can't think of a single Puerto Rican joke with roots in Mexico. But Puerto Ricans throwing around slurs like "lazy Mexicans" show they're as American as they come, because while Mexican jokes do exist in the American humor realm, bona fide slurs —wetback, chili belly, taco bender, wab, and many, many more — are as numerous as beans in a burrito. "The number and nature of nicknames, and particularly derogatory nicknames for particular ethnic groups in America," wrote Davies, "is a reflection of the strengths of the ethnic conflicts in which they have been involved and the kinds of ill-feeling that such conflicts generate." Diós bless America!

My fiancé and I were debating this the other night: Where did the idea of Matanzas come from? How did they start? I'm of the belief that they were to provide food for an entire village during long, hard winters and have become a reason to party outside in the middle of winter. He says he doesn't think so. He said they are probably a local thing (we're from New Mexico) and other self-respecting Mexicans would never have fiestas like this. Can you clarify?
Muy Confundida

Details

Ask the Mexican at themexican@askamexican.net, be his fan on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, or ask him a video question at youtube.com/askamexicano!

Related Stories

More About

"Self-respect" and "Mexicans" in regards to fiestas go together like "logic" and "Republicans" on America's immigration issues. Your husband is largely right: Matanzas, for the rest of us non-New Mexis, usually involve the slaughtering of a pig just before winter to provide the pueblo with hundreds of pounds of lard, meat, blood, and all the other bounty our tasty porcine friends provide us. Some scholars also posit that Matanzas were Hispanic rituals dating back centuries, with the pig the center of the feast. Since the Moorish rulers of the Hispanos' ancestors and the Jews they always despised couldn't eat pig, the feast was a great way for Spaniards and their descendents to smoke any marranos or moriscos out of the pueblo's ranks and into the bonfire. Maybe, but the Mexican always felt matanzas ("killings" en inglés) were always more like the Pacific Northwest tradition of potlatches, where men would compete with each other to see who could throw the biggest feast and treat others the best. And that, my dear amiga, ain't tied to any other tradition but the eternal quien-es-más-macho ritual of hombres.

 
My Voice Nation Help
20 comments
mark v
mark v

once i saw the article was written by an irish person i stopped reading,and almost automatically looked for the trash bin, the irish are a reason that new york state and city are unlilvable to me. oh and irish catholic, more unlivable.Sometimes i think my life and my mother/s life would have been so much more comfortable than it has been,without the irish and mexicans and puerto ricans, oh and probably the democrats.i really never buy into anything any of these peoples are saying about anyone, generally their actions and advice is all about them irish are the "leaders" here, all about them,

Dumoudan
Dumoudan

Is this law Racist? Are the people who agree with this law racist? Are those who want this law enforced racist?Under Title 8 Section 1325 of the U.S. Code, "Improper Entry by Alien," any citizen of any country other than the United States who:Enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers; or Eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers; or Attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact; has committed a federal crime.Violations are punishable by criminal fines and imprisonment for up to six months. Repeat offenses can bring up to two years in prison. Additional civil fines may be imposed at the discretion of immigration judges, but civil fines do not negate the criminal sanctions or nature of the offense.

Dumoudan
Dumoudan

All Illegal aliens should be allowed to apply for work permits but only while they are outside the United States in their home countries. This type of program (guest workers) has worked very well for many years in economically successful places such as Switzerland, Singapore to name a few. Once their work visa expires they must immediately leave the country. If the females become prgnant, they are immediately returned to their home country. commit any violation of ANY law (even "J" walking) and they are deported. If they attempt to re-enter the US illegaly, they are automatically placed on a list of permanently banned from entry into the US. Are you with us? Just enforce the Immigration Laws and treat all people who want to enter the US fairly. Don't show preference to those that entered illegally. Justice for all?

Tuchico
Tuchico

The planet of the apes movies use puerto ricans as doubles because they look like monkeys.

Opinions For ALL
Opinions For ALL

All the Mexicans I see are working their behinds off in a lot of heat. It's time to set aside this SB 1070 thinking.. and INSTEAD WILDING ENGAGE the hispanic population in Phoenix. Let's make something incredible out of Phoenix and let's make the HISPANICS be sooooo much more than "invaders".. It's time for full participation in the community. Instead of full spray painting! Mexicans and Puerto Ricans at odds? Really?... Please we are in a serious recession and need all the Whites, Blacks, Mexicans and Puerto Ricans to quit DESTROYING good will and attempt to put the economy locally here back together! Guys, give it a rest we are all in hole together! If the state is on FIRE we will all BURN. It's the economy thats on FIRE! Enough silly attitudes!~

Dumoudan
Dumoudan

Is this law Racist? Are the people who agree with this law racist? Are those who want this law enforced racist?Under Title 8 Section 1325 of the U.S. Code, "Improper Entry by Alien," any citizen of any country other than the United States who:

Enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers; or

Eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers; or

Attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact; has committed a federal crime.

Violations are punishable by criminal fines and imprisonment for up to six months. Repeat offenses can bring up to two years in prison. Additional civil fines may be imposed at the discretion of immigration judges, but civil fines do not negate the criminal sanctions or nature of the offense.

Ricardo
Ricardo

I have yet to see a lazy Mexican in the USA. Their work ethic is far superior to anything shown by most US citizens.

Dumoudan
Dumoudan

Is this law Racist? Are the people who agree with this law racist? Are those who want this law enforced racist?Under Title 8 Section 1325 of the U.S. Code, "Improper Entry by Alien," any citizen of any country other than the United States who:

Enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers; or

Eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers; or

Attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact; has committed a federal crime.

Violations are punishable by criminal fines and imprisonment for up to six months. Repeat offenses can bring up to two years in prison. Additional civil fines may be imposed at the discretion of immigration judges, but civil fines do not negate the criminal sanctions or nature of the offense.

lester
lester

i lived in upstate new york for 10 years before moving to az. i had many puerto rican friends up by albany area. they all made fun of mexicans like it was going out of style. i never knew any mexicans personally while living in new york until i moved to arizona a couple years ago. now i know why they make fun of mexicans. how could you not?! hahahaha. crazy beaners.

Mistalee
Mistalee

The elders in my town say that this is how it used to be:

Matanzas were held in a regular basis in the summer and early fall. When a matanza was declared, everyone who could, showed up. And everyone had a role. The elders would direct, the children would gather wood for the fire and bring up water from the arroyo to scald the pig. The men would do the slaughtering and butchering, the women would be cooking the choice bits into tacos. Care was taken, when the food was distributed, to make sure some was set aside for the sick, the elderly and the infirm who could not attend. Later came the music, the singing, the drinking. The elders say that in the old days someone was always holding a matanza, in the summer months, so there was always an opportunity to join in and enjoy some good eating.

The matanza was above all a social institution, one which reaffirmed each person's role in the community, and which taught the lesson that so long as all came together and worked together, and respected their roles, everybody ate. These days one rarely hears of a matanza, and when one does it is usually a wannabe patron showing off. They get it all wrong, with the big shot and his guests just showing up to stuff their faces, while the hired help do all the work. Not the spirit of the matanza at all!

Dumoudan
Dumoudan

Under Title 8 Section 1325 of the U.S. Code, "Improper Entry by Alien," any citizen of any country other than the United States who:

Enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers; or

Eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers; or

Attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact; has committed a federal crime.

Violations are punishable by criminal fines and imprisonment for up to six months. Repeat offenses can bring up to two years in prison. Additional civil fines may be imposed at the discretion of immigration judges, but civil fines do not negate the criminal sanctions or nature of the offense.

Dumoudan
Dumoudan

Ask a Mexican on how he and his family will go back to Mexico to apply for a workers permit valid for one year in the United States.

scarface
scarface

Thats dumb. Even whites know that mexicans are criminals and have a lot of kids but they aint lazy. . But I do tell my friends you are more annoing then a boricua cuz they are too loud

Farolito
Farolito

MATANZA (from "thesantafesite.com": In this country there is no better place to find the preservation of the old Spanish ways than New Mexico, as this state is well known for having been isolated hundreds of years by vast rugged distances and warring Indians.

So well preserved are the origins of the American West that even the 15th century "foundation" livestock scarcely available in other parts of the world thrive in New Mexico. You can still find descendants of the rugged, enduring, power house-in-a-small-package Spanish Barb horses, Churra sheep, and Corriente cattle. You can hear cowboy history in the old, spoken Spanish. Although these old vaqueros are increasingly hard to find, there remain a few smaller than average, more rugged than average Onate colony decendents who will speak to you in the 15th century Spanish of the conquistadores preserved through fifteen generations of oral tradition.

Happily, to this day, the romance of wide open western spaces lives on in New Mexico. The Spanish caballero, already sporting a legacy of proud horsemanship even before Columbus' arrival in North America, saw the first rodeos whenever young vaqueros had some free time, an opportunity to turn work into play, and to show off their skills.

The first American Rodeos which took place in the early 1600's were conducted by the first American cowboys, the Spanish vaqueros. Two hundred twenty three years before the first easterners arrived in Texas to learn the art of cowboying the vaquero was already a folk hero in New Mexico. He had come to be known as a horseman of great skill and bravery. He was a solid comrade with his fellow vaqueros and a die-hard loyalist to his ranch and it's brand. He was looked up to by wranglers as a man who could rope anything that moved and ride anything that bucked. He could successfully do just about anything from a saddle. During the time of these first rodeos standardized rules and point systems were developed to determine who would win the vaquero competitions. "Jueces de campo," or rodeo judges presided over the rodeos to settle ownership disputes and assure that stock were branded correctly. Generally the vaqueros tended the stock on the open range until it was time to sell, brand, or butcher the animals. Anyone of these events required a rounding up of the animals - "al rodear." This was called a rodeo.

The killing (butchering) of an animal which frequently accompanied a rodeo was called a "matanza." The first recorded references to a Rodeo in the official republic of the United States are made in old New Mexico family journals.

As matanza researcher Cynthia Martin explains “A traditional Matanza is a family and community-gathering event, with friends and neighbors helping in the labor-intensive job of processing a large pig, goat or sheep”.

“Taking at least an entire day, the process goes from the slaughtering the animal and butchering the meat to cooking the various meat products and preparing what is left for distribution and storage. Of course all those helpers also need to be fed, so the women in the family plan and prepare large amounts of food for the event.”

Today some Matanza celebrations are coming back. They are more in the tradition of Home cooking, Family and friends in the 21st century.

Historically the celebration was done in the winter to prevent spoilage and so the tradition is carried on in the winter today too.

The Hispano Chamber of Commerce in Valencia County New Mexico have begun the tradition again and made it into a fund raising event. Teams compete each year for prizes in the butchering slaughtering and preparation of traditional matanza foods.

Eileen Richardson

Information taken from the workCOWBOYS - VAQUEROSOrigins of the First American CowboysBy Donald Gilbert Y Chavez

“Come and Get It: Matanza Celebrates Home-Cooking, Family, Friends”By Cynthia Martin New Mexico Magazine, January 2004

LOL
LOL

Aren't mexicans the ones who know how to jump high fences? Aren't mexicans the ones who don't take baths and live in shit-holes with heer bottles and dirty laundry all over the place? Aren't the majority of mexicans REALLY DARK BROWN? Aren't mexicans the hispanics that listen to that ranchero music that sounds like circus music? (the circus has lots of monkeys in it) Wasn't the movie Apocalypto about a bunch of mexican tribes in the jungle?(that's right the jungle where most apes live) My point is is that the monkey doubles in the planet of the apes were actually mexican cause mexicans resemble dirty monkeys more then anyone else.

loxxx
loxxx

Didn't a Puerto Rican play Selena? LMAO

Mistalee
Mistalee

Ask dumoudan to stay on topic or fuck off.

Mistalee
Mistalee

Get bent, you silly asshole. You didn't even read the column, you're just here to spam. Fuck off.

Veck810
Veck810

Such hatred! Lighten Up....life is short, ENJOY!

 
Phoenix Concert Tickets
Loading...