¡Ask A Mexican! for Jun 18, 2009
One man's take on his culture's stereotypes
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Dear Wab: Sure, gabachos who live in Mexico occupy white-collar jobs: they’re professional colonizers who do a terrible job. What else can you call groups of people who settle in a foreign land, stick to their own kind, proudly don’t bother to assimilate, stay in constant contact with their homelands, yet never bother to ingratiate themselves into the fabric of their new lands? Sí, the Mexican government makes it muy difficult for Americans to migrate and live in la suave patria, but at least Mexicans in the United States gamed the system enough so that they became indispensable to the Republic; Mexico can expel its gabachos and survive.Recently, there was a death in the Mexican family that lives near me. Another neighbor and I debated about taking food, flowers and other tokens of comfort. She consulted with a Latino friend who told us to stay away – it was a private affair. The men just stood outside, drinking beer with their hats pulled down, barely speaking to one another. The women stayed inside. Few brought food, just the occasional twelve-pack of Pepsi. We respected their privacy and stayed away. Can you explain? Is the tradition of grief so different? –Resquiat In Pacem
Dear Gabacho: Not really, so get a new Latino friend. You didn’t specify what religion your Mexican neighbors follow, a crucial fact because bereavement varies from faith to faith. Only the most esoteric ones prohibit outsiders, though, so I’m sure you could’ve stopped in with food and express your condolences without offending anyone.