Thursday, April 1, 2010

Guanajuato, Mexico - Interface

Almost all the Gringolandians I know in Guanajuato will profess with the most grandiose pontification that "all my friends are Mexicans." What they mean by this is that all the Mexicans they know are bilingual and speak English with the Gringolandian because the Gringolandian refuses to learn Spanish.

(Unless the Gringolandian is brain dead, it is NOT an issue of CAN but WILL in learning Spanish.)

The Gringolandians actually have to use bilingual Mexicans to interface with the language and culture never, ever living in the culture they profess to love and know.

That's why it is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me when I hear Gringolandians refer to Mexicans by their first names. You know they did not have any sense at all of the language to be able to use the formal Usted form until given permission to use the informal Tu form. It is an assumption of familiarity that is tolerated by the Mexicans they claim are their friends.

Their so-called Mexicans friends are too polite to correct them.

We have a close elderly Mexican friend in town. She is influential and rich. She gave us permission a very long time ago to call her by her first name. However, we don't. We continue to show her respect with regard to her age and status by using "Doña" in front of her first name.

And of all of this most certainly begs the question whether the Gringolandian's perception of these bilingual Mexicans are their friends is true or not.

It also begs the question as to how much the Gringolandian understands the Mexican culture at all.

If all the Gringolandian can do is use a bilingual to interface with the culture they claim to love, then how do they know, how will they ever know, the complete picture? You have to be able to interact (interface) with Mexicans from all walks of life, all educational levels, all the socio-economical levels that exist in Mexico to learn "what it is really like."

Just how can you do otherwise?


2. A WALK THROUGH MEXICO'S CROWN JEWEL - A Guanajuato Travelogue

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