Why Do Mexicans Build Roadside Memorials?

[¡Ask a Mexican!] And are all Mexicans descended from Arabs?

Dear Mexican: A few years ago, I moved to Tucson. In said city, I noticed there were little piles of stuff accumulated on the medians of the main roads. It looked like Dia de la Muertos paraphernalia—I'm not so gringo as to not know what's up. These piles of beads—sometimes big enough to have bikes—are obviously memorials to deceased family and friends. My question is this: Why the need to litter medians or roadsides?

Down Under, Mexicans Blow

Dear DUMB: "Paraphernalia"? I hope that's what you call the tombstones of your relatives—actually, I hope you don't because that just means you're even more of an insensitive baboso than you've already shown yourself to be. Primeramente, despite the strenuous efforts of hipsters, Día de los Muertos (that last word is masculine—hence, the use of the masculine singular definite article el instead of the la you used. How gringo of you!) is actually a solemn holiday—everything used for a display has a personal meaning not easily purchased at Party City. As I've written before, Mexicans have a far-more-cordial relationship with Death than gabachos, so descansos commemorating accidents can stay up for years in Mexican neighborhoods, and people don't get their chonis in a bunch like you have. How is remembering someone "littering"? As long as it's not on private property, why does a roadside memorial bother you? May a pigeon perch on your cenotaph!

 

Dear Mexican: There seem to be a lot of questions about your take on what's Mexican and why Mexicans do this or do that—my question is on heritage, Mr. Mexicano. My last name, Anguiano, is from a little village in Spain. I notice how it sounds and how it seems to be closely related to Arabic. I learned that Arabs came to Spain at one time—could there be a chance that all Mexicans originated from Arabic peeps? I don't know much—just like to have your take on it.

Askin' Arellano About Anguiano

Dear AAAA: You don't know much? You at least know your surname is habitational, which is more than most Mexis know about their apellido. And you also know the Moors invaded Spain and infiltrated supposedly pure-Spanish bloodlines far and wide. But Arabic heritage only went so far—yes, we worship a virgin with a partly Arabic name, but Anguiano's home province of La Rioja was part of al-Andalus for only a few centuries until retaken by Spaniards in the 10th Century. That's when the word "Anguiano" first entered Hispanic chronicles, and the name for the village of the same name was chosen specifically because of its Latin origins—those are lost to history, but we can safely assume it had something to do with snakes, since the word angui is the singular form of snake in Latin. Maybe Anguiano means "snake man"? Eh, post hoc pendejo propter hoc.

 

GOOD MEXICAN OF THE WEEK: La Bloga is the country's premier Chicano literary blog, a rotating collection of authors that reviews books, pens essays and original works, reports on news, posts interviews with authors, and shows the world America's rich Chicano/Latino literary traditions. I'd be remiss in this plug if I didn't mention one of the contributors: Daniel Olivas. His recently released The Book of Want by the University of Arizona Press is a fantastic short novel chronicling the lives of a family just like any other gabacho clan—except it's Mexican and its matriarch visits from the other side. Run, DUMB! Bookmark labloga.blogspot.com and read diario!

 
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20 comments
cherylvallance
cherylvallance

You ignorant and bigoted SOB.  People...including Mexicans, Americans, Canadians etc. erect roadside memorials to remember and respect  love ones lost.  I lost my 27 year old son less than 1/2 a mile down my street and because of stupid, unfeeling people like you I've been afraid to place a memorial for fear it would be vandalized.  If you don't like it then keep your damn eyes on the road.  You are despicable and for your sake I hope you never have to be in our place.  You should be ashamed. You are a disgusting waste of space.

Cliloutney
Cliloutney

I use them as a reminder for me to slow down and pay attention....... so I don't get my own roadside memorial.

Toto
Toto

I saw a few in Hawaii last time I was there

Janetsellers
Janetsellers

The south west region of the U.S. has a lot of memorials at the sites where a loved one has died. Many countries have that memorial custom. So when a person does not know about it, it seems prudent not to judge first, or dis a visible custom. Yet, when the memorials begin to deteriorate, it is kind of sad to see, as if it is even more tragic to lose the memorial love and care.

ming_on_mongo
ming_on_mongo

Thanks, love your columns, man! And BTW, it's about time we self-satisfied Gringos started to appreciate how much Mexican culture has contributed to our own boring "whitebread" one. In fact, I think there are actually a lot more Americans who do than we realize, it's just that they get drowned out too often by all the noisy redneck "we were here first" pendejos!

BTW, I finally "get" the Virgin of Guadalupe as the perfect symbol of the unique fusion of cultures, both Indio & European.... Viva Mexico!

  antonjio
antonjio

maybe to honor a human being who died in an accident, un recuerdo de que la vida es efimera.

Uchicanohoe
Uchicanohoe

why are mexicants such f%^&ing trash at their core? really? can you answer that? Please?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...fuck all illegals and fuck you too "know nothing" piece of shit gustavhoe.go back to the shithole you came from, you are a direct example of why we should nuke anything south of the border.

Diablo Blanco
Diablo Blanco

Gustavito wrote "Mexicans have a far-more-cordial relationship with Death". No mierda Sherlock. Just look at the "cordial relationship" the zetas, gulf and sinaloa cartels have with death. La cultura riqusima de tu pueblo has a long history of beheadings, child sacrifice etc so it makes perfect sense to put stuffed teddy bears and 40oz malt liquor by the side of the road to honor dead homies.

Mike G.
Mike G.

What about all the candles, flowers, teddy bears etc, etc, that were laid by the roadside in front of the hospital for GABBY in Tucson, what does that mean??

Duncan
Duncan

I've seen roadside memorials along highways in my home state for decades, always in memory of gabacho/as who died in auto accidents at or near the sites of the memorials. There's nothing particularly Mexican about the practice, as this pinche baboso culero should know.

together
together

isn't that a little racist of you ming?

Pepe
Pepe

Shouldn't you be out trying to bed down your sister, you sorry-ass Deliverance motherfucker?

Pepe
Pepe

¿Sacrificio de niños? Me imagino que estás hablando de los sacrificios de guerreros adultos entre algunos pueblos en el Nuevo Mundo hace siglos.Ysi quieres hablar de una relación “interesante” con la muerte, ¿por qué no analizamos la cantidad de locos asesinos en serie que produce este bello país?¿Qué no fuiste tú el que escribió babosada y media en los comentarios de la semana pasada? La verdad es que sigues eructando pendejada tras pendejada.Causas pena ajena; mejor cállate.

Bill T.
Bill T.

How is recognizing and appreciating the complexity of our culture racist? I don't hear people crying racism when recognizing (for one instance) the infusion of african traditions into American music.

Olivia
Olivia

"Sorry-ass Deliverance motherfucker." I am so totally stealing this. Preach!

JoseR
JoseR

Well said. Now lets put it in English so the Diablo Blanco can understand.Child Sacrifices?. I can only imagine you are talking about adult warriors from some towns in the "New World" from a few centuries ago.And if you're talking about an interesting relation between death. Then why not take into consideration the crazy line of serial killers this wonderful country has produced.Are you not he who wrote idiocy after idiocy in last weeks comments. Truth is, if you keep vomiting such stupidity over and over again, then you cause nothing but shame, just shut up.

 
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