Saturday, July 10, 2010

Mexi-can? You Mexi-should!

Still feeling the aftershocks of last weekend's Latin Fever, I decided to partake in some Mexican Folk Dancing lessons on Thursday.

Pictured above: You thought I was joking. I actually learned Mexican Folk Dance.

It actually was a compilation of many different kinds of traditional dances, all of which the crowd was very eager to learn. There was even an insufferably happy family there learning the dance together.

Pictured above: Family man. There is nothing more nauseatingly adorable than a dad dancing with his little daughters. I'm sure this creepily happy family just stopped to dance here at the festival on their way to get ice cream, ride a tandem bicycle, and yell at each other in the dairy aisle of a grocery store about who gets custody of the kids after the divorce.

At one point, the dance instructor asked, “Who here knows Polka?” and WAY too many hands went up. He could have just asked, “Who here is over 60 years old and can't speak Spanish?”

Having exhausted all his dance knowledge that could be shouted into a headset mike, the dance leader bid us farewell, and the band went on.

Pictured above: the band. I enjoyed the guy in the back whose only job was to play the Tambora, a kind of Mexican bass drum. He looked slightly sad and jealous of the other percussionist's wealth of objects to hit.

Despite being half-Japanese, I'm sure many of you are asking yourself why the whitest guy you know is wading so deeply into the sticky tar-pits of Hispanic culture, surely only to get stuck and become a fossilized version of my former self. It is because I, like the preserved mastodons of old, am getting my party on.

I'm also learning a lot from our Latin neighbors in exotic South America, like Portugal. For instance, they don't actually speak Latin in Latin American, only Greek (that's why classics majors have to learn both). I also discovered the origin of the word “Hispanic.” Before South America was made up of many different countries (mostly “guay's,” like Paraguay and Uruguay), did you know that it existed as one large country? The name of this country was Hispanistan, a political Pangaea. This is why individuals from South America are known as “Hispanic” and why none of them are named Stan.

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