The Aztec Dancers

There’s a new troupe of Aztec dancers in the Zocalo. These ones are prettier, more colourful and generally hipper – I hope it doesn’t start a turf war! It’s great to see ancient culture living in the present though, even though I’m sure it’s not quite the same. And the definition of culture is open to question too.

Last year a Mexican gentleman took humbrage at my ‘Shhhhing’ the Aztec dancers. He was being far, far, far too sensitive! They were blowing their horn every few minutes drowning out all other sounds in the Zocalo, and interrupted me just at the important part of my little speech to a friend! My very little ‘shhh’ however drowned out nothing, and certainly wasn’t heard by the dancers themselves who were literally at the very other side of the square – remember, this is the largest town square in the world. To have made them hear me….well, I’d have needed to borrow their horn!

Really, he just wanted to moan at an American tourist, and insisted I should not ‘shhhh’ them because they were part of Mexican culture. He pointed to my bottle of Coke and told me, in a very disparaging way, that Coca Cola was my culture. As if I were an ignorant…!

I couldn’t let that lie! I pointed out that, as a Briton, my ‘culture’ was actually a hot cup of milky tea, not Coke. Not that I actually like the stuff, but still. I went on to say my ‘shhh’ was said with a smile on my face, in jest, and that I love Mexican culture. So much so, that I’d been living here for several years. Which placated him.

What I didn’t mention, is that even if I has been a US citizen, his cultural observations were still not quite right. Coke is more a part of Mexican culture, if it even can be culture in this sense, than it is of US culture. They drink more of the stuff per head here than anywhere else in the world! Indeed, its a greater part of Mexican culture now than the Aztec dancers he was defending. But I didn’t mention it, because sometimes it’s best to leave a person believeing the other is the ignorant one!


6 thoughts on “The Aztec Dancers

  1. I enjoyed your little story, very enternaining 😛

    Yes indeed sometimes it’s best to leave a person believeing the other is the ignorant one…. I’m sure the dancer in question politely placated himself with your answer so as not to further insult you, lol … for as a traditional mexika dancer myself, humility is part of our way.

    I guess it might be hard for you to understand the struggle of a native dancer. I’ve grown up in your country (which used to be our country hahaha!) with your Coca-Cola culture and let me tell you, it’s been a real education to know that in the U.S. almost everything is washed out, with no real roots to the land or its “culture”.
    No, it’s all very bland and “Coca-Cola” there’s no heart! lol…. and I have to say that my husband whom is native american put it best : You simply can’t teach “Americana Americans” how to be sensitive enough to be truly respectful of others because they were not born into the same beliefs nor were their parents or their parent’s parents… it’s just not in your blood.

    pretty sad.


  2. oh and the fact that you are from the UK is all the same to me. AW, just joking! I do hope you don’t take offense but maybe learn a bit more about the place that you are visiting before going on the net and showing everyone ignorance.

    The Aztec dances have been going on since time immemorial. When the Europeans came and forced the indigenous peoples to build their cathedrals and churches on top of our own pyramids, my people had no choice but to obey. It was either be a slave or die… hmmm, which would you pick I wonder, lol.

    Those dancers and thousands od other who exist in dance societies within Mexico pay tribute and honor to our ancestors by making pilgrimages almost every weekend to dance at these festivities and churches… not because of your European religions but because our pyramids are underneath the ground… there is a whole history having to do with these dances… why there done and why we shouldn’t forget them. The Europeans tried to wipe us out but guess what? we’re still here so please don’t shussh us in you’re very polite way in our own land… our dances are an obligation to us, to be kept alive for as long as possible not for visitors like yourself to try and be witty while out n about with your buddies, k?


    • I did try and let the errors you made in your first comment pass….but seeing as you insist! You made quite a number of mistakes in your ‘analysis’ of my post. Allow me to point them out.

      I showed no ignorance in the post, and neither am I visiting the country. I live here, and have lived here for a fair few years. My post touched on a number of points, most of which are facts.

      I didn’t ‘shhhh’ a dancer. Please read the post properly.

      The dancers are there to keep tradition alive? Maybe. Partly. Take away the money they earn though, and I’ll bet there’d be far fewer dancers. What does that tell you?

      As for Mexican culture in the present day? In many respects it is more American (as in the country to the north) than in the US. As I pointed out.

      What you entirely missed, along with the irony and gentle humour, is what the post was actually about. It’s about differing cultures, perceptions of those cultures, both by insiders and outsiders, and the reality of modern day Mexico.

      Now do move along and pester a different blogger.


    • You made lots of mistakes. I’m not an American, I’m not visiting the country, I didn’t shhh a dancer, etc etc. And to save you from embarrassment, I’ve deleted the rest of your nonsense. Which compounded your previous mistakes and added new ones.

      Your grossly inaccurate interpretations of the points I made, and your poorly informed assumptions as to what I know and don’t know are not worth my time replying to.

      This isn’t a public forum for censorship free chatter. It’s my blog, and I choose what stays and what gets deleted. Repeated nonsense gets deleted.

      Do move along and pester another blogger.


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