Friday, May 15, 2009

Introduction Latin America 101B: Mexico

May 2003 - Aug. 2004
Aug.2005 - Dec. 2005
Guadalajara, Jalisco, and Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico

Contd. from the previous article

003. Experiential Studies

One of the things I learned in Mexico is balancing out punctuality. This means similar to be appropriate, moderate, and/or easy.

Stereo typical of Latin culture may go easy on punctuality, and Mexicanos with Latin vibes too. In Japan, you gotta be on time, normally showing up to an appointment at least 10 minutes before. This was how we were taught on punctuality. However, Things are different in Mexico.

For example, a party suppose to start by 7pm. It would be appropriate to arrive there 1-2 hours pass 7pm. Why? If you arrive by 7pm sharp, they are gonna be embarrassed. I have done this. And I was advised, "oye, japones, suabe suabe". it was like, "yo, Japanese, easy easy".

I was also teaching Japanese classes, I remember that all the students come in a classroom and sit down after the bell rang. Once they were in a classroom, they were all focused tho.

It was like that even with adult professionals too. When I participated this seminar in D.F., all the participants sat down a while after the planned time.

Appointment with a dentist, I had a station like that too. It was 2pm, so I showed up by 2pm. The dentist wasn't there. His secretary told me that he was gonna be back soon, and I was conducted to sit on a couch to wait for him, just a bit. Ok, I opened a magazine and waited for him. A while passed, I finished the magazine. He finally came back with a coffee in his hand. I thought it came my turn finally. Yet he was like "Hi, Nochi. Ok, so let me finish this patient. And your turn will soon come. Sit down the couch and relax"... I was like "what? what the hell is the patient before me?"

For about first 6 months in Mexico, I couldn't understand this at all. Instead, I was frustrated, "Why? You lazy Mexicanos". At one point, my frustration reached a peak and I got mental hysteric. So, I asked for a guidance to this US born lady whos been in Mexico for over 25 years. She simply explained me that is just how it is in Mexico. Hmm, did I understand? I had to, right? Then I thought of myself, "is it just me having a tiny heart?" "Didn't I just trying to convey only what I want? without knowing any local rhythm?" "Am I subconsciously disrespecting locals?" So, I looked for an answer inside me.

Then my perspective got broaden, I thought. I came to be thinking like "ok, so... that's why we Japanese are said to be stressed out by tiny little things easily and tend to be luck of emotional expression?"

If so, my personal issue is part of that local issues. And if you look at this from outside, this little local issue could be called culture. And if that is culture, it is a cultural issue. Therefore, if you think of what to gain for the future of Japanese culture, acceptance gotta be one of the things we need to get used to for real.
"I'm in Mexico, go with the flow."

What do you think?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Introduction Latin America 101A: Mexico

May 2003 - Aug. 2004
Aug.2005 - Dec. 2005
Guadalajara, Jalisco, and Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico

Latin America, from the border of the US to the rest of whole area of America Continent. Super interesting cultures. I got attracted by Latinamerican culture especially Mexican one when I was living in LA. Slowly I became pulled by so-called Third World vibes of Mexico. Ay mis amigos en Mexico, gracias a dios, sabe?

Bueno, I lived in Mexico for about a year and a half in total from 2003 to 2005.

Introduction Latin America 101A: Mexico

001. Informacion General

Size of the land of Mexico is about 5 times bigger than Japan. An official name of Mexico is Estados Unidos de Mexico.

Although almost all of its 100 millions of population speaks Spanish and practice Christianism, language and culture of local natives Nahuatl is also cared for and preserved.

The northern border is faced to the US and around there the climate tend to be really dry that sometimes sandstorm occurs. The south is faced to Guatemala and there you can call it tropics.

And the city I lived called Cuernavaca which is located in little south of the central, about 1,500m above sea level. Cuernavaca got a nick name "La Ciudad de la Eterna Primavera", so all year around the climate is nice n mild that a variety of colorful flowers are everywhere all the time. It felt so good to live there, sabe.

The capital city Ciudad de Mexico aka D.F. is said to be one of the world's most crowded single city that over 20 million people live and work in the metropolitan D.F. So a traffic jam on highways and in subways during rush hours are like Tokyo, Seoul, New York, you know one of those the biggest cities.

002. Los Vecinos

Mexican ethical groups in my eyes.

Rate of blood mixture varies tho. In the north, local people tend to have lighter skin that indicates more Caucasians DNA. In the south, you see more darker skin locals that native blood is strongly preserved.

Almost all Mexicanos I met knew about Japan and they even knew the people in Japan aren't Chinese. So they called me Japones anyway.

Social structure of Mexico at glance seems to be very similar to those other Third World countries, that a very little percentage of group of people run the nation, its business and politics. In case of Mexico, descendants of Spaniards aka los conquestadores hold a majority of monopolizing business. As well as the gap between rich and poor are so obvious.

While many of light skin people live up in gated residential area, some dark skin people beg around the corner and sell some cheap products like gums and flowers with bear feet. However I didn't see homeless people, and I came to wonder why. I asked one of my field advisers Senor Polo who has lived in Japan as well as worked in the US. He told me something interesting. Unlike Japan and/or the US, so-called First World nations, families in Mexico don't give up on family members and throw them out on street. Hmm, warm, very warm heart Mexicanos.

And a stereo typical of Mexicans are positive and happy, and I think it is true. This good vibes are shared with other Latin American and Caribbean nations too. General impression of Mexican people are happy and easy while hard working and romantic.

One of my Mexican friends one day said, "Nochi, there is no way not to approach her when you meet a beautiful woman". He taught me so simple yet vital thing in life. His attitude, carrying positive vibes, moving forward, that's like respectful seems like working hard towards own happiness. Looked like they don't get stuck with negative causes.

This is like totally centered by Yang energy, sabes, Yin-Yang as Tao as Eastern philosophy describes the interconnectedness of the world.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

ダンスホール学 101: 食問題の向こう側 C




Dancehallogy 101: Behind the Food Issue C

-Hibikilla 氏と考える食問題の向こう側-

これは「ダンスホール学 101: 食問題の向こう側 B」の続きです.


「例えば火曜日の夜(東京渋谷のClub Amraxに)みんなで集まってParty Hardるのも一種の“野性の勘の取り戻し作業”だと思うんです。爆音でワァーっと独特の状態になったら、普通の合理的な思考とか必要なくなるじゃないですか、ああゆう場って。頭で考える場よりどっちかと言えば心と体で感じる場と言うか。」