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Cross-border views of Mexicans

Mexicans living in their patria and Mexican-Americans living in theirs have different names for each other, often used with a pejorative connotation. This 12-minute video includes clips of famous Mexicans and Mexican-Americans talking about how they are seen on the other side of the border, and also discusses views of social class. It is quite interesting. Among those interviewed are Gustavo Arrellano, who writes the "Ask a Mexican!" syndicated column published in alternative weeklies, and the actor Edward James Olmos.

The key terms in the piece are "naco" which roughly translates to "low class," and "pocho," which is a derogatory way of saying someone is Americanized.

The blurb for the video piece adds this:

Popularized in the late 1970s by the comedian Luis de Alba, the term “naco” is commonly used to mean “low class” but to a younger generation, it can also mean “tacky cool” in a fashion similar to the U.S. hipster appropriation of trucker hats and Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. Similarly, the term “pocho”, which was traditionally used in Mexico as a put-down against Americans of Mexican descent, has become a point of pride to a growing number of Mexican-Americans.


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Serenity Escapes

did el Pozolero get you, Tim?..donde estas?

Serenity Escapes

wtf!?...no other comments on this most interesting little vid?...the sad truth is most people do not care about words...synonyms, etymology, poetry, expressive epiphanies, nope, very few...most people just gab...I think that instead of saying that the term Naco translates as "low class", I would go with "tasteless"...knicks knacks, junk food, garbage throwers, dudes who give that stupid whisle at women, people who do not read, etc...lots of narcos and newly moneyed people are always flying the naco flag by building enormous tasteless mansions, for example...or those big Lobo trucks with "rines"

pocho is different...Mexico, as you know, has a serious love/hate relation with the USA...they love it if it suits their purposes or they hate and denigrate it if not, so a Mexican born in the states is often derided for some "naco" reason...

anyway, this was a great little vid

Serenity Escapes

one of my favorite terms, but it is often misused and one has to be careful where one uses the word...first off, naco knows no classicism.....there are lots of tasteless, "gente naca"..half of the people shown in the clip do not really get it, it appears....most people misuse words....I live in the ground zero of nacos, believe me!!....and people call me "fresa" all the time to which I inevitably respond "mejor fresa que naco"....I'm not from the trailer park , so what can I say?

a very good little video, thanks...I love how Trevi calles herself "una naca", almost boastfully!

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This blog is written by Tim Johnson, the Mexico bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers.

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