Dec 30, 2016
Follow me on this walk through
The steps to become the king of Xoximilco
Imagine that your best friends invite you to a traditional Mexican party and you are not very convinced about either accepting or declining the invitation. The fact that you may know nothing about the food or music makes you feel uncomfortable, but let me tell you that you have nothing to worry about. So, my dear compadre (I´ll explain this later) here are the tips you’ve been waiting for: an easy guide, to understand better what you will find at the best party of your trip to Cancun.
As my abuelo used to say: first things first. As soon as you arrive to Xoximilco you may notice people calling each other compadre or comadre. But don’t worry it’s not a bad word… In fact, it’s the opposite, the word “compadre” for men and “comadre” for a woman is part of the Mexican vocabulary and it means close friend. So step one, everyone at this party are friends, I mean, compadres.
Perhaps you have heard that at Xoximilco the fiesta, or party, is aboard a trajinera… but be honest, the first thing that came to your mind was “just a boat”. Well compadre, I’m afraid a trajinera is much more than that. They are our traditional ride to the best Mexican music and food fiesta. It is also an homage to an iconic place of Mexico City.
Read the origin and history of this peculiar watercraft right here: What is a Mexican trajinera?
To warm up the fiesta you must play some skills games at la kermes. What is it? Basically is a little village fair with fun games for all the family. Pin the tail on the donkey, darts or marbles are some of the options you’ll find to spend some time and win a surprise gift. All across Mexico you can still find fairs like this one.
They are the perfect place to play with the family or friends but also to try the typical antojitos like the esquites. And I’m serious about this, you must, really must try them. They are a traditional snack made from mature boiled corn sautéed in butter with chopped piquin chile, epazote and salt and then served in small cups topped with lime juice, chile powder, salt and mayonnaise. They are delicious!
Now that we have started talking about food, you should know Mexican food isn’t just guacamole and tacos. At this party, you’re going to travel through different parts of Mexico only by trying these dishes. Every dish has its own history and it’s a perfect combination of spicy, sweet and fresh ingredients. There are two kind of people in this world: the ones who use the tortilla for making a taco, and the ones who just roll the tortilla and accompany the dish with it… choose a side, and please don’t be fussy and try the salsa!
Compadre, the moment of truth has arrived. The moment when compadres and comadres prove their courage. We have lost a couple of brave warriors on the road playing this electrifying game, I’m just kidding compadre. But certainly another activity to keep on enjoying this party is to play with the “toques-toques” machine. So everybody holds each other hand and try to sing and dance along the music of the mariachi while all of you receive a tiny and harmless electroshock… I know it sounds crazy, but believe me, it’s a really funny game where you can try and prove you are the man!
Mexican music comes in very different ways and every part of the country has its own style of music. And for sure here you’ll dance with every one of them, but it’s important to learn the difference between a mariachi and a “norteño”. The mariachi has a larger number of musicians than the norteño band. Mariachi music has trumpets and violins, which make the melodies more harmonious and elaborated, while the norteño represents the lifestyle of countries and farms at the north of Mexico. The special feature about this rhythm is the accordion chords.
Read more about the mariachi tradition: What’s a mariachi? No, it’s not a Mexican dish.
And now, there’s nothing left for you but to follow these instructions to become the king or queen of the dance floor. So as soon as you hear the mariachi or norteño come closer, start moving your shoulders and head at the rhythm of the song, side to side, up or down. Then stand up and tell your girlfriend, wife, or mother in law (in extreme cases) the words: “véngase vamos a bailar”, which means “would you like to dance with me?”. And then just grab your dance partner from the waist and start to move your body at the rhythm of the authentic Mexican music.
With this instructions, you are ready to be part of, and not only part but the life of this fiesta. So my compadre, let’s have a beer or a tequila shot and get this party started!
Have you ever been to a Mexican party? Share with us your experience.