Hortencia González is a Mexican who currently resides in Venice, California. In this interview, she talks about the Mexico’s cultura and its major challenges to overcome.
What do you say when you talk about Mexico?
That is a country with a rich and diverse culture. A place of many opportunities and possibilities. A place full of romance, fun, wealth, working people, entrepreneurial spirit… A place of rituals, traditions, colors and flavors. A place with great difficulties due to lack of order, lack of respect for others, untruths, inequality, corruption, impunity, crime and challenges.
What do we need to understand and/or change as Mexicans?
We still need more clarity about what we want and how to make plans and get discipline to accomplish it. Living in the moment is good but we need t be clear about we are going. The Mexican never thinks we’re going to die. Thinking that death is just around the corner is an experience that helps us become more careful with our time… How we want t spend it, how we want to live. Fighting for one's own happiness is a right and fighting for the happiness of those around us is a responsibility.
What is something that captures/reflects Mexican identity?
Mainly music, I think. There are songs that define us and bind us when we are away… “Canción Mixteca”, “Cielito Lindo”… There are songs that we dance to at family events like Sonora Santanera and Recodo… Sad songs by José José , Juan Gabriel, José Alfredo Jiménez that have transcended generations, social strata and geographical areas.
But is our kitchen, our warmth, our folklore, our dance, our jokes, our educational system and, of course, our history and political events that have shaped our culture, from the Spanish conquest to how the last election was conducted in Mexico.
What we have learned and/or exceeded in recent history?
We have learned to stop believing in a leader, a powerful party that is going to come and solve our problems. Little by little the middle class is achieving consciousness of the power of citizen organizations and the power of our voices and manifestations of our ideas. A clear example is the citizen movement 132.
What are you most proud of being Mexican?
My cultural background, my family, my parents, my grandparents… I’m honored by them, but that's on a personal level. In general I am proud our past, especially the Maya and Aztec. I take a ride in our cultural wealth, the number of languages, crafts, styles of music and dance we have across the country. That artistic sensibility of the Mexican Indigenous that I wish I could show the world.
I am proud that Mexico has the talent, the creativity the ability to be happy and to adapt to changes.
Interview with Hortencia González for Caras de México. Click here to read more interviews examining Mexican identity.