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Speaking of Mexico. Welcomed to people and places of Mexico. The last program in the series speaking of Mexico. This radio series is produced by Radio Television the University of Texas under a grant in aid from the National Association of educational broadcasters. Here to talk about the people and places of Mexico are Guillermo Belden of Monterrey Mexico. Ricardo Adi Jano of Mexico City and RC Norris of the University of Texas. Thank you and welcome to speaking of Mexico today the peoples and places of Mexico. This is the last program in our series. Mr. BALLEN
Mr. Ariano in previous programs we have discussed Mexican history economics education art and communication. Why were none of these subjects should be rooted out in our discussion now as it seems to be rather difficult to do a general discussion on Mexico without referring to some of these topics. Now Mr. Belding our techno Belden. If you'll pardon my saying so your name isn't the most Mexican sounding one that I've ever heard. Well no actually it isn't the bell the name is Irish because we have been in Mexico for a long time so I wanted years to be exact. But it is not a Spanish accent. Oh is that a common occurrence in Mexico. Well yes in a certain way. You wouldn't say necessarily that it is very prevalent but you find a great many of the older families who have other than Spanish blood mixed with
some with the native blood and zone with no need of blood at all but who have been in Mexico long enough to where they are. I for the Mexican people. Well let's talk just a moment about your title. Architect o architect. Welcome. I believe that there are generally four titles that are. A person may put before his name as descriptive of his profession. Yes that's right. The architects the engineers the doctors and the lawyers are the ones who generally have the title of fixed before their name when they're being addressed either formally or informally. Now what would the lawyer have before his name. The abbreviation of there lies the means least in Seattle. In other words translating it would be licensed. I point out at this time that not only the lawyer but possibly economists and other professional men would professional men in the sense
of the social sciences such as an economist possibly even a sociologist might be able to use when in fact do use the title of least and see other in Mexico etc.. I recall one of them on the paper. Was here he did a program a parlous on economics in the English language version of the program he was introduced and referred to as a doctor but he has a Ph.D. in economics and in the Spanish program he was referred to as a place in Seattle. But I thought yes I think the young leader will back me up on this. Most of the doctors who are not medical doctors generally do not use the Dr prefix but some of them do. I mean it's not a general rule. Well I think that what is happening is that the prefix of an academic degree meaning Doctor is coming more into use in Mexico as the University of Mexico begins to grant these I've noticed it recently in the catalogue that
the university of nice you know there has the a doctorate in certain areas they are offering the doctorate in certain of the academic areas and I think as this goes forward that they will begin to use the academic title of doctor more and more. A lot has been used previously are what is generally used to denote someone of academic rank would be. Title proper sore. Well yes if he had ever been a professor not as Sara Lee if he had not been a professor were they the Diala Province or is used only for anyone who has been on a teaching faculty. But I think generally you'd say that he would be combined also would be part of a sort of decency Albo is indicating that he is it because after all in Mexico a sixth grade teacher is referred to as brother so there's obviously then if you are if you taught architecture at a school then know your title could be prophets or architect old belt. Yes it could be but it is not used that way you say of the architects and engineers mainly would not use a brother's order for their professional
title. I have been addressed as Dr as all of us are of my students at the university level in the technological but without the architect that was in the classroom contact letter and not in a professional practicing architect connotation. All these titles that we've been discussing belong to people who've been to a university. That's right. And we've had a program in a series on education in Mexico but we haven't talked on any of the previous programs about Mexican social structure. How would you describe Mexican society is there a middle class as we know it in this country is or if there isn't is or reason to believe that one is emerging. Yes very definitely there is one emerging it isn't anywhere as large as it is in the United States. The percentage of the population isn't as large in the middle class as it is here. We still have a Wal-Mart division between the upper class the middle class and the very definitely poor class. The division
I got to say is very much more marked There we go we have not had the industrial and commercial development that you all have had here in the United States. You'll find that those divisions even here are more marked in the agricultural sections as I was just going to point out that it's quite difficult really to make any arbitrary decisions as to who falls into what particular class for instance. How do you classify the owner of a small machine shop is he middle class is the upper lower class or upper middle class these are our rather arbitrary decisions that we have to make. That's right and it is difficult especially in Mexico for us to say that yes there is a growing middle class as such or that there are certain criteria whereby you can define a middle class. I know that some of the sociologist in this country by a law they have long used the term white collar worker are. Sometimes found using the term blue collar worker also which I would assume to be
well knowing the prices it's always on are not hesitate to say an economic step by the law. A white collar office worker but does not have a social structure connotation for you that might be translated to Mexico. List is interesting because actually you see I think that in the past class structure Asian in Mexico has been on the basis of one's familial background and now we're moving into rather than the Anglo-Saxon or the North American type of structure or Asian where it becomes based on economic position rather than merely the background that one has yet times of family. I'm glad you brought that point up because that is one of the main differences between your class structure in Mexico and in the United States. Like literally I just said up until now rather the last few years. Class station in Mexico was definitely a family background as fiction. You could be very poor but very genteel very definitely. In fact it's still possible that hasn't been eliminated by a long shot but it is changing in the sense that money does open. Or Money makes for
social mobility in Mexico now and this is a very important step I would think towards the industrialization of any underdeveloped country and the industrialization of Mexico and I would think that educational background might have some bearing on that. Yes it would have quite a bit of bearing as it changes. It didn't used to when it was exclusively a matter of birth actually education and economics didn't have any to do it at all. You married into your position you were born if you want to do it you couldn't even marry into it. Well let's this is brought us very close to the topic of the family unit in Mexico what what can we say about that. Well I say it is. Considerably more important in Mexico than in most of the Anglo-Saxon countries. You mean it is a more tightly knit unit. Yes that's what I mean by more important not that it means more and I like it but it is it is more in
evidence that it is here I think. Are these ties breaking down. No I don't think so not yet. I'm mad in the future when the country is completely industrialized. Them the necessary mobility of the workers I mean you have to work. Maybe when you're in one spot and then the next year or somewhere else depending on where your company stands you will tend to perhaps break that down a little bit. Not necessarily as much as it has been broken down here. We still have to consider the fact that the Mexican people are predominantly a Catholic nation and that of course does bring in a little bit closer unity in the family I think. Well the next question probably Rick calls for a subjective more than an objective answer. But do either of you feel that family ties might be stronger in Mexico than in this country where you get loyalty. Yes we have to look at it as Oh very much so. An
interesting way to illustrate this might be that the concept of caring for four elders is still very strong in Mexico in other words a responsibility for the carrying of one's parents remains that of the children. It can't be shunted off to the state or to some state agency. And that implies more than saying that your parents have a Social Security number or that they're named as a beneficiary on an insurance policy. Absolutely. So it means that you you have to provide their sustenance at that time when they can't do so for themselves. The the matter of our last names in Mexico I think says something about the family unit. He has some of the of the sort of infuses American people very often the use of both last names in other words the father's last name. And then after that the mother's last name. In other words the woman when she married is in Mexico does not lose her identity completely. Here she is Mrs. James so-and-so
over there she remains with her full maiden name and then it is their whatever they husband's name is I let's take for example a girl named Mario Garcia. Yes and she marries someone named Juan Perez. Ok then she would be married guys the other day base and then all their offspring would carry both last name they would be paid as Garcia with the words the mother's last name is after the fall of last night and that is really for a matter of identification more than any other purpose. I think it's very good in fact there's no confusion there may be 20 Joe Garcia's but there would probably be just one Joe Garcia but it's something like our old practice of Joe sort of great ideas which we finally combined into one name. That's right. What does the the family in Mexico do for recreation. How does it differ from what we do in this country course. We know that our
sporting events which an individual might go to but is for example a soccer game is not a family affair. Yes it can be. In fact I think soccer is one of the most of all the sports that have been instituted in Mexico that somebody can go to watch in other words a sport that you don't partake in yourself. I think soccer is the most popular at the moment as a spectator sport as a spectator sport. However I think that family recreation would take more the outing type of Yasbeck deliberately ignoring this I think you're right that they go into the country for that Sunday afternoon to spend the afternoon together and so on. Well that's the same thing that we have here and family picnics that would be the kind of part of the U.S. picnic that is right exactly what we could come back to. To sports for just a moment and. Mike some comments on how spectator sports differ. What is
popular in Mexico you have mentioned soccer as a US baseball and football than football as we play it in this country. American football not so much as a baseball. Baseball is very popular. It has been for the Baz probably the number one spectator sport but I think soccer has taken it over now. You get a great many more people watching soccer than than than the baseball games. I think part of this might be due to the fact that some of the top professional European teams in soccer appear fairly often in Mexico. And this isn't true of the baseball games in other words the top professional baseball players come from the United States and it's very infrequent that we have a team from the United States in Mexico. You know the truth in other words a skill that is after all a spectator sport is more enjoyable if the teams that are playing it are highly skilled. That's right. And in soccer this is very frequently the case. And when you pick up a Mexican newspaper and see that football is going to be played
that evidence means soccer unless it's football and any kind of gun that's a way you can tell it will be modified it with the Americano after it. That's right. The Parmalee. In Mexico I have I have noted as an interesting way of bringing about a marriage and its and its courtship relationship during its courtship customs. Rather I should say I did because what I want to ask is are changes coming about there. Very definitely I was just going to say that I think that this is a stereotype that's being carried over that Mexican courtship customs are changing and have changed radically in in even such a short period as the last 10 years. Yeah. And what were some of these customs that have changed. Well I'd say to begin with the holdover from the old European custom family very often prearranged a marriage between their children because there they weren't as strong minded about it as they were in Europe many years ago I mean if when the children finally grew up they they were violent they were
not compatible and of course they didn't actually force them into it. But there was a certain degree of prearrangement in marriage because when they let the courtship take its normal course after they brought together but there was a certain amount of that. Or did marriage brokers as such actually exist no I don't think I don't think so I don't recall hearing anything of this or anything like that. A friend of the family would make the arrangements or the heads of the five but he generally would be just to say a tacit agreement between families. Exactly and very often it wasn't even spoken of I suppose a social lines were closely observed and all we ever do this is the same situation that prevailed in the United States in the south the same type of thing it was just understood that there were certain families that were fair game so to speak for marriage and it was looked upon with great disfavor to go outside of the family or to plantations would marry you would have to offer them this letter of a coming together there to go to merge.
And you think this is changing now that there is shall we say more free will more free choice only part of the marriage market particularly in the northern part of the country where the emancipation of the woman generally throughout Mexico in the more wealthy in the more industrial centers and this means I would think in the more advanced in the sense of these older social customs falling by the side that the Mexican woman in being allowed for instance to work this is a recent phenomenon in Mexico. Mexico City it's only in the last oh in the last eight or 10 years that you've had women clerks at the stores. And this is necessarily broken down much of the rigidity in the marriage structure you do find women holding quite a few jobs in Mexican business. So it is very definitely a secretarial and not only that you find women from the so-called nice families. I mean yes when holding a guy would these be married women who are helping to add to the family economy. You know I'd say that I'd say they were in a minority generally unmarried women who were working
in the position of the woman in the family when basically when they were children is quite a bit different than it is here in the States. Married Woman tacitly agreed with her other than that once he marries you'll stay home take care of the house and family. Or She tacitly agrees that he's going to work. Yeah same thing we are beginning to hear the expression in this country. Blonde scholarship which refers to a wife who works to help put her husband through college or university. Do you find that in Mexico. I've never found it. At least I have heard of any. There must be some cases but there are so far and few of our Between that I just have never heard what extent do you have married. Well I was going to point out I'm just finishing school this is probably the reason that in Mexico still there are very small numbers of married couples attending a
university together simply because marriage isn't it isn't carried out as soon as it is in the US a man that is married at the age of 25 There is considered still somewhat of a child prodigy for instance as the woman may marry much younger but men generally tend to wait until the late 20s early 30s to get married and by this time those that have gone or would have gone on to a university education have completed it. Right well the matter of the chaperone. We still find that in Mexico very much anymore. Imagine you still find it in some of the older sections of the country the central portion that are there's still a little bit more isolated from the industrial and and I'd say the American influence you might still find a certain amount of chaperoning not as as rigid as it used to be where the young lady of the family just couldn't ever get out of sight of the shepherd. I don't say that having them or
they are still chaperon doing from dances and parties but once they're there with their left pretty much on their own. Well the practice of walking around the plaza on Saturday evening do we still find that in Mexico. Yes not overall but I'd say 90 percent of the cities or towns still practice it more so in some parts than in other provinces in Monterey where you would think it would have gone by the way is one of the places where the rights of the most majority are ya know why would you describe this. This practice process just what happens there. Well I'd rather ask this question of Mr. Beilin because to be very frank in Mexico City I haven't seen this too much simply because this city is so large that in those places where it is carried out we don't have too much or I did personally didn't have too much contact with it. I know that in Monterrey still for instance my my trip recently there I noticed that in the main plaza in the
central plaza that this was very definitely going on Sunday evening. Yes it's still haven't very much there and I can see why that has not continued in Mexico City unless you still fight it in the smaller neighborhood bloodless. But my schools it is too large for that now. But moderator as those. Well you asked me to explain what happened. Actually it's a holdover from the time when boys and girls could not go out together on dates. In other words that was a common meeting ground for the boys and the girls of the unmarried status that all the girls would walk around in one direction either accompanied by their chaperones at that time or now with a group of other friends and then the boy would walk around in the other direction and they just look at each other for a while. And after drove a dime's going around and find somebody that you like or that you know or that you would like to accompany. Well then you. So I walked over and asked with they would accompany the boy asked the girl boy girl yes. And then you remove them from the girls line and take them all there into the couples
line that's where that makes three circles going around the Single Girl line the single boy line and the couple and I assume the music is going on. Yes as always generally Sousa marches or something like that. Sousa marches Yes and No. The local fire department band or something no they're generally miniscule than miniscule bands but the last time that I witnessed this taking place in Monterey I noticed that there were quite a few tourist around watching and one or two of the older ones. I even joined in the line of march. Yes. Is tourism quite a business in Monterey are. Let's broaden that and say throughout Mexico. Yes I would say I would like the broader drama a little bit better because the moderate is not a tourist city I mean it doesn't cater particularly to the tourist trade like so many of them do. My RE is not only normal industrial center but of course being on the doors route
when they there there's bound to be a great number of tours in moderate. If I'm not mistaken I believe that tourism is the third industry in Mexico if you leave all of the industry yes industry without smokestack That's why I think this is what they prefer to do it very definitely is a very important factor in the gum of the country. Well I suppose that with tourism trade with tourist requires are a comfortable language facility in English. Yes very definitely does. What percentage. If we could arrive at such a figure of our Mexican population you think has English as a second language. That's a hard one to say. It varies very much in each part of the country. Moderate I'd say of a hundred thousand population I'd say of about about a 10 percent or 15 percent but very high. Yes it depends also on the particular type of
group of people that you're talking about I noticed recently on this in this visit to Monterey we went out to horsetail falls with the rest of the tours and the border drivers speak English that's right. So if you're in the trade so to speak the chances of you speaking English are quite good in fact I'd say they'd probably go as high as 90 percent. But if you're not normally in the trade that requires this. Yeah more of the like you say I think you're right. Those are they're actually working with tourist constantly. I'd say it would be very nearly 90 percent or with or with business generally business generally the percentage I think would be slightly lower but it's still very high. The hotels you can usually count on English being spoken. I'd say about 100 percent of the A class hotel cab drivers cab drivers Yes I think most of them would. In other words and as we've said any Mexican who has occasion in his line of business to have dealings with
visitors from this country is going to be expected to be able to help you in English yet at least have a certain general knowledge of it. Not only that I might point out that for instance on the police force of Mexico City there are a number of policemen that you notice have a little American flag on their chest and this means that they're bilingual. Yes and I think this is the case in Montreal Jazz that's what. But I wonder if they would need a third language if we could call English the second language in Mexico as well I'd say that in Mexico City yes not in Monterey but Mexico City is quite a large enough capital now to where the gum very cosmopolitan and that little American flag that was dry you know speaking of right now you'll find that several of the policeman in the downtown section particularly have five or six flags on their jets. One man would. Yes that denotes the language that he speaks in. But we've gotten down to Mexico City down into the federal district down
into the very fertile. Farming section of Mexico City. I wonder if we could take just a brief look in the time remaining at the geography of the country. It's my feeling that in Mexico you tend to speak more in terms of up and down and how far up or how far down it is and how far across it is yes that's true. The drain of red ever there was more vertical than in the United States. And that's very logical because we have the same ranges of mountains that we have the United States but they have been constructed into about half the width. So you're bound to have a dramatic amount of verticality in your drawing. And I suppose I would also call for some rather striking changes in climate. Yes very definitely as you go up to climate of course becomes cooler and this means that you have somewhat of a concentration in these higher altitudes because
after all air conditioning is a recent thing and not only that the disease I think is much less prevalent at a higher altitude than at some of the lower Tropical that altitude at right such as around a cruise for some of the are down in the extreme southern port extreme southern portion out I would say would be the one that was the least populated because of that reason tropical actually jungles actually has the geography of Mexico tended to cut some of Mexico off from itself and to make isolated valleys which your communities unto themselves and tend to be more all that badly than OB Mexico own geography very definitely has cut sections of Mexico off not necessarily in terms of valleys but you can take the entire southern region of Mexico this is very undeveloped as a result of their geography like communication right at the moment. But this is being overcome. Yes I think we've been making great strides in that direction that the highway system is being expanded
dramatically in the last two administrations particularly and it sounds to me then that. Communications does loom as one of the big things that Mexico is using as a means to advance. I would say to be the number one thing the number one thing and I'm afraid our number one time is up. Thank you very much architect abound in player Richard on ya know being with us a few people some places of Mexico. This has been people and places of Mexico. The last program in the series speaking of Mexico this special series of radio programs was produced by our CNR as far Radio-TV the University of Texas under our grant in aid from the National Association of educational broadcasters series director was Ben ard Crocker technical supervision Jay Wimberly. Speaking of Mexico was also produced in Spanish far broadcast in Mexico under the title of
Speaking of Mexico: English
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This series discusses issues related to Mexican life, government, and culture. This is the English-language version of Speaking Of Mexico.
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Chicago: “Speaking of Mexico: English; 6,” 1962-00-00, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed November 28, 2022,
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