Learn about Mexico and improve your English, especially your listening skills.
Voice message from Berta from Alicante
Recapitulation (recap) – summary at the end of the podcast.
Email from Alejandro
Hi Craig and Reza, I just wanted to say hello and tell you that you are doing a great job, thank you very much.
Since I heard the first podcast I have been learning a lot and I would like to suggest you talk about Mexico for your next topic.
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Officially the United Mexican States – UMS (Estados Unidos Mexicanos).
In the southern part of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico.
Capital is Mexico City. On 29 January 2016, it ceased to be the Federal District (Spanish: Distrito Federal or D.F.) and is now officially known as Ciudad de México (population nearly 9 million).
The population of Greater Mexico City is 21.6 million, which makes it the largest Spanish-speaking city in the world. It’s also the oldest capital city in the Americas. Mexico’s estimated population is about 130 million people and it’s the world’s largest Spanish-speaking country.
Mexico was a colony of Spain from the 1500s to 1821. Before the arrival of the Spanish, many Amerindian tribes had flourished, including Olmec, Toltec, Aztec, Maya, Zapotec and Mixtec, among others. Today the indigenous population is thought to be around 20%.
It used to be much bigger. In fact, land on 8 states of the USA used to be part of Mexico but was lost after the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848.
The flag is a vertical green, white and red tricolour. In the middle is the national emblem. According to Aztec legend, they had to found their ancient capital city Tenochtitlan (today Mexico City) where they sighted an eagle on a cactus eating a snake. The spot was an island in the middle of a lake: the origins of Mexico City. So, the emblem depicts this scene.
Mexico is made up of (composed of) 31 states. One is Yucatán. When the Spaniards arrived, they asked what the place was called, and the locals answered “Yucatan”. In the local language, Yucatan means “I don’t understand you”, but the Spaniards thought they replied with the name of the place.
Another Mexican state is Chihuahua in the north and shares a border with Texas and New Mexico. Although the Chihuahua dog’s history is shrouded in mystery, many historians think that they originally came from Mexico.
The Aztecs sacrificed 1% of the population each year to please the gods.
The Great Pyramid of Cholula, in Puebla, is the world’s largest pyramid. It’s 4 times bigger at the base than the one at Giza and twice the volume.
Caesar salad was invented in Mexico. Green salad of romaine lettuce and croutons dressed with lemon juice (or lime juice), olive oil, egg, Worcestershire sauce, anchovies, garlic, Dijon mustard, Parmesan cheese, and black pepper. Caesar Cardini, an Italian immigrant, was working in Tijuana because of Prohibition in the US in 1924.
Hot Chocolate was considered a sacred drink among the Aztecs.
According to Wikipedia, evidence shows that cocoa was fermented and served as an alcoholic drink as early as 1400 BC. Christopher Colombus brought cocoa beans to Europe in 1502, but Hernán Cortés introduced hot chocolate to the Spanish court in 1568.
World’s largest beer exporter – US$4.5 billion (28.5% of total beer exports. Second are the Dutch with $2 billion) )(Corona, Sol, Dos Equis)
Tequila and Mezcal
The Mariachi ensembles that we know today took shape in Jalisco state in the 19th century. It is still popular today, used to celebrate important events, birthdays, saint’s days and courting couples.
Here’s an example:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtRn2qmmOes
…and now it’s your turn to practise your English. Where are you from? Is there a country we haven’t spoken about that you would like us to?
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Julián Gómez (the mysterious Norman Foster!) Also, he slows down the audio to understand more. (or maybe we can speak more slowly!)
Enrique (kike) Gonzalo wants us to say his name in a ‘guiri’ accent. I think he’s from the Canary Islands
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On next week’s episode: Spanish Food from a British Perspective
The music in this podcast is by:
Pitx. The track is called ‘See You Later’
and from https://filmmusic.io
“Del Rio Bravo” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Photo by Jorge Aguilar on Unsplash