Dear Mexican: What is the origin of the grito?Not the one done in September to celebrate independence, but the one belted out during passionate rancheras like Chente’s “Volver, Volver.”
El Gallo Gritón
Dear Mexican: I think I’ve identified the Mexican “rallying cry,” but I need your confirmation. Why do groups of Mexican men seem to yell out this high-pitched “Aye aye aye!” business as some sort of battle cry or mating call? My brother worked on construction sites with Mexican men and has now picked it up.
Whitey Wishing for My Own Call
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Dear Pocho and Gabacho: Every male culture needs a battle cry, and our grito has been a Mexican’s best aural artillery for hundreds of years. But unlike the cowboy “Yee-haw!” or Indian “Hoka Hey!,” ours can slow down to express sorrow (the “Ay ay ay ay” chorus of “Cielito Lindo”), speed up to show happiness (every drunk primo), extend for a minute to exude machismo, or go off in staccato bursts of approval. Its origin? DEEZ NUTZ. Seriously: The only academic study I found on the subject is “El Grito Mexicano in Texas-Mexican Culture,” an unpublished paper by esteemed Notre Dame professor Jose E. Limón that the good profe currently can’t locate. And while I’m sure it’s great, its findings won’t matter: Whether you trace it back to the Mexican or the Moors, the grito is an expression of DEEZ NUTZ — that is to say, huevos. Can women do it, too? Of course — but only DEEZ NUTZ could think of a shout so, well, ballsy.
Dear Mexican: I’m an Asian — a chino, to be exact. I love Mexican culture, and I adore Mexican women. To put myself closer to the Mexican community, I visited Mexico, learned some Mexican Spanish, bought two sombreros, danced baile folklórico, and even sang “México Lindo y Querido” at a Chinese-restaurant karaoke night. Yet despite all my efforts, the most I’ve gotten from Mexican mujeres is a nice smile. How I can get them interested in a chino of 53? I guess maybe my grays shut them down, or they prefer hombres of their own raza. The only thing I haven’t done is bring a mariachi to the window of a mujer of my corazón. Should I do that? Will I be arrested if I do? Or will some jealous Mexican men come to chase me off with pistols?
Dear Chinito: Mujeres don’t care about how Mexican a non-Mexican guy is when they come a-courtin’; they care about romance, so you’re on the right path with a serenata. Any woman who looks down on an hombre doing that has a heart colder than Trump’s — but is still hella smarter.