Dear Mexican: What Do You Think About Chicanos Changing Their Names?

Dear Mexican:
Your column about Chicanos loving the Aztecs had me both cracking up and intellectually fortified. In the end, you wrote: “But, hey: If you want to change your name from José González to Nezahualcoyotl Moctezuma and go to sweat lodges on weekends even though you’re lighter-skinned than a Southern belle, be my guest! ” I would like to know your opinion about Chicanos appropriating indigenous names (for me, it’s appropriating). Every time I see my friends changing their name to something in the Nahuatl language, I cringe. Maybe it’s my own internal struggle, but I see changing your name as very insignificant. I mean, que ganas con cambiando tu nombre if you don’t even know the language?

Yo soy indígena, by immediate bloodline. I know Zapoteco, and I speak it with my family. Pero you don’t see me or my family changing our names. In fact, nosotros nos guardamos nuestra cultura; we don’t parade it to the world.
Tehuana Chingona

Dear Badass Tehuana: Big correction to your boast about zapotecos not showing off their culture: Oaxacans are among Mexico’s proudest ambassadors of their native cultura and aren’t afraid to show it off — and that’s okay. Similarly, it’s fine for Chicanos to change their names from their Hispanic birth nombres to Nahuatl ones if it makes them feel more in touch with their roots. The problem I have is with people who ridicule those who don’t adopt Aztec ways as vendidos and Tío Tacos; these indigenazis, of course, make their insults in English and use the Internet (created by gabachos) to boast that they’re more Aztec than Quetzalcoatl himself.

Dear Mexican: I’m a Canadian woman who has been traveling to Mexico lately. I travel alone and want to understand the “social” rules better. I was told by an expat American living in Mexico that Mexican men think all American women are sluts. (I assume that extends to canadienses.) His theory is that Mexicans see shows like Sex and the City and think it’s reality. I’m acutely aware of this when interacting with Mexican men, and as a result am somewhat guarded, which I really don’t want to be. Does this mean I can never have casual sex with a Mexican man again for fear of perpetuating a stereotype?
Una Canadiense Confusa

Dear Confused Canadian Woman: Noticias flash: Mexican men think ALL women are sluts. It’s the Madonna-whore complex, comprende? That said, don’t let pendejo heteronormative norms get in the way of you enjoying chorizo. Modern-day Mexican women don’t, so why should you?
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Gustavo Arellano
Contact: Gustavo Arellano