chvnradio.com

Now Playing What just played?

THE COLOR

ONE SURE THING

Listen Live

Passion and instant familiarity are two aspects of Mexican culture that you will be greeted with immediately upon entering the Mexican Pavilion.

The third may or may not include an excited conversation about Mexico's emergence from the first round of the World Cup earlier this summer.

"It's a big soccer nation," chuckled Alberto Velasco, one of the masters of ceremonies for the Mexican Pavilion this year. "When Mexico scored that one goal against Germany in [Mexico's] opening game at the World Cup, there was a mini earthquake registered in Mexico City because there were so many Mexicans jumping at once."

Velasco immigrated to Canada 14 years ago. "My roots [are] completely Mexican," Velasco reflected, noting he was already an adult when he left his home country. The importance of family is one of the things Velasco remembers most from his childhood. 

"Our culture is very family oriented... when we talk about family, it's not just a nuclear family. We're talking about the cousins and the second cousins... all of them are just cousins, and aunts and uncles, and sometimes even the best friend, all of a sudden they become the aunt or the uncle."alma alberto LEADAlma De La Torre and Alberto Velasco love the chance each year to publicly honour their Mexican heritage.

Despite growing up in different regions of the country, Alma De La Torre, an entertainment coordinator for the Mexican Pavilion and a public relations officer for the Mexican Association of Manitoba, highlighted the importance of familial bonds, which was instilled in her from a young age.

"Mexicans do not know how to be by themselves," she laughed. "We love company, we love music, we fix everything with... good food."

It's that sentiment and warm community that Folklorama helps to capture through the Mexican Pavilion each year.

"I don't think it matters how long you have been away from your country," De La Torre, who moved to Canada 13 years ago, remarked. "It matters how well you know and how much you love your country. When you come to a place like Canada, you fall in love with everything around it, but you don't ever stop missing your music, even your language.

"It's just something that pulls you in."

Members of the Hispanic community seem to agree. Folklorama's Mexican Pavilion, in addition to giving Canadians a taste of Mexican culture, provides a place for Spanish-speakers from all backgrounds to gather and connect. "We're one big family, so-to-speak," smiled Velasco.

The environment of the pavilion breeds familiarity and warmth. "It's just an opportunity to talk about things that are important, but also things that make us laugh," says De La Torre. "If you are surrounded by Mexican people, nothing is too serious and no topic is off the table."

 De La Torre and Velasco each want their children to grow up knowledgeable and passionate about their culture, especially when it comes to language.

"Language is a big part of our culture, because if you speak Spanish... we make jokes, we show our appreciation or our love to others," De La Torre explained.

Secondary only to language when it comes to the preservation of the Mexican culture is food. "Two months without Mexican food is too much time," the two laughed. De La Torre continued, "sharing our food with people, talking about what we love is the biggest way of talking (sic) about our Mexico."

Mexican culture honours hard work and values the time in between, placing as much importance on a job well done as time well spent. "We believe we are hardworking people, we are fun people, not too serious people, but we know when the time to be responsible and disciplined is here."

As Velasco puts it, "it's one of those things that we want to keep alive."

Plans for this years' Mexican Pavilion have been in the works since the end of Folklorama 2017 and will transport you to the south from the moment you step into the pavilion. Themed “Para Bailar La Bamba” ["To Dance La Bamba"], this year the pavilion will feature the International Ballet Folklorico de la Universidad Veracruzana, performing a show never before seen in Canada.

"The word Bamba itself is an interesting thing," says De La Torre. "There is no actual meaning to it that we know of."

The song "La Bamba" came from a region in Mexico with very strong Spanish, African, and Indigenous influence. Some believe the song comes from Spanish roots; others say it originated near the Congo. De La Torre says it's the mix of all three cultures that contributed to the song as we know it today.

"We wanted to build the pavilion around the fact that "La Bamba" is a well-known song, but we wanted to show that the song comes from full context, a full culture behind it," explained Velasco.

You can visit the Mexican Pavilion until Saturday, August 11, 2018, at the RBC Convention Centre (375 York Ave., North Building, third floor).

Read more:

Around the world in 14 days: Ukraine-Kyiv

Around the world in 14 days: China

Around the world in 14 days: Scotland

Around the world in 14 days: Ireland

Around the world in 14 days: Métis Nation

Folklorama kicks off 2018 with official proclamation

Nationally broadcast choir show back for one day only

Dozens of performers from the popular Canadian TV show Hymn Sing are reuniting for one…

Female trailblazers honoured at Legislative Building

A new project to celebrate women who have paved the way for future generations was…

Several stabbings in Winnipeg since Friday

Winnipeg police have responded to eight stabbings with eleven victims in the past four…

How to get your kids back on a school sleep schedule

As the school year draws near, getting back into a good sleeping routine can take time…

Fire destroys Crystal City elevator and business

A fire has destroyed two buildings in Crystal City, including one the community's grain…

North End blaze under control, no injuries reported

An early morning fire has destroyed a North End home.

Manitoba celebrates 20 years of diversity through Provincial Nominee program

On the heels of Folklorama, the Legislative Building hosted a diversity celebration…

New resources for caregivers

Bernice Peichl has been going to support group meetings for over a decade.

Folklorama sees increase in guests

The 49th edition of Folklorama saw more guests than the 48th.

Local harvest helping fight world hunger

Harvest is underway and, despite the lack of rain this summer, is making the Foodgrains…

Goertzen to explore significant changes in education

New Education Minister Kelvin Goertzen says the Manitoba government is exploring…

Future of MCC falls into hands of new generation

Thrift shop stores in Manitoba are putting their fate in the hands of the next generation.

Small town festival attracting big names

One weekend every year, a town of just over 1,000 quadruples in size, attracting some of…

Winnipeg or Bust: Boler trailer enthusiasts set up shop over the weekend

Tiny trailers filled the Red River Exhibition grounds just outside city limits this…

Severe thunderstorm warnings in Manitoba

Some areas of Manitoba are now under severe thunderstorm warnings.

Santa Claus Parade hinges on raising money for new float

The Santa Claus Parade is fundraising for a new float.

Police respond to six firearms calls within two day span

Winnipeg Police officers responded to five calls involving guns during a 24-hour period…

Meth increase requires no change in policing

With the recent increase in violent crime in Winnipeg, especially as a result of the…

MPI says fraud on the rise, so it's fighting harder

Manitoba Public Insurance is stepping up its game in the fight against insurance fraud.

The Pas' water situation upgraded

UPDATE: People in The Pas are now being told they can safely consume the town's water,…