I bet you’ve heard this tune before - The Mexican Hat Dance:
Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is in the southern half of North America. It is the sixth largest country in the Americas by total land area. It has a population of 120 million people. It is a federation that has 31 states and a federal district. Be sure to take out a globe or an atlas or even look on Google Earth to show your children where Mexico is and to compare it to where you live.
For this Theme Day we will explore both modern Mexico and it’s past, including a little on the Aztecs.
For a taste of contemporary Mexican rock watch this live performance by the group Zoé:
Check out this fun traditional Mexican children’s counting song about chocolate!
We love to learn about different countries and when I asked what country my boys would like the next International Theme Day to focus on they said they wanted to complete North America and learn about Mexico!
You could have this Theme Day in May for Cinco de Mayo, when they celebrate the defeat of the French army during the Battle of Puebla or on September 16th which is Independence Day in Mexico and the bigger holiday. But you don’t have to wait for those dates to try this International Theme Day because any time is a good time to learn about a different country.
Print out the Family Theme Day Planner and decide which activities you’d like to do and in what order.
Here is a karaoke version with English translation for lyrics:
Photo: J. Rock
Along with music comes dancing!
Watch a sampling here:
This is a musical tradition that dates back to at least 18th century Western Mexico and is usually what people think of when Mexican music is mentioned. It is an ensemble group usually consisting of five or more musicians wearing charro suits.
For some Mexican songs and Rhymes in Spanish and Nahuatl check out this web page: Mamalisa.com
Watch the dance being performed here:
The music of Mexico is diverse and beautiful.
To learn more read here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_of_Mexico
Corrido music is a form of ballad, a narrative song of poetry that tells a story, usually old legends or love stories.
La Cucaracha is an example of Corrido. For a cartoon version of this famous Mexican song about a cockroach watch this:
One of the most well-known Mexican folk songs is La Bamba. It was transformed into a rock song in 1958 by the American singer, Richie Valens.
To hear Ritchie Valens perform check here: Watch Los Lobos perform La Bamba here:
The “Mexican National Anthem called simply “Himno Nacional Mexicano” in Spanish, is also known by the title “Mexicans, at the cry of war.” It was first used as the anthem in 1854 but was officially adopted in 1943. It was composed by a poet, Francisco González Bocanegra, for a Federal contest in 1853 and Jaime Nunó composed the music.
To hear the anthem and read the lyrics in Spanish and English watch here:
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Photo: M. Chambers