The dead man to the hole

Although since September, after the national holidays, they begin to sell bread of the dead, pumpkins and sugar skulls, it is during these days that preparations really begin to celebrate, as we are used to in Mexico, the day of the dead, which has been declared by the Unesco, intangible heritage of humanity.

Octavio Paz wrote: “For the inhabitant of New York, Paris or London, death is the word that is never pronounced because it burns the lips. The Mexican, on the other hand, frequents her, teases her, caresses her, sleeps with her, she is one of her favorite toys and her most permanent love. True, there is perhaps as much fear in their attitude as in those of the others; more at least it does not hide or hide it; he looks at her face to face with impatience, disdain or irony: ‘If they are going to kill me tomorrow, let them kill me once and for all.’ So far our Nobel Prize in Literature.

It is enough to go through some aspects of the national folklore to confirm what was stated by the poet. To express that someone “got ahead of us” we say: He hung up the tennis shoes; came out feet first; he is watching the radishes grow underneath; bit the dust; it was petate; stretched the leg; it took goats’ legs; he is feeding the worms; he walks as a miner; delivered the equipment; the witch sucked him off; he put on his wooden pajamas; span; is doing the eternal meme; He sucked headlights and the clown took it. Since I was a child I have known the funny phrase: “People are dying who did not die before.”

Another area in which death, the skinny, the tilica, the calaca, the grim reaper, the pale, the bald, the serious, is present is that of popular sayings and sayings: “The dead to the hole and the alive to the bun “Or” The dead to the well and the living to joy. ” “He who dies to death for his pleasure knows him.” “Only the Christmas turkeys die on the eve.” “If it touches you, even if you take off, if it doesn’t touch you, even if you put it on.” “You are saved from the lightning, but not from the line.” “Where you cry, there is the dead.” “Marriage and shroud from heaven come down.” “Falling the dead and releasing the crying”. “Only the person who carries the drawer knows what the dead man weighs.” “On the dead the crowns.” “How did he die if he owed me.” “Skulls peel my teeth.”

He was not dead, he was partying

Perhaps where the romp and contempt for death is most exhibited is in the ranchera song. To the phrase quoted by Maestro Paz reproduced in this column, we can add: “If they kill me at the foot of their fence, they would do me a favor”. “Set me on fire if you want me to forget you put three bullets in my forehead.” “If they shoot me to death, they’ll kill me, then what.” “In which we are bald, you take me or you don’t take me.” “Mexico beautiful and dear if I die away from you.” “Just once with a single blow, why do you want to kill me little by little.” “Kill them, with an overdose of tenderness.” “That he loved Gilberto very much and killed Don Julián.” “The woman I loved left me for another, I followed in their footsteps and killed both of them.” These are some of the ones that I remember. I didn’t want to get involved with the narcocorrido because even the one who plays the accordion dies in this genre.


In Mexico we have the custom of celebrating the dead with an offering, a kind of altar, which presides over the photograph of the deceased, either in the pantheon or in the house, surrounded by marigold flowers and all things to eat, smoke and drink. favorite of the deceased and that probably caused the diseases that led him to the grave.

Manuel Ajenjo

Writer and television scriptwriter

The Privilege of Opinion

Mexican television scriptwriter. Known for having made the scripts for programs such as Salad de Locos, La carabina de Ambrosio, La Güereja and something else, El privilegio de command, among others.

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