Some of us are given to poetry. If men really want to ‘pick up’ a girl, they have to take advantage of this resource and rely on the infallible Jaime Sabines from Chiapas, the most beloved poet throughout the country.
No one has described the essence of love as he has in his poem ‘The lovers’: perhaps one of the most cited in those days of romance. But then, it has so many very beautiful texts…We Mexicans love Sabines because he doesn’t need complicated words to express just what we feel. In this respect it resembles the stanzas of our popular songs.
Because the thing is, in Mexico, before there was a February 14th celebration, singing about love was an everyday thing,with mariachi, the sones of the Jarochos, the Yucatecan trova and songs of the Huasteca…
Cielito Lindo is a good example of the sweetness of Mexican romance songs :‘That freckle that you have / Cielito Lindo, near your mouth, / don’t you dare give it to anyone else / Cielito Lindo, because it’s meant only for me!’
From Oaxaca, Yucatan, Veracruz to Guadalajara there are popular verses that have been sung for decades and which are part of our Mexican cultural heritage. For example, this verse from Hidalgo: “A bird in an orchard / told a flying bluebird: / ‘Oh, how nice it is to have / a contraband love, / Without being able to go see him, / like the one I have now!”
The number of verses with which the Mexican has sung to Love is immense and invaluable, because it demonstrates how our culture views love: a high dose of joy, a bit of nostalgia, allusions to our natural resources and the main ingredient: our unmistakable “picardia” playfulness.
In small town squares, young people often meet in parks: the girls on one side, boys on the other. Then, they walk around the kiosk in opposite directions so they can face and look at each other. On the next round, they offer a flower to the girl that they like. On the following round, if they see that the girl has retained the flower, it means that she has agreed to go out with him. If she doesn’t keep the flower, it means he did not want to and the boy has to pick another girl.