Iriwn Sanchez stopped by the class to give us a lesson on Nahuatl culture and food. My favorite part of this lecture was all the etymology he gave us on all the foods we could think of. Here’s a list of just a couple he broke down for us:
- Chilaquiles= chilli aquil
- Tlalhco = Taco
- Centli =cob
The Nahuatl language is very metaphorical and imaginative. Many of the words are derived from how things look. There’s a natural poetry in the words. Here’s a clip of Sanchez reciting his poem spoken in the language.
We also talked about passing the language and culture down to his child and his actions in preserving and passing own everything he knows. Sanchez denotes that this is important because many times when we allow ourselves to assimilate without retaining who we are, we lose ourselves. That identity becomes lost and there is nothing sadder. Well, maybe Tex-Mex food, which he denotes has way too much cheese for his liking.
I took with me a lot of what Sanchez said with me. He said, “Cure the mind to cure the spirit”. There’s a truth in that. Half of the time we limit ourselves by believing that we can’t or shouldn’t. You can really be your worst enemy. All in all, I think that Sanchez;’s strength and determination to stay connected to his roots really showed in his speech.