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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture File: Mexico series at SpanishPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring essential cultural information about Mexico, Mexican Culture, and Mexican People. In this lesson, we will talk about Mexican folklore and traditions. I’m Michael, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 11 - Tianguis
"Tianguis", or street markets, are fascinating remnants of the pre-Hispanic age, and they are still very important to the commercial exchange of most cities and towns in Mexico. The word "tianguis" comes from the Nahuatl, an indigenous language spoken by the Aztecs, or "Aztecas", and refers to an open-air market.
This kind of market is often set up at a different place every day of the week. In different regions of the country where we find high numbers of indigenous people, the regional market takes on a particular importance, mostly due to the fact that the population is dispersed. Tianguis are regional centers of exchange where the variety of products displays the creativity and diversity of work performed by the aforesaid region's settlers.
Great Mexican painters like Diego Rivera and Rufino Tamayo discovered a traditional component of what is now modern Mexican culture in the Tianguis. The color of the blankets hanging like parasols, numerous multicolored products like medicinal herbs, or "hierbas medicinales", spices, fruits and vegetables, even animals, fabric, clothes, or "ropa", and home products, offer a wonderful scene for any artist or visitor.
In general, the busiest day for the Tianguis is Sunday, when artisans and producers can get away from their daily labor to go sell their merchandise, or "mercancía", to do their shopping and to have fun.
There are also specialized tianguis that sell a particular type of merchandise, such as the Taxco tianguis in the Mexican State of Guerrero, where artisanal jewelry made of silver, or "plata", is sold at fair prices.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Are there markets similar to the Mexican tianguis in your country?
Leave a comment telling us at SpanishPod101.com! Until next time!