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<nettime> The Shrimp Prince in Mexico: sabotage or poetic inspiration by
Tjebbe van Tijen on Sat, 7 Nov 2009 12:49:12 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> The Shrimp Prince in Mexico: sabotage or poetic inspiration by La Chingada?

Prins Garnaal in Mexico/ The Shrimp Prince in Mexico: sabotage or  
poetic inspiration by La Chingada?

November 6, 2009 by Tjebbe van Tijen
When we shout ?Viva Mexico Hijos de la Chingada!?  we express our  
desire to live closed off from the outside world, and above all, from  
the past. In this shout we deny our origins and deny our hybridism.

[Octavio Paz "The labyrinth of solitude: and the other Mexico" (first  
edition published in 1950 as "El laberinto de la soledad"]

Prince Willem Alexander spiced up his state visit lecture in Mexico  
on environmental issues on November 4 2009 (as he likes to change his  
color from orange to green) with this little sentence: ?Let me  
conclude by giving you a Mexican proverb.

?Camaron que se duerme se lo lleva la chingada?.
(intended as ?a shrimp that is sleeps is washed away by the tide?)

The rather short speech (a full copy can be found on the web-site of  
the Dutch Royal House and I kept a copy in PDF format just in case  
the translation may be lost for posterity) had some other references  
to the Aztec empire as ?children of the sun? linking that to solar  
energy and the natural partnership of Mexico and the Netherlands as  
providers of oil and gas and at the same cautioning his audience  
about the needed restraint in its usage. The word ?chingada? does  
appear in the official State Information Service (RVD) both on the  
Royals House web site and elsewhere signed © RVD .

It had to be ?corriente? instead of ?chingada? with its historical  
connotation of violence as started by conquistador Cortes: molesting,  
pricking, wounding, killing, the violated mother and many more  
negative associations.
The prince thus has created himself a new emblematic personality ?THE  
SHRIMP PRINCE? or in Dutch PRINS GARNAAL (with its connotation of the  
word Prinsgemaal, the Dutch attribute given to the husband of a queen).

These are the opening sentences of a day and night long attempt to  
research all the sources and put this seemingly silly incident in its  
historical context, also documenting the lazy and low level rendering  
of the event in the mainly royalist Dutch press.

My search did lead me me not only to the past and the special meaning  
of the word Chingada for Mexicans, but I also discovered a lead to  
what seems to be a corrido music group that has played and publish a  
song with exactly the same "mistaken" title as the lapses of the  
Dutch crown prince in Mexico.

All this can be found at my blog The Limping Messenger, fully  
illustrated and documented.


Tjebbe van Tijen
Imaginary Museum Projects
Dramatizing Historical Information
web-blog: The Limping Messenger

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