Culture

13 Things You Should Know About Cholo Culture

Odds are if you grew up in the 90s you knew at least one cholo at your local high school. But did you know that the phrase “cholo” goes way back to 1609? Originally a derogatory term used by Spaniards for mixed-blood descendants of the Spanish Empire, the word seems to have evolved since then to have meaning outside of ethnic heritage. Having been reclaimed by Latinos of mixed heritage, the term has come to mean many more things. So for all you cholos, cholas, cholitas, and chongas out there, here are the 13 things you should know about cholo culture.

1. Why did they call us Cholos?

Credit: Wikipedia


So what is a Cholo? And where did the word even come from?

A Peruvian text dating back to 1609 features the first known use of the word. The writer, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, wrote the book in Spanish and it was called  Comentarios Reales de los Incas. 

“The child of a Black male and an Indian female, or of an Indian male and Black female, they call mulato and mulata. The children of these they call cholos. Cholo is a word from the Windward Islands; it means dog, not of the purebred variety, but of very disreputable origin; and the Spaniards use it for insult and vituperation”.

Credit: Wikipedia


Vega himself was the son of a Spaniard and a royal Incan mother and was one of the first Latin-American born Spanish writers to be widely read in Europe and enter the western canon. Vega may have been one of the first men to write down cholo, but it is heavily suggested the term predates him.

Later on, in Colonial Mexico, the terms cholo and coyote were used interchangeably to describe Mestizo and Amerindian ancestry.

2. Who let the Anglos learn about the term “Cholo” anyway?

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So by the 1700s, the term cholo is being thrown around in Latin America. So who let English-speakers know about cholos anyway?

You can blame Herman Melville for that.

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In the popular 1851 novel Moby-Dick,  Melville uses the term to describe a Spanish-speaking sailor.

The term showed up again in 1907 in the Los Angeles Express.  A headline read “Cleaning Up the Filthy Cholo Courts Has Begun in Earnest,” and the article repeatedly used the terms Mexican and cholo interchangeably. The term “cholo court” was used to refer to the poor areas where Latinos tended to live.

Credit: Wikipedia


Once the word was integrated into the English language, it caught on and was used to mean “Mexican” or “Latino” generally by those who would look down on them.

As Latino immigrants were recruited to work agricultural jobs in the early 20th century, their communities grew and white Americans grew to use the term “cholo” against them.

3. Zoot Suit Riot

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When the Great Depression hit in the 1930s, the U.S. started deporting people of Mexican descent. Sources suggest that between 500,000 and 2 million Mexican people were expelled from the country, including 1.2 million U.S. citizens who were deported illegally. Mexican communities in the United States struggled to keep their homes and families together, and Latino youth began creating their own “Chicano” and “Cholo” subcultures, as they were referred to by American newspapers.

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Zoot suits – baggy clothes that would hide the shape of one’s body – became a staple of early cholo culture. Barrios were full of the iconic look, and white Americans noticed. Tensions exploded in June 1943 with the Zoot Suit Riots, a series of pogroms against Chicano youth where American military men and white civilians joined forces to attack and strip children, teens, and youths of their zoot suits.

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Police aided rioting servicemen and at the end fo the riots more than 150 Latinos had been injured, with 500 Latinos charged with rioting and vagrancy.

Cholo culture was forever to be tied from then on to insurgent behavior and criminality, justifying the attacks against Latino communities for years to come.

5. Chicano Pride

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Long before the modern image of the cholo with facial tattoos, was the idea of the political radical from the 1960s. Cholo culture took a page out of the Black Power movement and fought back against police brutality and repression. Again criminalized by the American government, the Chicano Pride movement sought to address negative ethnic stereotypes of Mexicans in mass media and the American consciousness. The term Chicano itself was used interchangeably with cholo as a derogatory term for Latinos, but the movement sought to change that.

READ: 20 Things Mexican Families Do That You Didn’t Realize Were Odd Until You Moved Out

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The movement was targeted, like other activist movements of the era, by COINTELPRO, the U.S. Counter Intelligence Program that largely aimed to surveil and disrupt leftist organizations.

6. Cholos and Gangs

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With the rise of America’s criminalization of Latino organizing, Mexico and Central America saw a rise of deported Chicano youth returning to its streets in the 1970s. Groups that stuck together were not accustomed to life in Mexico and were largely viewed as American due to their appearances and language.

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Soon the groups came to be associated with gangs, mostly bringing together young boys and men between the ages of 13 and 25 years old. Many of the gangs from this era actually formed in the United States – like MS-13, Latin Kings, Norteños, Sureños, and the 18th Street Gang. The groups which were established in the U.S. continued in Latin America and cholos brought American street culture back with them. With few jobs and school opportunities available to them, the groups began to make alliances with local drug cartels based on particular regions and cities.

7. The Chola Fashion

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While cholo culture evolved in the 80s and 90s, it also became a part of the American fashion industry. Men moved away from the traditional zoot suits and towards loose-fitting khaki pants, white knee-high socks, creased jeans, and plaid or flannel shirts over white tank tops.

WATCH: Cholas Talk CHOLAS FASHION 

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Women, on the other hand, left a more lasting impression on American makeup and fashion with their signature pointed eyebrows, outlined lips, and heavy gold chains. The manicured black baby hair and slicked back ponytails were also iconic, referenced today in countless music videos and runway looks. Selena Gomez, FKA Twigs, Rihanna are just a few celebrities who have rocked the Chola look.

8. Cholo Music

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Who didn’t love the 2007 hit,  Lean Like a Cholo? If you didn’t know what a Cholo was by then, odds are you were living under a rock. Down AKA Kilo slid into the top hit charts with his tune on the cholo lifestyle, but he was certainly not the first. Back in 1979, punk rock band The Dickies recorded “I’m a Chollo” for their album,  Dawn of the Dickies

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Oddly enough, cholo culture would be tied to American goth music and oldies. The connection isn’t entirely clear, but “Cholo Goth” is definitely still a thing.

9. Cholo Iconography & Tattoos

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Of course, we couldn’t have an article on cholos without mentioning tattoos! Some of the most iconic body art in the world rests on the backs of cholos and cholas worldwide. Though much of it is associated with Christian imagery (think the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and countless crucifixion scenes) and calligraphy, cholo tattoo culture has also evolved some of its own new imagery. 

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One of the most iconic of this new tattoo world is the “smile now, cry later” set of masks, normally associated with theater. The image pays homage to the pain and suffering many people living the cholo life experience – a short amount of joy sometimes for a lifetime of consequences.

10. The Cholo Lingo

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Along with a mixture of American and Latino culture came a mixture of the two languages: Spanish and English. Spanish words slid into the Cholo English lexicon, and words like vato, neta, wey, prieto, and jeta became standard in graffiti, tattoos, and other written corners of the cholo world.

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What do those words mean? Well, vato is “dude,” wey is “dude,” prieto is “racist or uptight dude,” and jeta is “sour face.”

11. Cholos and Lowriders

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Back during the 40s and 50s, Los Angeles-based Mexican-American youth started redesigning cars, painting them and lowering them for aesthetic purposes. It became a cultural phenomenon and political statement, reinventing the American automobile for the Latino community.

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credit: The San Diego Union-Tribune

California wasn’t having it, and in 1958 the state outlawed operating any car modified so that a part was lower than the bottoms of its wheel rims.

Credit: Instagram @houstonlowriders

Cholos were quick to circumnavigate the restrictions. A customizer named Ron Aguirre developed a way of bypassing the law in 1958 by using hydraulic pumps and valves that could change the height of a car at the flick of a switch. The next year, Chevrolet would introduce the Impala, which happened to have a frame excellently suited for lowering and modifying with hydraulics. The rest is history.

12. Cholo “Homies” Toys

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If you were a Latino kid in the late 90s or early 00’s you probably remember these little figurines, also known as Homies. The adorable characters were created by David Gonzalez and based on a comic strip that he created,  The Adventures of Chico Loco. The toys have become collectibles across the world and spawned dozens of imitations.

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Homies became so popular the Los Angeles Police Department complained that the toys were promoting “gang life.” Some Latino advocacy groups, such as the Imagen Foundation, also felt the figurines promoted anti-Latino stereotypes. However, the fears turned out to be unsubstantiated – Homies have been shown to help American adolescents with their cultural identity and self-esteem. As the toy line has expanded, the various characters have also shown a greater range of lifestyle choices and possibilities.

13. Cholos Go Mainstream

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If you’ve ever played Grand Theft Auto, you’ve likely encountered cholo culture and characters. In fact, in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, there is a gang called “The Cholos” who dress and act exactly like, well, cholos!

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In this day and age, we’ve seen cholo fashion, art, lingo, and more go mainstream.

Napolean Dynamite featured two characters simply referred to as “Cholo No. 1” and “Cholo No. 2.”

Prayers, the cholo goth band founded in 2013, is fronted by the iconic Rafael Reyes, a.k.a. Leafar Seyer. Their lyrics explore the harsh realities of street life and cholo culture.

With cholo culture referenced at so many twists and turned in popular culture, it’s almost impossible to miss. Who is your favorite cholo?

‘Selena: The Series’ Finally Has Their Chris Perez And Los Dinos And Fans Are Getting So Excited

Entertainment

‘Selena: The Series’ Finally Has Their Chris Perez And Los Dinos And Fans Are Getting So Excited

hunterreesepena / jpoes13 / Instagram

‘Selena: The Series’ is coming together and fans are getting more and more good casting news. The Netflix series that dives into Selena Quintanilla’s childhood and early career is slowly but surely rounding out its cast. The show, which will debut at some point in 2020 is getting a dramatic overture, in the sense that every single bit of news related to the show has been drawn out. But we’re not mad. We just wish the series was out already. Here’s the latest development in the show

The cast that will portray Selena’s band, Los Dinos, has been named. Jesse Posey will play Chris Perez.

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Jesse Posey, not to be confused with his older brother, actor Tyler Posey, will be Selena’s love interest, Deadline reports. The Santa Clarita, California, native could previously be seen in “Stitchers,” the 2017 TV series. His brother, Tyler, is definitely the more famous of the two. You may have seen him in the series “Teen Wolf” and as J.Lo’s son in “Maid in Manhattan.” So we’re really excited to see what his younger brother will bring to the table as Chris Perez. Those are some big shoes to fill because the love between Chris and Selena was undeniable. Jesse is also a musician, which is perfect for this part. 

Julio Macias will play Pete Astudillo, the recognizable member of Los Dinos, who wrote some of Selena’s greatest hits.

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Macias can be seen on the T.V. show “On My Block” as well as “S.W.A.T.”

Daniela Estrada will portray Selena’s sister, Suzette Quintanilla. From what we know of Selena’s family (from the Selena movie), Suzette wasn’t exactly thrilled to be the drummer of the band but definitely came through as her own becoming an established musician. Today, Suzette is Selena’s loudest advocate who continues to champion the legacy of her sister. 

Suzette is only one of those responsible for approving of the series. 

“Selena will always have a lasting place in music history, and we feel great responsibility to do justice to her memory. With this series, viewers will finally get the full history of Selena, our family, and the impact she has had on all of our lives,” Suzette Quintanilla said a year ago to the Hollywood reporter. “We are excited to partner with Campanario and Netflix to give fans a never-before-seen glimpse at our story and highlight why Selena will remain a legend for generations to come.”

Other cast members include Hunter Reese Peña, seen in “Morning Ritual” Carlos Alfredo, Jr., from “Mutt and Chopps,” Juan Martinez from “Triple Frontier” and Paul Rodriguez, Jr.

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That last name should ring a bell. Paul Rodriguez, Jr. will play Roger Garcia another member of Los Dinos. He is also, in real life, the son of actor Paul Rodriguez and a pro-skater in his own right.

Peña, who will portray Ricky Vela, posted on his Instagram that he was beyond himself at the news that he would be in this new show. “Walked out of the shower this morning to a notification that I was on the news 😜 I’m going to be on @selenanetflix a new @Netflix series about my childhood hero Selena Quintanilla. I will be playing the role of Ricky Vela, her keyboard player, and songwriter for many of her hits. Dreams come true. P.S. This is kinda funny LOL they unknowingly cast my roommate @carlosalfredojr as a band member also 🤣🤣🤣 God has a sense of humor. Glad I didn’t give up.” So awesome! 

Just last month, the announcement of all announcements came through that Christian Serratos of “The Walking Dead” would be portraying Selena.

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While the news was speculation for weeks, the announcement finally became official when Netflix finally released a Selena: The Series teaser, which showed Serratos as Selena. We were thrilled to finally see the role fulfilled, especially because we knew this pivotal role could make or break the series. After seeing the teaser, including Serratos in Selena’s signature look, we feel she will do an amazing job as the queen of Tejano music. 

Other cast members include Gabriel Chavarria, Ricardo Chavira, Noemi Gonzalez, Seidy Lopez, and Madison Taylor Baez.

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Chavira, from the ABC show “Desperate Housewives” will play Abraham senior, Selena’s dad, and Chavira, will play Abraham Jr., Selena’s brother. 

READ: Watch: ‘Walking Dead’ Actress Ditches Zombies For Red Lipstick In New Selena Series Trailer

This Hot Cheetos Thanksgiving Turkey From Reynold Is Causing A Lot Of Tension On Social Media

Culture

This Hot Cheetos Thanksgiving Turkey From Reynold Is Causing A Lot Of Tension On Social Media

reynoldskitchen.com

Hot Cheetos have been the go-to snack for teenagers and young adults since they were released in 1992. These spicy corn-based snacks are worth every hot and painful mouthful. Have you ever eaten so many of these deliciously hot snacks that you questioned if you really even need a healthy stomach? If you’re a diehard fan of Hot Cheetos, this take on the classic Thanksgiving main course will make your mouth water. Reynolds Kitchens wants you to cover your turkey in a thick coating of ground-up Flamin’ Hot Cheetos this year, and we’re not sure how we feel about it.

Reynolds Kitchen wants you to spice up your Thanksgiving turkey… literally.

www.reynoldskitchen.com

“Kick up the flavor for your next Thanksgiving turkey with these popular chip flavored turkeys,” says Reynolds Kitchens at the top of their recipe, obscuring whether they mean that the chip-flavored turkeys are popular or whether they mean that the chips themselves are popular. How does somebody even come up with that? Who sits there eating their turkey dinner and thinks “You know what this really needs? A block of Cheddar and a family bag of hot Cheetos!”  But wait a sec, you have to admit it, it is an idea.

Would you try a Hot Cheetos turkey?

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On Friday ABC-7 shared a recipe from Reynolds Kitchens, which is the recipe website of the Reynolds brand: “Hot Turkey in an Oven Bag” (which is a turkey covered in a thick coating of ground-up Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, or as they put it, “hot puffed cheese sticks,” and cooked in an oven bag. Of course, Twitter discussed it. “When I was growing up a turkey was baked in the Oven then u had regular cornbread dressing……now they covering the mf in hot Cheetos no fucking thank you!!!” tweeted one user.

People are begging people not to follow the recipe.

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Nothing says ‘spice up the holidays’ quite like a cheese-stuffed, hot-cheetos-covered turkey. 

Few things defy Thanksgiving traditions like shoving a gigantic 2-pound block of cheese inside your turkey’s carcass and then coating all over it with crumbled Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. Because why would you make a basic turkey when you can have a Flaming Hot Cheetos coated turkey, stuffed with cheese and potatoes?

The recipe video instructs us to start with a 15-pound turkey that gets brined in salty water and brown sugar. 

After more than a few generous dashes of tabasco, it marinates. Of course, after you cover the turkey with melted butter, the crushed Cheetos — the star — coat the turkey. Oh but before the Cheetos, of course, you stuff the turkey with an industrial sized block of cheese.

Another Flamin’ Hot Cheeto turkey recipe went viral in 2017 courtesy of Reynolds Kitchen, which also offered Cool Ranch and Funyuns variety. 

www.reynoldskitchen.com

But this highly shareable, highly doable recipe video went viral just this past weekend, why? People do not find it appetizing. But honestly, who knows? It could taste amazing. After  all, it has the key ingredient: Hot Cheetos. What’s not to feel thankful about?

From covering elotes to becoming works of art, Hot Cheetos are a trendy, viral snack.

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Flamin’ Hot Cheetos have become ubiquitous from memes to works of art. In fact, searches for the snack have become an increasingly popular search on Google over the last few years, so it was just a matter of time until this idea surfaced.

As with all things, fans and consumers of Hot Cheetos have given the snack new and unexpected life. 

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Sure, Many people eat them as they are quite delicious and really enjoyable on a basic level. However, so many others have taken the snack and it into a culinary treasure, and it’s getting a little out of hand if you ask us: Hot Cheetos Bagel anyone? Or how about a Hot Cheetos covered Corndog, or corn on the cob.

So what do you think, would you try it? Or would you sooner chew up broken glass? Because we’re torn.

READ: Give Your Thanksgiving Turkey A Touch Of Diversity With These Immigrant Inspired Recipes