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17 What-If Scenarios: What If The British Had Colonized Latin America 

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Processes of European colonization around the world shaped global politics since Christopher Columbus landed on current day Caribbean islands, and continue to shape the cultural identity of the lands they colonized. Let it there be no mistake: colonization was brutal, illegal, unjust and bloody, and indigenous populations in what are now the Americas were decimated by centuries of abuse at the hands of Portugal, The Netherlands, France, Spain, France, and the United Kingdom.

Latin America was shaped by the mix between Spanish, Portuguese and French colonizers and ancient civilizations such as the Quechua, the Maya, the Aztec and the Inca. The flavors, rhythms and social imaginaries of the region are colorful and respond to the particularities of the European and Indigenous civilizations that clashed.

But what is the British had colonized today’s Latin America? We do not want to banalize colonization, but sometimes it is kinda fun to wonder about the what-ifs of world history.

1. The region would not be called Latin America at all

Credit: Latin+America+stretches+for+5,500+miles+from+the+Rio+Grande+River+in+Mexico+to+Cape+Horn+at+the+southern+end+of+South+America..jpg. Digital image. Slide Player.

Latin America is called so because Portuguese, Spanish and French all derive from Latin and are the most widely used colonial languages in the region. If English ruled, then perhaps the region would be called Anglo America or something similar. Sounds like out of Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984.

2. Everyone would have morning and afternoon tea

Credit: morning_tea-0qt3ptk6ilp22598qm2_ct677x380. Digital image. Warwick Daily News

The British love rituals and good manners and rituals, and the everyday pauses for tea or coffee and cake and biscuits. It would be great to enjoy coffee and ginger snaps watching the Pacific ocean.

3. In fact, té de coca would be made by appointment of the queen

Credit: te-de-coca-1. Digital image. Expo Indigenas

Indigenous Bolivians drink a concoction of coca leaves to deal with altitude. The tea would be loved in the UK and the royals would love it.

4. Harry and Meghan would have gotten married in Machu Picchu

Credit: Machu-Picchu-Classic-View-2-1. Digital image. NOMADasaurus

The British would have savaged the Incas just like the Spanish, but they would have held on to political power by incorporating the region into the Commonwealth. Harry and Meghan would have organized a lavish wedding in the Andean hotspot.

5. The queen would have a pair of Xoloescuincles!

Credit: 635885090580c438b00b437.11522973-breed-550. Digital image. Perfect Pets

Move over corgis! The Queen would have pet Xolos and parade them in Buckingham Palace. So cute.

6. Aztec-Indian cuisine would be a thing

Credit: 606_02_2. Digital image. Mexiclore

Let’s be honest: British food is very boring, so they have incorporated the ingredients from their former colonies in their own culinary traditions. Chicken tikka masala is the national dish of England thanks to the incorporation of Indian spices into their cupboards! Aztec ingredients would be fused with cardamom, cumin, fenugreek, and chives to produce curry mole!

7. Afro-American culture would have spread out even more

Credit: 3526183_1425435360.6653.jpg. Digital image. Go Fund Me.

Perhaps the most horrible legacy of British colonialism was slavery. Even though the Spanish, French, and Portuguese illegally traded with African populations, the British were even more brutal. African culture would have spread farther and deeper into the continent as a result.

8. The Brits would eat tortillas and marmite for breakfast

Credit: bc70e0577e8e20b4701f7b099a1b92e5. Digital image. Yahoo Finance

The English love to have yeast extract over toast for breakfast. Marmite is salty and definitely an acquired taste. It would be made better over warm white corn tortillas. This would certainly brighten up their mornings.

9. Salsa would have some Celtic dance thrown in

Credit: lord-of-the-dance-lst173350. Digital image. The List .

African influence would have eventually led to the creation of salsa music. However, the Brits would have brought Irish migrants and their Lord of the Dance moves. One-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight-maaaaaaambo.

10. Mexico would have been called New Loch Ness

Credit: 58559-istock-457394005. Digital image. Mental Floss

The British would have arrived at the ancient Tenochtitlan and upon realizing it was a lake, they would name the territory New Loch Ness in honor of the famous lake. Centuries later, people would claim to see giant sea monsters in both places and conspiracy theories would abound.

11. Cuba would be The New Isle of Mann

Credit: map1. Digital image. Visit Isle of Mann

Cuba would not be Cuba, but the New Isle of Mann, due to its similarity to the island stuck in between Liverpool and Dublin. This would have triggered a generous migration of Irish folk to the Caribbean and give birth to CariCeltic culture!

12. The region would be crazy for rugby!

Credit: Springboks_Reuters NewsHub. Digital image. News Hub.

Move over soccer! As part of the Commonwealth, most countries in the region would be head over heels over rugby. It is practiced in Argentina today, but in this alternate reality teams like The Mayas, The Sioux, The Inca, and The Quechua Eagles would have millions of hinchas.

13. Everyone would do a year abroad in Australia. G’day mate!

Credit: aussiewordoftheday. Digital image. Sion Nagh

As part of the Commonwealth, the region would send its youngest, brightest and most desmadroso minds to the land Down Under. Saying G’Day to everyone on the street would be common and some Australian colonies would start to pop up near surfing-prone areas. Everyone would have BBQs on hot days. Very similar to Argentinian asados!

14. Clocks everywhere and no siesta!

Credit: SyncronizedClocks-166311698-(1). Digital image. Wired

It is no secret that the British are a bit anal when it comes to time. The whole continent, from Canada to Patagonia, would run like clockwork over a single timezone. Siestas? Are you kidding? No time for that! Efficiency would be the norm, but life would be a bit more boring. Puaj.

15. Harry Potter would conjure up an ancient Mayan god to defeat Voldemort

Credit: mayagoddeathahpuch11. Digital image. Ancient Pages

Our favorite wizard would not only resort to Anglo-Saxon lore, but also to Mayan ancient scriptures. He would call an ancient Mayan God to be able to finally defeat the one that shall not be named. Just look at how badass the dude on the picture is. Ay, nanita! Also, Hermione would look like a tiny cute Frida Kahlo. Ron would still be a redhead.

16. Shakira would be called Lady Shakespeare

Credit: Instagram. @shakira

Shakira would still exist (because she is a wonderful force of nature that escapes the rules of time and space, thank you very much), but she would have played homage to the great bard by calling herself Lady Shakespeare. Thou hips shall not lie! Just see how at home she looks in London in this picture.

17.  Mr. Bean would have worked with Chespireetou

Credit: ap815014119540. Digital image. MSNBC

Could you imagine a crossover between the great Chespirito and the uncanny Mr. Bean? They would have formed one of the best comedic duos of all time as if Chaplin and Buster Keaton had teamed up. Damn, we now wanna watch that!

Here Is A List Of Christmas Gifts That Latinos Will Find Funny

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Here Is A List Of Christmas Gifts That Latinos Will Find Funny

mitú

Ah, Christmas, Nochebuena, Navidad…. the night of useless presents and crazy tías with their weird traditions. Life is full of mysteries and one of those just totally inexplicable things is why people keep gifting each other strange and useless things. But well, es Navidad y todo se vale, right?

1. A Guacardo Christmas Pin! GUACAMOLE!

This is absolutely cute and it yells I am Latino and love a cheesy Christmas. If you are dating a non-Latino give it to them to make them part of the familia!

2. Best flans pin pack…

The best gift for that mejor amiga who loves kitschy but fashionable gifts with a twist. Now we want abuela’s famous flan de cajeta.

3. Let’s be honest…. ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS OTRO PLATO AND WE HAVE A SWEATER TO PROVE IT!

Oh, Christmas, a time for family, joy, and overeating!

4. A conchas sweatshirt…. cover those tetas, mija

The little mermaid has conchas de mar, but you can gift conchas de pan dulce. What a gift!

5. We are head over heels over this Guacardo Pom Pom Beanie

The ideal gift for that hipster primo who is proudly Latino but loves his avocado brunch at the precio moderado de un chingo.

6. No jodan aunties, I am better off alone. Mejor sola sweatshirt.  

For that independent young woman in the family who dreads Christmas because people don’t leave her alone asking her about galanes. This sweatshirt makes it loud and clear: don’t mess with me!

7. A San Marcos blanket

Credit: http_%2F%2Fo.aolcdn.com%2Fhss%2Fstorage%2Fmidas%2Fd786070deacf0420a73639b7f3467a28%2F206054090%2Fsan+marcos . Digital image. HuffPost Mexico

We are sure you have seen one of these cobertores printed with wild animals and super ñero landscapes. We all had one as kids.

8. A six pack of Nochebuena beer

Credit: 1482108036_582789_1482109542_noticia_normal. Digital image. Verne El Pais

A classic Mexican holiday beer that doesn’t really taste that good, but everyone is afraid to admit that fact. Drinking one of these chelas is that the holiday spirit is all about.

9. An ugly abuelita sweater

Credit: Kitty-Puppy-Hay-Ride-Tacky-Cat-Lady-Ugly-Sweatshirt-Plus-Size. Digital image. The Ugly Sweater Shop

Thanks, but no thanks. Navidad sweaters tend to be conservative and super stuffy in all their polyester glory. Guácala.

10. Yet another tortilla container

Credit: s-l640. Digital image.eBay

Every Mexican-American household has a tortillero that sports some horrible flower pattern or an Aztec-themed adornito. One is enough, gracias por nada.

11. A kitsch as hell nacimiento 

Credit: 1c4c9bfc70419e086ce8a4c75cb4f477. Digital image. Pinterest

Ya, no más porfavor. Nativity scenes are big for Latinos and even though they won’t be used until the following year, if ever. Some of these nacimientos are ungodly in their ugliness (pun intended).

12. Baby Jesus clothes… yes, they are a thing

Credit: Divino-Nino-GalaVestido-Nino-DiosRopa-Nino-DiosBaby-Jesus. Digital image. PicClick

Nothing worse than the tías that gift each other weird Barbie-like clothes for their Niño Jesús. There are even versions with soccer jerseys.

13. DVD collections of telenovela classics…. there’s streaming you know…

Credit: Cuna_De_Lobos__Cradle_Of_Wolves__DVD_Cutversion_W__English_S. Digital image. Bukalapak

Please, mamá, no one uses DVDs anymore and I can just stream Corazón Salvaje or Silvana Sin Lana!

14. A hideous bufanda badly knit by your aunt

Credit: Photo Oct 28, 3 26 38 PM. Digital image. Memoirs of an Old Soul.

Tía Cholita is terrible at knitting but in three decades of ugly and uneven scarfs no one has been brave enough to tell her.

15. Horrible Acapulco souvenirs made out of shells

Credit: 3-a-animals-e1402328730919. Digital image. Travel Blog

Everyone has a pariente who visits the motherland and buys horrible souvenirs but only gift them when it is time for the intercambio de Navidad. 

16. Fake Cuban cigars…. do not try at home!

Credit: cohiba-2-1024×768. Digital image.  Havana Times

Repeat after me: Cuban cigars are legal now, no need to gift those Cohiba wannabes that taste like an ashtray as soon as you light them.

17. Yet another rosario

Credit: 3d2b18b2d64b37dc8c139316fa2caa58. Digital image. Pinterest

No abuelita, praying doesn’t make me un buen muchacho.

18. Red chones to get you ready for New Year’s

Credit: h37-1459.pycc_heidi-klum-intimates_217_velvet-orchid-thong-brief_poppy-red-cafe-creme_ff.1531783963 . Digital image. Bendon Ligerie

Nothing more embarrassing that having your family see that red thong a cheeky cousin gave you to wish you a healthy sex life for the upcoming year.

19. Decoraciones de Navidad: seriously, it is Xmas already, why would I need more decorations? Duh.

Credit: adornos-navidad-fieltro. Digital image. Manualidades

It is already Christmas, why would you give me even more decorations? Makes no pinche sentido.

20. A San Antonio so you can put it upside down to see if you finally stop being a solterona. Those people can’t understand that women can be single and independent! Ya déjenme en paz!

Credit: NwYU4 . Digital image. SDP NOTICIAS

Any single woman over 25 is judged by nosy relatives as a quedada, a spinster. Legend has it that you have to put this saint upside down to attract buenos partidos. Just don’t, I am dating myself thank you very much.

22. A bottle of cheap rum with a bow that probably cost more than the booze itself

Credit: ronjamaica. Digital image. The Clinic Online

One of those last minute gifts picked up at the corner shop. The cheap tío will probably beg you to open the chupe and drink it himself. No es justo!

23. An ugly handwoven table runner…. really, who uses those?

Credit: camino-de-mesa-en-crochet_7_900. Digital image. Facilisimo

No one uses table runners. Period. Chances are they will be forgotten in a kitchen drawer, pero no importa. 

24. Rompope filled chocolates that are bound to give you a terrible sugar cruda

Credit: 41QGyFZ8PFL. Digital image. Amazon

Those damn chocolates filled with eggnog are so damn sweet and addictive that they give you a sugar rush and then a bad hangover the next day. We love to hate them and hate to love them.

25. Super kitsch jewelry de fantasía

Credit: 616Fu9iM4pL._SY500_ . Digital image. Amazon.

Do you really think I will go out clubbing wearing that? These pieces of bisutería are generally a season or ten too old…

26. Stop it with the Navidad themed toilet covers

Credit: 3-unid-set-Navidad-elfos-Cubiertas-de-inodoro-higi-nico-Sets-Navidad-Decoraci-n-Ba-eras.jpg_640x640. Digital image. Ali Expres

They are not hygienic and no one wants to have Santa looking into their private toilet business. No one who is on their right mind puts what is basically a plush toil on the escusado, come on!  Qué asco.

27. A Luismi CD. Yes, un pinche cé dé!

Credit: lm. Digital image. RoMaNo

Some older relatives just do not get that CDs are a thing of the past and keep gifting these relics with the same recycled Luis Miguel songs… yes, we know the Netflix show was a big hit, but that doesn’t make these cool…. chances are they will end up as decoration for el arbolito de Navidad next year.

28. A Spanish-English dictionary that is oh so passive aggressive

Credit: 038427_FB7C506F5EC34FBD82C30195BA61EF50. Digital image. School Speciality

Being pushed by the relatives to perfect your español? This might be the best cachetada con guante blanco in the book. So you now know, mijitos, better polish your language skills or face the bilingual police!

29. What you gave them on the intercambio the previous year

Credit: 1513271683_590677_1513272873_noticia_normal. Digital image. W Radio

Yes, it is not uncommon for extended families to just keep recycling the same old regalitos for generations. But that is what Christmas spirit is all about!


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