Gotta say, never in all my life had I heard this term before. ¡Rasquachismo! Maybe I have and just don’t remember. That’s very possible given my short attention span and even shorter memory for random things. In any event, when I came across this video, courtesy of the folks at Latinopia, all the way from LA, I couldn’t help but fall in love with the word.
¡Rasquachismo! It’s been at the tip of my tongue ever since.
So what does it mean? Well according to quite literally el maestro, el Dr. Tomás Ybarra-Frausto, a renowned art and literary critic, rasquachismo is “a Chicano sensibility… an understanding of a particular aesthetic code in any particular community, and it comes out of the experience of living in that community… it starts for me with a saying, hacer de tripas corazón… meaning you make do with what you have.” ¡Eso sí que lo entendemos!
Anything from houses to cars, even covers, made out of bits and pieces that don’t necessarily go together could be described as rasquachismos. Quite literally, items that are created out of necessity. Nombre quién iba pensar that the colchas my mother used to make out of old rags for us were rasquachismos, jajaja!
“Rasquachismo is like all the movidas that you use to put together your car so it will run more, or to add harina to the frijoles to make it expand so that more people can eat. All the movidas are what rasquache is all about,” el profe adds.
I love it! Watch him elaborate in his own words in the video below.