“Rasquachismo” – Hacer De Tripas Corazón

¡La Lowrider Bici!

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.

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10 thoughts on ““Rasquachismo” – Hacer De Tripas Corazón

  1. I’ve never heard the word rasquachismo before either! But I have heard the word “rascuache”. My grandparents used it to describe things that were ugly, unkempt, dirty or of very poor quality. Como….”Ese perro rascuache volvio a tirar el bote de la basura!”

    Thanks for teaching me a new word. 🙂

    1. Doesn’t it sound like a bad word? At first, I was like wait that sounds kind of offensive, but after watching the video como que me gusto… maybe it’s one of those words that can be good or bad depending on the usage and tone? No sé, I’ll stick to the positive usage because now I just like saying it, jaja! ¡Rasquachismo!

  2. What about the word: “rascuache”?
    Mi abuelita la usaba para referirse a trabajos hechos con prisa y sin calidad (from school homework to construction jobs) o a personas que le dan más valor al dinero que a las personas. Puede ser un Mexicanismo 😀

  3. Judy, eso sí como que se escucha más feo with that explanation, lol… hmm, the words that came to mind for me when learning this word were naco and chuntaro porque ya ves that depending on who’s saying these words, they could be meant as a compliment or as an insult. I think it was supposed to be something used to describe something chafa but so many people have adopted chuntaro and naco as a sensibility of sorts as well… just my thinking, anyway

  4. Very common word for me, “rascuache” I get some weird looks every time I use it. Cuando uno de mujer la usa suena inadecuada.

  5. In 2002 or so I went to a great exhibit in San Antonio that had a section on “rascuachismo” and “rascuache”. As a Mexicana, I agree that the term -rascuache- was not used as a very nice adjective. However, I think that over the years because of learning about horizontal oppression and internalized oppression I have made a commitment, as have many, to reclaim certain terms. That’s what rascuachismo is. It’s the idea that being poor makes us creative and that we have indeed been the first to be “Green” or re-cycling conscious. “Necessity is the mother of invention”, right? So sometimes we have to get a little rascuache to get our needs met. No shame in that game. c/s

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