26. syyskuuta 2010

el mate

Mun on jo pitkään pitänyt julkaista tällänen juttu matesta. Tän jälkeen kukaan ei voi enää ihmetellä mistä on kyse. Yli vuosi sitten luin ensimmäistä kertaa tämän argentiinalaisen toimittajan, Lalo Mirin kirjoittaman tekstin matesta ja muutama kuukausi sitten yksi kaveri käänsi sen englannin kielelle. Tästä voitte siis lukea, niin ei tarvitse enää ihmetellä, miksi se on niin suuri osa argentiinalaista kulttuuria.


"Mate is not a drink. Well, it is. It's a liquid and goes in through the mouth. But it's not a beverage. In this country no one drinks mate because they are thirsty. It's more like a habit, like scratching oneself. Mate does exactly the opposite than TV: it makes you chat if you are with someone, and makes you think when you are alone.



When someone comes to your house, the first phrase is "hello" and the second one is "fancy some mates?" This happens in every home. In rich people's and poor people's. It happens amongst loquacious, gossipy women, and amongst serious or immature men. It happens amongst the elderly in a geriatric home and amongst teenagers while they are taking drugs. It's the only thing that parents and their sons/daughters don't argue nor blame each other about. Socialists and capitalists drink mate, no questions asked. During summer and winter. It's the only thing both victims and executers have in common; the good ones and the bad ones.


When you have a kid, you start giving them mate when they ask for it. You serve it lukewarm, with lots of sugar, and they feel like grown-ups. You feel an enormous pride when a tiny bit of your blood starts "sucking up" mate. Your heart comes out from your body. Then them, when years go by, will choose if they drink it bitter, sweet, very hot, "tereré", with bits of orange peel, with herbs, with a squirt of lemon juice.


tereré on mateta, johon kuuman veden sijasta laitetaan kylmää mehua (tai vettä) -viileämpi vaihtoehto kesällä

Whenever you meet someone for the first time, you have some mates. People ask, when they are not acquainted: "sweet or bitter?" The other side will reply: "the way you drink it."

Keyboards in Argentina have the keys stuffed with yerba. Yerba is never lacking in any house. Never. With inflation, with hunger, with military governments, with democracy, with any of our plagues and eternal curses. And if some day there is no yerba, a neighbour does have and gives you some. Yerba is never to be denied.


kaupoista erilaista Yerbaa löytyy hyllykaupalla, kilometreittäin. Merkkejä on kymmeniä ja laatuja satoja, maustamatonta tai maustettua, esimerkiksi mintulla, appelsiinillä, sitruunalla tai kahvilla (kuva)

This is the only country in the World where the decision of not being a kid anymore and beginning to be a man happens in a particular day. No long trousers, circumcision, university or leaving far from the parents. Here we start to be grown-ups the day we have the need of drinking mate, by ourselves, for the first time. It's not something casual. It's not just because. The day a kid puts the kettle on the stove and drinks their first mate with no one at home, in that minute, they've discovered they have a soul. Either they are scared to death, or fatally in love, or something, but it's not just a day like any other day. None of us remember when was the day we drunk a mate on our own. But it must have been an important day for all of us. There are revolutions inside.


The simple mate is nothing else but a demonstration of values… it's the solidarity of taking those "washed up" mates because the conversation is good. The conversation, not the mate.

It's about showing respect for the timing to talk and listen, you talk while the other drinks, and it's the sincerity to say "stop it, change the yerba!"


(kuva)

It's the companionship rendered into a moment. It's the sensitivity to boiling water.

It's the affection to ask, stupidly "it's hot, isn't it?"
It's the modesty of the one that prepares the best mate.
It's the generosity of giving until the end.
It's the hospitality of the invitation.
It's the justice of the one by one.
It's the obligation of saying "gracias", at least once a day.
It's the ethical, frank and loyal attitude of finding ourselves with the sole pretension of sharing."


Täältä löytyy sama teksti alkuperäiskielellä.

Juomiskulttuuriin kuuluu kirjoittamattomia sääntöjä, kuten että "kiitos" sanotaan vasta sitten kun ei haluta enää lisää mateta.

Ihmiset juovat mateta autolla ajaessa, kaupungilla kävellessä, puistoissa, yliopistolla, rapun edessä, markkinoilla myydessä, työpaikoilla toimistoissa, koulussa. Siis jokapaikassa. 
Viime viikolla kun matkustin bussilla kymmenisen tuntia yöllä Córdobasta Buenos Airesiin, bussi pysähtyi alkuillasta bensa-asemalle täyttämään termarin. Kuskeilta oli vissiin kuuma vesi loppunut. 


Kyllä, bensiksillä on automaatteja, jotta ihmiset voivat täyttää termarinsa kuumalla vedellä, nimenomaan mateta varten.

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