How ‘Wednesday’ Paid Tribute to Latin Culture – From Dances to a Tradition Sweet and Spicy Treat
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Not only is Tim Burton’s Netflix series Wednesday introducing a version of the goth teen fans have never seen before, but a Latin version. Leading actor Jenna Ortega explained her version of Wednesday is “technically Latina.” Fans will find Wednesday has many subtle references to Latin culture, from Mexica ancestry, classic music, and Pugsley (Isaac Ordonez) enjoying a well-known sweet and spicy treat.
[Warning: This article contains spoilers for Wednesday.]
The Netflix series has an obsidian necklace to Wednesday enjoying Latin classics
Wednesday takes on a more cartoon-accurate version of the macabre family. Ortega was right when explaining the Netflix series adds a more Latin spin to the character and her family. But the series does not make obvious examples, but smooth, subtle ones that fans have to keep an eye on. In the first episode, Morticia (Catherine Zeta-Jones) warns her daughter not to escape from nevermore. But she gives her a parting gift, a necklace. The necklace is a “W” that can be turned into an “M.”
The necklace is tied to Latin culture, as Morticia explains, ” It’s made of obsidian, which Aztec priest used to conjure visions.” According to World History, obsidian was extensively used by Mesoamericans and Aztecs to make tools, weapons, and mirrors and has some connections to gods.
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Fans will get various examples of Latin culture with the music Wednesday likes to listen to. Not privy to modern technology, she uses an old-fashioned megaphone player. In the first episode, she listens to a sad version of “La Llorona.” It is a common Mexican folk song derived from a legend.
A little flamenco and a deep dive into Goody Addams ancestry in ‘Wednesday’
Audiences might have missed the one small nod to Latin culture in Wednesday Episode 4. While at the Rave’N dance, Wednesday lets loose and has fun dancing. But by man means, Wednesday’s dance style is unique and incorporated different styles. But in a tiny instant, Wednesday dances a bit of flamenco. The popular dance has origins in gypsies of Southern Spain.
The Latin influences in the Netflix series do not end there. In the fifth episode, Wednesday dives deeper into the mystery that plagued her parents 25 years ago. After her father is arrested, she seeks her mother for the truth. In the Nightshades lair, Morticia reveals that the club used to be much more. It was initially started by Gomez’s (Luis Guzman) ancestor from Mexico. The ancestor is Goody Addams, one of the first settlers in America.
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But fans may notice another Latin example at the beginning of the episode. When the Addams family arrives at Nevermore for parents’ weekend, Pugsley is munching on a special treat. The yellow stick and bright red top are distinguishable for those of Hispanic culture. Pugsley is eating a Flautirriko Tarugos Tamarindo. It is a typical Tamarind candy stick in Mexico. The unique treat is a mix of slightly sweet and salty spices.
The Addams Family celebrate Dia de Los Muertos
The macabre goth family are no strangers to a few altars, butcher knives, and inexplicable items in their home. But in Wednesday Episode 6, audiences get another example of Latin culture, preferably Mexican culture. While Wednesday and her two friends investigate the Gates mansion, she finds a secret compartment. Behind it is an altar with a portrait of Crackstone.
Enid (Emma Myers) is scared and sarcastically questions what family does not have a secret altar in their library. But Wednesday answers, “Ours is in the living room. More seating for year-long Dia de Los Muertos.”
Netflix’s Wednesday did an excellent and subtle job of incorporating the character’s Latin roots and her appreciation for them. Let’s hope it continues in a Wednesday Season 2.
Wednesday is available to stream on Netflix.
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