Sunday, June 16, 2024

Got 1 min? Japanese ambassador hands out tamales in Mexico City

Japan’s ambassador to Mexico fulfilled his obligation after finding not one but two baby Jesus figurines in his serving of Rosca de Reyes (king cake) on Jan 6: he handed out tortas de tamal (tamal sandwiches) to street cleaners and other workers in Mexico City last Friday.

In Mexican tradition, anyone who finds a baby Jesus in their slice (or slices) of Rosca de Reyes on Jan. 6 — Epiphany or Three Kings’ Day — must buy (or make) tamales for a feast on Feb. 2, Candlemas or the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus Christ.

In a video posted to social media, Ambassador Noriteru Fukushima noted that he “once again” found Jesus miniatures in his rosca on Jan. 6.

“So I’m going to once again hand out these tortas de tamales to people who work close to the Embassy,” he says.

The video shows Fukushima walking along Paseo de la Reforma — Mexico City’s famous tree-lined boulevard — with a crate filled with the sandwiches colloquially known as guajolotas, or turkeys (the origin of the name is a whole other story, or stories!).

“I don’t know, hopefully [people] will accept them,” he jokes.

Japanese Ambassador Noriteru Fukushima was born in Mexico city, and is a citizen of both Mexico and Japan. (Mario Jasso/Cuartoscuro)

The ambassador — who was born in Mexico City to Japanese parents and is a dual citizen of both Japan and Mexico — ultimately didn’t have any trouble finding hungry and grateful workers.

“Thank you for always cleaning,” he says to several Mexico City street sweepers as he offers each a guajolota — a tamal in a bolillo, a type of bread roll sold throughout Mexico and especially popular in the capital.

A boot polisher and a woman with a small street stall also accept tortas from Fukushima, Japan’s ambassador in Mexico since 2021.

“Thank you for accepting these tamales and I hope you enjoy them this Candlemas”, he says at the end of his video.

“Arigato for always being so nice to me,” the generous ambassador said in a written message to workers in the same post.

Mexico News Daily  

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