More than half of Mexico City residents are in favor of renaming the capital México-Tenochtitlán, according to a new poll.
A survey conducted by the newspaper El Financiero asked 600 chilangos, or capitalinos as the capital’s residents are also known, whether they would like Mexico City to be called by its pre-Hispanic name and 54% said they would.
In contrast, 42% of respondents said they didn’t support a name change while 4% said they they didn’t know.
Conducted earlier this month as Mexico City gears up to mark the 500th anniversary of the fall of the Aztec empire capital with a series of cultural events, the poll also asked respondents if they identified more as Mexicas, as Aztec people were also known, Spanish or mestizo (mixed indigenous and Spanish blood).
Mestizo was the most popular response, with 55% of respondents saying they identified as such while 37% saw themselves more as Mexicas. Only 4% identified as Spaniards and the same percentage said they didn’t know with whom they identified most.
Asked whether the 500th anniversary of the conquest of Tenochtitlán by Spanish conquistadores led by Hernán Cortés should be commemorated or forgotten, 80% chose the former option while just 16% opted for the latter.
Three-quarters of respondents said they preferred areas of the the capital where colonial-era architecture predominates, such as the historic center, while 24% said that they favored zones with modern architecture.
There are also numerous examples of pre-Hispanic architecture in Mexico City including the Templo Mayor, Tlatelolco and Cuicuilco archaeological sites.
Tenochtitlán, which means “place where prickly pears abound” in Náhuatl, was founded by the Mexica people in 1325 on an island located on Lake Texcoco. The legend goes that they decided to build a city on the island because they saw there the omen they were seeking: an eagle devouring a snake while perched on a nopal, or prickly pear cactus.
Source: El Financiero (sp)