In Mexico, it would seem that soccer is the national sport, for it is the most popular contemporary sport. It is practiced everywhere, even where there are no soccer fields, and Mexican people watch every single soccer match broadcasted. Nevertheless, it is not the national sport: first, because it was not invented here, and second, because it doesn’t show Mexican traditions and manners. The Mexican national sport is called “charreria.” The word “charro” has many origins: in Salamanca, Spain, it is the word for a horse rider. Also, in the Andaluz language, “char” may refer to a rider or a shepherd. Charreria could be defined as a blend of field worker traditions with labour made over the centuries in Mexico. A “charro,” then, is a man who knows how to labour his land and ride a horse at the same time. Charros are brave and show their traditions and homeland. But they do not simply ride a horse: they ride it making different figures, such as standing up on top of the horse, jumping obstacles, and trying to catch a bull or a horse with a rope. Though a “charreada” is performed mainly by men, it also includes figures on horses made by women. These women are called escaramuzas and are dressed up like Adelitas, in traditional Native American costume. Men, on the other hand, must be dressed up like charros (or, as the world would know, mariachis, for mariachis appropriated the traditional charro costume to represent Mexican culture). Charreria is then more a show of acrobacies made by women and the performance of men trying to catch bulls on horses, dressed up with traditional Mexican costumes. Charreria can be considered similar to rodeos or to famous Spanish bullfights.
Every year, in a different city, the Congress and National Charro Championship takes place. During this time, over 117 of the best charros, 84 of the best escaramuzas and 15 complete charros all over Mexico and the USA gather and compete.
Although this sport is considered the national sport, it is not the most famous and popular, for it is mainly practiced by country men and women. That is why international sport events and scandals are very shocking in México. They broadcast them on national and private TV programs, as well as on national radio stations, and in magazines and journals. International scandals have a very important role in Mexican society nowadays.
– by Wendy T.