The Mexican lotería game, similar to American bingo, is still beloved after all these years, but one California artist decided that some of the outdated stereotypes it features could use some updating and has a whole new set of images — reminiscent of the classic ones we grew up with —that represent our modern culture.
“La Dama”? She’s now “La Feminist.” “El Catrin” (the gentleman) is now “El Hipster.” And “El Melon” is now “El Food Porn.”
So good, right?
Artist Mike Alfaro, who grew up in Guatemala but now lives in Los Angeles, came up with the idea to update the cards after visiting family in the Central American country and realizing how out-of-date some of them were, according to Latina-focused publication Vivala.
He took advantage of his globalist perspective, having lived in one country and now another, and made “Millennial Lotería,” cards that are a mix of both Latino and American ideas: “a reflection of who we are today, not the old stereotypes of yesterday," he said in the Vivala piece. Many of them are quite comical.
Other genius updates he’s done include the move from “La Escalera” (the ladder) to “La Border Wall,” “La Sirena” (the mermaid) to “La Selfie” (the same mermaid, but now with a cell phone in her hand) and “La Mano” (the hand) to “El Nerd” (which now depicts a hand with its fingers in the “Star Trek” Vulcan salute).
Alfaro isn’t the only one interested in updating lotería, or in its lasting symbol of Latino culture.
In 2015, artists brought back an East Austin mural depicting the lotería rectangles that had been painted over after having been a symbol for the Hispanic community there since it was first created in the summer of 1989. Lotería cards served as inspiration for the mural, but like Alfaro, the artists depicted images that had meaning to them.
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