Contemplation on Cockroaches

2e50126fdedc008c “Cockroaches (or simply “roaches”) are insects of the order Blattaria. This name derives from the Latin word for “cockroach”, blatta. There are about 4,000 species of cockroach, of which 30 species are associated with human habitations and about four species are well known as pests. Among the best-known pest species are the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana, which is about 30 millimetres (1.2 in) long, the German cockroach, Blattella germanica, about 15 millimetres (½ in) long, the Asian cockroach, Blattella asahinai, also about 15 millimetres (½ in) in length, and the Oriental cockroach, Blatta orientalis, about 25 millimetres (1 in). Tropical cockroaches are often much bigger, and extinct cockroach relatives such as the Carboniferous Archimylacris and the Permian Apthoroblattina were several times as large as these.” – Wiki

I wonder why cockroaches have been named according to the name of countries they live: American cockroach, German cockroach, or asian cockroach… Do the name really represent the character of them? How? How american cockroach represent the America? Funny… and easy naming without considering historical connotation of the roach.

La Cucaracha (The Cockroach)
Spanish / English
La cucaracha, la cucaracha, / The cockroach, the cockroach,
ya no puede caminar / can’t walk anymore
porque no tiene, porque le falta / because it doesn’t have, because it’s lacking
marijuana que fumar. / marijuana to smoke.

Ya la murio la cucaracha / The cockroach just died
ya la lleven a enterrar / and they carried him off to bury him
entre cuatro zopilotes / among four buzzards
y un raton de sacristan. / and the sexton’s mouse.

During the Mexican Revolution, La Cucaracha was a poplular political song to satire and ridicule the bureaucrats who suppressed the public demand for better social systems.

Today, it has been transformed into a gangster rap praising a life without dream.

During the Rwandan Genocide, Hutu extremeists made use of the image of Cockroach to represent the Tutsi minority’s racial inferiority, and rationalized the reason of mass-killing. They keep saying kill the cockroach! in the movie, Hotel Rwanda.


The cover of the December 1993 issue of Kangura. The title states, “Tutsi: Race of God”, while the text to the right of the machete states, “Which weapons are we going to use to beat the cockroaches for good?”. The man pictured is the second president of the First Republic, Grégoire Kayibanda, who made Hutu the governing ethnicity after the 1959 massacres. (From Wiki)

“The presence of the Titanic in folk songs and toasts indicates both the depth of its resonance and the diversity of its meanings. It also suggests something about cultural categories. .. Folk expression was supposed to be local. Organic, participatory, and pure, while popular culture was national, standardized, commercialized, and inauthentic. Yet the Titanic was a national- in fact international – event that entered “folk” conscious, directly or indirectly, through the standardized media of a modern industrial society. ….” — Another Possible recipe for another feeling … from Biel


~ by cjc128 on February 24, 2009.

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