janna: December 2008 Archives
A winner from the traveling Colombian national exhibition of short films, "Cien Miradas, Uno Pais," Cinco Pa' las Doce speaks of the loneliness faced by many during the holidays, especially so many mothers and grandmothers of those who have gone north.
"Para que piensen en aquellos que se quedan solos."So that people will remember those who remain alone.
"Es 31 de Diciembre. Julieta espera en su casa la llegada de su familia para la celebracion del año nuevo. Faltan cinco pa las doce y su familia aun no llega."It's December 31. Julieta awaits in her house the arrival of her family for the New Year's celebration. At 5 minutes to midnight, her family still has not arrived.
I remember how the three young men sounded singing this song. We were on our way to go bowling, something they had never done and that I thought they should try. The CD was one they had brought along for the ride, and when this song came on, we turned it up, and they sang while I drove.
Because I was still learning Spanish, I didn't understand all the words at the time. Now, years later, I sing along when I hear it, when I'm alone, it's impossible not to. But I don't when I'm with them. It's not my song, it's not my right, and I don't know the pain behind it. Each of those three boys left an aging father behind in Guatemala - one working the milpa alone, one making wooden furniture out behind his house with no son to learn his craft, one tending cattle without his youngest son by his side. Fathers missing their sons, and sons missing their fathers.
I could have posted the popular version of this song by Grupo Montez de Durango, but this home made video is more poignant. The comments that follow this video on YouTube are worth reading as well.