July 24, 2021

"In what other films have you seen a protagonist of a native people speaking Mixtec?" | Culture

"In what other films have you seen a protagonist of a native people speaking Mixtec?" | Culture

In Mexico we speak in Spanish, but also in 68 other languages. According to National Institute of Indigenous Languages, almost six million Mexicans speak some of the 364 linguistic variants associated with 68 languages, which in turn belong to 11 different linguistic families. The Nahuatl, the Chol, the Totonac, the Mazatec, the Zapotec, the Otomi, the Tzotzil, the Tzeltal, the Maya and the mixteco They are the most spoken.

In Rome, the multi-award winning ribbon Alfonso Cuaron, you speak Mixteco or Tu'un Savi. Only that language has more than 90 variants and in Mexico it is spoken by some 471,000 people who have it as their first language. According to the American archaeologist Ronald Spores, "the Mixtec culture has been developed and maintained for more than three millennia in an extensive region that covers a territory of 40,000 square kilometers, which extends from the south of Puebla to the Pacific coast and the Valley of Oaxaca east of Guerrero. The tenacity and adaptability of this group for more than 3,000 years deserves everyone's attention ".

It's already night and Cleo sings a lullaby song in Mixtec to one of the girls she cares for. They finish singing it and it says to him: "Now yes my girl, to sleep". Turn off the lights of the house and go to wash the dishes. Then, before doing your nightly exercises and sleeping, talk to Adela, with whom Mixtec and Spanish interject as if they were the same language. The character who plays Yalitza Aparicio is based on Liboria Rodríguez, a woman of Mixtec origin who began working with the family of the Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón when she was barely 9 months old and whose life story is the basis for the film Roma. Libo, as Cuarón says of affection, comes from the village of Tepelmeme in the state of Oaxaca. The story of Liboria Rodríguez It is the story of thousands who come from indigenous peoples and speak another language.

"In what other films has a protagonist of an original Mixtec village been seen? Now I do not remember her and Yalitza what she does for me is very honorable because without having an actress' training she does it and she gets along well and above all she speaks in my tongue, "he says Nadia López García, originally from the Caballo Rucio community, from the Mixteca Alta of Oaxaca, a bilingual Mexican poet Tu'un Savi-Spanish.

"I am very happy for Rome. It is a film that is giving voice to those who for a long time did not have it: from the domestic workers even the native peoples. In a film of the caliber of Rome, with the director who has, with the spaces in which it has been presented and presented, it is being spoken in one of our languages, it is being spoken in the Mixtec language, what pride, as the Mixteco is all a symbolism, it is sound, it is musicality and a way of conceiving oneself in the world ". The story of Nadia, as of many of the inhabitants of the Oaxacan Mixteca, is about migration. Mixtec, spoken in the Mexican states of Oaxaca, Puebla and Guerrero, is the fourth language with the most speakers in Mexico. Due to the migration of its speakers today it is spoken throughout the country, especially in Mexico City and the United States where there are new generations bilingual speakers of English and Mixtec.

Yalitza confessed that he does not speak Mixteco and that for the scenes that required it he memorized the dialogues a few minutes before. Her friend Nancy García, who in the film played Adela, helped her correct her pronunciation. Yalitza explained that there were many complicated scenes in which he had to speak Mixteco because "despite my origins, I do not speak it. For those scenes, sometimes I had 5 and 10 minutes to learn the conversation, "he explained. interview for Twitter. "Lunfortunately, dFrom the community of speakers in Mixtec, the fact that the protagonist was not a born speaker has been criticized, also that perhaps the language could be spoken more in the film, but I feel, on the contrary, an enormous happiness, because all the The community is enjoying the success of the film, "says López García.

Daughter of migrant farm laborers who traveled from Oaxaca to the San Quintín Valley, in Baja California in search of work, she is also a migrant and now lives in Mexico City: "My mother never taught us the Mixtec language since she was little, she thought that so that we could avoid discrimination and exclusion, until that moment, I was not aware of the great pain that my mother was carrying, that pain became my inspiration to do my work, every day I work so that more stories like my mother's repeat, to eradicate racism and discrimination against indigenous peoples by not forgetting our words, to continue dreaming in each of our 68 languages, "she says. National Youth Award.

"It is enough to think about inferior jobs, people of a certain kind or think about languages ​​more valid than others, in people more valid than others, in works more valid than others, I think we should start right in rethinking what is Mexican, what is it that really makes us what we are, who says that something is worth more and something less. So, I think Rome invites us to do all that. "


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