jueves, 21 de junio de 2012

A Sanjuanero Post... For Gringos

Hello and welcome to a new edition of "Sanjuanero for gringos". Throughout the course of this lecture, you will learn about the meaning of being a true Opita (that's what other Colombians call us people from Huila state). You will also learn about the term "Péguese la rodadita," which according to Google translator means "Stick the rodadita to yourself."

The "Rodadita" refers to the act of traveling to the city of Neiva (my hometown), state of Huila, Colombia during the final days of June, when the "Saint Peter" festival takes place. This festival is usually acompanied by lots of aguardiente drinking, parade watching, beauty queen ogling, maizena throwing, and bambuco dancing. Speaking of the latter, pretty much the whole festival revolves around a series of beauty pageants in which female contestants from every state compete to determine who has not only the best boob job, but also who is the most skilled "Sanjuanero" dancer.

The theme song of the festivities (and thus the song used to judge the dancing at the pageants) is called the "Sanjuanero Huilense", and when translated to English, goes something like this:

♫ In  my land everything's glory when we dance the joropo, when we dance the joroooopoooo / and if people are gonna dance the world doesn't seem enough / let's keep on singing, let's keep on dancing, let's keep on singing, goddammit, because I'm going crazy

Serve me a five dollar drink, serve me a fifty dollar one / serve and serve without rest till you lose the count / and let's go dance to the beat of this joropo / life must be enjoyed

No hangover can resist this hot joropo / that's why my friend the aguardiente is feeling jealous / Happy they come and go without thinking about money / Playing treble guitar to sing the sanjuanero ♫

This should give you an idea of the joyous and carefree nature we Neivan people exhibit during these festivities. And anyone's who's experienced an aguardiente hangover knows how painful it can be to simply breathe the next day, let alone move your entire body to the beat of a joropo while liters of anise-flavored alcohol rampanty flow through your veins (by the way, why the song constantly refers to itself as a "joropo" when it's clearly a bambuco is still a mistery to me).

So my dear gringo friend (or non-colombian english speaking friend, for that matter), now that you know what you've been missing your entire life, it's time to get off your lazy ass and have a good time amidst the 110F scorching degrees of the neverending Neivan summer. Eat some lechona (fried pork stuffed with yellow rice... not good for your Atkins diet), drink some guarapo (a refreshing brownish/greenish drink freshly extracted from sugar canes by a mule on a treadmill), sing some rajaleñas (raunchy folk songs in verse form, usually played on a "tiple" or treble guitar), take a bath in the parrot river (also known as "rioloro"... possibly the foulest smelling river in the world), play some tejo (Colombia's version of beer pong, but using heavy flat stones that get thrown across a room and are meant to land on a triangle-shaped strip of gunpowder called "mecha"), and don't forget to tell your friends on the way back... "In June, all paths lead to Neiva"


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