Mami, cuando crezca puedo ser una Cholita?

Mami, cuando cresca puedo ser una cholita? (Mum, when I grow up, can I be a cholita?)

Recuerdo preguntarle esto a mi mamá en uno de nuestros viajes por el campo en Cochabamba, Departamento de Bolivia en el cual nací y crecí.Ella me sonrió con ternura y contestó: cuando crezcas puedes ser lo que tu quieras! Y yo sonreí contenta, pues el escenario que veía por mi ventana era una de las cosas mas bellas que habia visto..

Debio ser algun día de Noviembre porque era epoca de “wallunkas“, unos enormes columpios que adornan con canastas, aguayos y flores de todos colores.

Las cholitas (jovencitas del campo solteras) vestian sus mejores polleras, grandes, coloridas, brillosas.. Todas andaban sonriendo. Sus blusas blancas con brillantes, sus aretes grandes, sus trenzas negras largas.. algunas con sombrero y todas contentas..

Pasaron los años y me di cuenta de que yo nunca podria ser una cholita. “Solo columpian jovecitas de pollera”, me exlpicaron la primera vez que pregunté si yo podia columpiar la wallunka. “Entonces, si me pongo una pollera, puedo columpiar?” El grupo de jovenes encargados me sonrió con cariño.. No lo dijeron pero ellos, ellas y yo sabiamos la respuesta. No es la pollera que te hace cholita.

Tuve suerte pues al pasar las horas estabamos mas en confianza y un poco mas tarde me dijeron que bueno, pero necesitaria un joven que me empuje.. Yo, super contenta. Mientras wallunkeaba toda la gente me miraba y la mitad se reia un poco avergonzada como quien ve un caballo imitando a una vicuña.

Para mi, uno de los mejores recuerdos universitarios.

I remember asking this to my mum on one of our trips to the country side in Cochabamba, the Bolivian province where I was born and raised.She looked at me with tenderness and laughed a bit while she answered: when you grow up, you can be anything you want! I smiled happily because the scenery I just enjoyed from my window was one of the prettiest things I had seen..

It must have been in November because all the “wallunkas” were up. Huge swings adorned with big woven baskets, colourful aguayos (traditional woven fabrics) and all kind of flowers.

The cholita’s (young single women from the countryside) all wore their best polleras (traditional skirts), big, colourful and shiny.. All walked about with a smile on their face. Their white blouses full of sparkly beads, lovely big earrings and long black braids.. some wore a white hat, all of them happy..

Years went by and I realised I could never be a cholita. “Only young ladies wearing a pollera can swing”, was explained to me the first time I asked if I could swing on the wallunka. “so, if I put on a pollera, can I swing then?” The group of young people in charge smiled at me fondly.. They didn’t say it, but them and I knew the answer. It’s not the pollera that makes you a cholita.

I was lucky because as time went by that evening we became friendlier and they finally agreed to me swinging, but I had to find a young man to push me.. I was super thirlled. Everybody looked at me while I swung the wallunka that evening, half the people there giggling a bit ashamed, like they were seeing a horse trying to impersonate a vicuña (the fancy cousin of a lama)

For me, on of the best memories from uni.

This entry was posted in Other Latin American Women, This Latin-American woman and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Mami, cuando crezca puedo ser una Cholita?

  1. Joana says:

    jeje.. yo no me acordaba que si te dejaron columpiar!!
    Pero ‘recuerdo universitario??’

  2. Pingback: How did my mum do this! | Latin-American Women Wear Earrings

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