Sunday, January 22, 2012

Concepción's Heritage

Anyone who regularly reads my blog will know of my friend Concepción. On Christmas Eve, I paid her a visit. It’s always a delight and a challenge talking with her because she doesn’t speak English.

Not only do we speak different languages, but also our life experiences are radically different. Today, Concepción lives a financially comfortable life, but this was not always the case. I can only begin to imagine what her life was like when she was growing up.

Her father was a Popoluca campesino who had two wives. He spoke Popoluca and Spanish. Concepción’s mother was Zapotec spoke no Popoluca and very little Spanish. It couldn’t have been much of a marriage.

Her father’s other wife had twelve children, and Concepción’s mother had eleven. Concepción was the youngest of her mother’s children. She told me that her life is very different from that of the rest of her siblings.

She managed, through marrying a good man, to rise above her meager beginnings.

“You are married to a good man," I said.

She laughed, affectionately smacked the side of my arm and said, “More or less.”

“How did you meet?”

“My mother went to another village and met Heradio’s family.”

My guess was she was her mother’s favorite, and she made sure her vivacious, lovely daughter did well in life. “I don’t know the Spanish word," I told her, "but in English we say spoiled.”

To my surprise, Concepción understood. She laughed and nodded her head.

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