Wednesday, November 9, 2011

introducing Adelita

Continued from:  спутник

If you haven't read the foregoing article, its better if you go read it first and come back here.  If its been a few hours hours or days since you read it, please go back and review it before you continue.  If you were distracted by the "technological" matters or even the religious matters, please go back and read it again.  Its about a word - a single word:  Sputnik.  What that word  signifies.  Without understanding that one word and its ramifications there is very little use in continuing with the present article.

Adelita was a real person.  My father's second cousin six times removed (whatever on earth that means) knew her and spoke of her.  Marijan was his name.

There are some people around who wish to say that Adelita is just some folk fable.  Not so.  Adelita was a living breathing soul.  She was born on the fifth of February, Saint Adele's day which is in the Spanish calendar of saints though it is outside the Croatian calendar.   Had she been Hrvat, her imedan would have called for her to be named Agata or Dobrila or Jagoda.  Whatever her ancestry, Adelita was simply Adelita, a Mexican woman born in the north.  What year Adelita was born remains beyond my knowledge probably forever.

Marijan spoke well of Adelita. He rode with her.  He rode into battle with her and he himself said that, like the sargento in the common version of the song about Adelita, he would have ridden into the bowels of hell beside her. 

No, Marijan was not Mexican.  Marijan bore my surname and was a citizen of the United States.  Must I remind you however that the ancestors of some of us came to these regions long before there was a United States, long before there was a Mexican Republic too.  Its our land.  Its a big land with lots of room so we have no problem with all these other people who have moved in beside us as long as they don't get too pushy.  

Lots of Mexican folks in the North of Mexico feel pretty much the same way.  Its further from the southernmost part of Mexico to the most northern part of Mexico than it is from Poland to Bulgaria.  The folk in the north are satisfied to be Mexicans as long as the folk from way down south don't come around to tell them what to do all the time.  Besides, the folk down  south talk funny too, they tend to be more urban (Mexico City is one big big place) and their life experiences are very different from the people in the north.  Can you see the picture I'm trying to draw?

The Porfirio Díaz regime had a lot of good ideas.  They weren't all bad at all.  In some ways, if you like "liberal" notions, like the Emperor's ideas, the Porfiriato thoughts were a lot more liberal than the regimes which followed.  But there was some big mistakes.  Number one mistake was the central government in the south telling the folk way up north how to be and how to live. 

Number two mistake was giving land to the peasants.  Huh?  How can that be a bad idea?  "Land and liberty" became the slogan in the uprising that began in 1910.  Ok, the right hand passed out land to the people.  The left hand took a lot of it back to build railroads. The idea was that the railroads would bring industry and jobs and prosperity to the people.  It was a good idea.  The railroads accomplished that, no doubt, but lets look at Juan and Juana who spent a season plowing and planting virtually by hand and then before they can harvest the first crop some high and mighty someone from down south comes and says to them that they don't live on their farm anymore because a railroad is coming through. 

"Where will we go?"  Juan asks the high and mighty someone.

"That's your problem," answers the high and mighty someone.

"How will we eat?"   Juana asks.

"You will be very prosperous when industry comes and you have jobs." answers the high and mighty someone.

"What will we eat tomorrow?"  Juana asks.

The high and mighty someone doesn't answer.  He just tells them to pack their stuff and get out of the way.  There is a party of pistoleros with señor high and mighty, so Juan and Juana have no no choice but to leave.

Juana's mother lives with Juan and Juana.  Juana's mother is very old and feeble.  She dies on the trek across the winter desert to the next town.  Juan becomes ill from the worry and frustration of trying against all odds to care for his family.

Now ask yourself the question - how do Juan and Juana feel about this central government who was killing them so they could become prosperous?  But that's not the half of it.

Oh yes, there's the little matter of the Russian communists using Mexico to learn how to do the revolution thing.  Marijan spoke of being trapped in the cross fire between the "reds" and the "whites" several times.  His solution was apparently to kill every one and ride away safely himself.  Must have worked too.  He lived to be a very old man.

Finally though, the revolution of 1910 was not about economics or politics, nor was it about "land and liberty."  There was an even more serious issue - an issue so close to Juan and Juana's hearts that they had no choice but to rise up in arms.  More about this next time ...

to be continued

do sljedeći put, blagoslov - until next time, blessings,

Canovals a.k.a. Slavonac
9 studenog 2011

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