[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssxM5sJAB1c[/youtube]I wanted to share with my Giants a video of Calle 13 and their beautiful dedication to preserving the history and culture of Latinos. This passion for self-culture applies to all other countries not just Latinoamérica, I wanted to show this one as it's the best and most recent example I can show on modern cultural preservation and betterment.We live in odd difficult times now, be it economic or mental stresses that overtake our society which brings the unfortunate cultural crumble little by little. Society mindsets and changes constantly rolling in, eventually some lose themselves in the process and it's noticeable now more than ever amongst latino youth, in my opinion... of course. Some are proud yet don't know where we come from, they wave our flags up high yet can't talk the language, quick to defend their country yet can't say why they love it nor bother going to it. It's sad to see these hollow infatuations and knowing they don't try to preserve it at all while feeding the consumerist machine as their history perishes. Yes, there is a good amount which are more enthralled with their families past/culture than their own parents and those are the shining stars that can and will continue to pass along the rich and beautiful cultures we love. Calle 13 has been one of those shedding light on our past for a good while and those whom affect our countries negatively. I honestly didn't think they were going to be relaying important messages after I heard their 'Atrévete-te-te' song but their lyrics and stance on defending our people is at an all time high of importance and with much love, it chokes you up seeing the different faces of your people and the hardship they go thru while still holding their chest out proud of who they are. There is a line in the song that goes "Este pueblo no se ahoga con marullos, Y si se derrumba yo lo reconstruyo", it roughly translates to 'This town doesn't drown with big waves, and if it crumbles I will reconstruct it' letting it be known that nothing can stop us. We all as proud people (all over) should learn a little from this and have pride on our backgrounds and true history for we are the ones that are responsible to keep our histories alive.
[youtube width="600" height="360"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_hdtoOEYWE[/youtube]Being from any culture comes with it's treasures and history especially in music, my family comes from the beautiful Dominican Republic and I would like to share with you some of our Afro-Dominican heritage. The music is called Palo (sticks) and has traces originating from central Africa and found a home in Villa Mella, DR. It's folkloric sound and mesmerizing drums was and is sometimes used in religious ceremonies and special gatherings, some will try to dispel it's content and question what it was used for in a negative manner due to it being used in certain religions. Known for it being a part of the Dominican culture some sum it up to be the music of Santeria or Voudu then in turn commenting that it is used to call upon demons or other ignorant statements. The lyrical content is mostly praise to the saints and or asking for guidance and help along life and or pleasing the gods.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EI1r42djcUA[/youtube] I understand that peoples views on certain religions will never change or make sense to them, but what I do want to point out is that it's part of our culture and shouldn't be attacked or ignored due to indifference of religions or lack of knowledge. I am in no way associated with these religious practices so I am an outsider looking in as well, more for cultural reasons and the love of music. I can still hear and enjoy the beautiful rich history that my people have which were deeply rooted in religion and music. I embrace the sound of Palo, Gaga, Salves, etc. because without it we lose part of our cultural identity especially with the Spaniard and European influence in the Dominican Republic. The sound has also been used now for rhythm reasons in Merengue and HipHop which keeps alive the sound of our past to the new generation which you can see below.
[youtube width="600" height="360"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7HzbZg7zpM[/youtube] [youtube width="600" height="360"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqtMJNAsTMk[/youtube] I hope for the love of culture that we keep these treasures alive and well amongst our youth so they know where they came from and how it has shaped their present history and sound. For those that dismiss their origins is to be one without soul and mind.