Eulalia’s Licenciatura Ceremony

Marimba music!!! constant background music… slight reprieve immediately before the ceremony begain… candidates walked in to marimba music, music continued softly during speeches

in a high school– main room. doors on either side with “quinto” “tercero” and “sexto” written above them (A and B groups).

stage at front… on light blue banner behind stage: “I PROMOCION LICENCIATURA / ADMON. EDUCATIVA/ 2004 2005/ SANTA EULALIA” in shiny red letters, all caps

in center of banner- Maya stella flanked by Maya god of medicine on either side of stella (two gods) (according to Julio)

Guatemalan flag on lower stage left, speaker’s podium lower stage right, table and chairs in center of stage, hats on table.

chairs in two columns, aisle in the middle. camcorder set up on tripod at front center of aisle.

paper cut-out mickey mouse hanging from a light on the ceiling! Pooh poster on the wall that says “¡Sonríe!” (smile!)

Man sitting on left side, 4 rows in front of me and across the aisle from me… dressed in fake-faded “gangster” jeans with patches and a wallet chain and a military-green hoodie, brown tennis shoes… spiked-ish (has gel, shaped in front), dyed hair… younger kids (4 years old, boys, in little jeans and hoodies) gather around to see his camera phone (not a Razr)… he takes their picture. NOT ladino
— holding a fat baby in an orange jumper, pink striped hat
— w/ women all wearing cortes, some in huipiles… young-ish girl next to him in a corte and hoodie w/ flip flops, rests head on his shoulder periodically

Audience mixed ingígena and ladino… ladinos stand out (women in jeans, hoodies, short hair, makeup). some ladinas in pantsuits…makeup is the biggest difference, i think!

most men dress similarly… jeans, sweater or button-down shirt (indigena and ladino). a few men in button-down shirts and capixai… some men in traditional shirt and capixai– mostly older men. mostly traditional dress on women– all but ladinas in cortes and shirt. most wear blusas or huipiles… babies in fleece jumpers and hats.

kid w/ Razr… camera phones everywhere! lots of teenagers have Razrs or other camera phone

professional fotógrafo at the front– film camera with big hotfoot flash (looks like a Minolta SR-201… my stepsister’s old cam that i found in a drawer and it turns out the light meter is broken…. can’t get close enough to find out!) and RCA video camera. front and center in the aisle. later in the ceremony he picks up the video camera (rests on shoulder, not handycam) and films each candidate’s family individually as they stand and clap. during the speeches, he takes breaks to film the audience (turns and pans audience w/ camera)… take still photo of each candidate as they get their robes and hat.

LOTS of cameras… at least one camera in every family (either camera phone, digicam, film point and shoot, camcorder). estimate 1/4 people have cameras… about equal numbers of each… possibly more cameraphones and digicams… but a lot of film cams too

lots and lots of camcorders… about 40 people line either side of the seating area at the front with camcorders, filming the entire ceremony (2 hours? 3 hours?). Some more people with camcorders get up, sit down throughout… move closer to get better shot of their candidate.

everyone with digicams takes pictures, immediately checks outcome of pictures… over and over again, in the middle of the speech. kids playing with camera phones throughout….

candidates enter 1×1, holding their official robes folded in front of them. men wearing western suits/ties, women mostly in cortes and huipiles

mostly male candidates– 20 total, 5 women

robes are black with light blue trim on the neck/chest and sleeves, pillbox hats with matching light blue pompom are already on stage.

after an introductory speech, each candidate is called on stage and dressed by the two professors in their official robes. handshake and a hug. no hat yet.

firecrackers (sound like little bombs! always startle me, but no one pays any attention) outside the doors during the presentation of the robes

after each candidate is dressed, they say a vow… hold up right hand… candidates stand in front of stage, on the floor.

general restlessness at this point… people standing and sitting, moving up front to get pictures, coming back to sit down.

i move closer to get a picture of Eulalia when she gets her robes. people are staring at me… i have to think it’s the camera (tele lens on it) and not the gringa-ness. chat, jess, angela have smaller cameras, i don’t notice people staring as much. maybe i’m imagining it… i don’t get nearly as many stares as normal.

crowd at front of seating area… most people still in seats, though. only those taking pictures of relatives/candidates getting up and moving. small kids playing in aisle! kid in front of me keeps turning and staring. he’s doing something to irritate his mom, and she threatens to take him outside.

the speaker invites people to come up and take a picture “como un recuerdo” during the vow portion… about 15 more people get up and move towards the front of the aisle.

background music changes… american pop w/o words. “all for you” plays.. MIDI file on a keyboard

is that KidSongs playing???

Ladino guy with long-ish streaked hair (light brown with some almost-blond streaks)… jeans and a button-down… with ladina woman in jeans and a red hoodie, short-short dark hair (cut like Lindsay’s), makeup. has cameraphone up in front of him constantly! about 2 rows right in front of me

after vows, candidates get up and receive pillbox hat… i go up and take a picture of Eulalia getting hers… people move closer and go back to their seats again…

something political…. some guy was not allowed to come to the ceremony? why? the university wouldn’t allow it for some reason. he still received his degree, though… weird. his family didn’t come either… profoto doesn’t have anyone to film

ceremonial presentation of diplomas to the three professors… one of the presenters (one of the new licenciados) addresses audience almost entirely in Qan’ qobal … Chat asked Juan Jacinto to confirm what language it was. I thought it was Chu’j because of the glottal stops… but those could be feature of other Maya languages too (not familiar enough with them yet). Chu’j speakers can understand Qan’qobal, but not the other way around, apparently (according to Julio and Juan Jacinto) speaker mixes Spanish words in (ie: licenciado, other academic words)

candidates parade out to MIDI files of american pop w/o words… everyone congregates in front of the building… i leave to go buy batteries! come back and Eulalia’s group (BIG group! family, friends, co-workers –ie: us!– all walk through Santa Eulalia to a restaurant for dinner).

half of the group eats at a time– rice flavored with chicken broth, blackbeans, chicken. we can hear them hacking the rotisserie chickens apart right behind the divider our table pushes up against!

random assortment of refrescos…. Eulalia opens one and passes it until someone decides it’s the flavor they’d like. i get piña (Canada Dry label…). tortillas are softer than in San Mateo… stay soft even when cool. also paler, less yellow, more white

I ask Chico about “kaxlan” (“chicken” in Chu’j, supposedly used by Pan-Mayan movement to refer to non-Mayans, according to Warren). He inisists (as did Gloria, and María) that “kaxlan” refers ONLY to Ladinos, and not gringos. I swear I heard my students using it to describe me… they said it once when we were going over descriptive words, and then i asked what it meant, and they wouldn’t answer, and then one of them said “not Guatemalan”… and then said it was the opposite of “Chapín”. he looks slightly uncomfortable… but i can never read his facial expressions. he might be laughing at me, he might just be amused that i picked up on “kaxlan”, he might even be pissed off that i’m questioning what he said. who knows?!

people rotate in and out to eat… Eulalia opens gifts… crowd walks back towards main road to pile into busito that we rented to drive back to San Mateo. all of about 1 hour… drive back to San Mateo takes about 1.5 hours (arrive home at exactly 8:20)


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