May 1, 2010

childhood novelas

Daniella Lujan in "Luz Clarita"
When I was a little girl I remember sitting with the family to watch the "novela." I remember my grandmother or aunt trying to finish as fast as possible whatever they were doing because the "novela" was about to start. If you too come from a spanish speaking family then you understand me. It was a big deal. Thinking about it, it was a good way for the whole family to come together. Even the boys and fathers would sit for this one. Novela is spanish for Soap Opera. They majority of spanish Soap Operas last no more than a year. The first novela I remember watching was "Rosa Salvaje" and until this very day I can sing the theme song and so can my sisters and cousins and friends, I was only about five years old. I think later on that year I watched "Carusel de Ninos." I stopped watching novelas around ten or so. I became too engrossed with english-speaking shows like "Blossom," "Saved by the Bell," "90210," and others- well, you remember them. "Luz Clarita" (picture above) I actually watched when I was already in my pre-teen years, maybe around 12 or so because the young actress intrigued me. She was so litttle and cute and did such an amazing job, it was a way for me to remember those simpler days and reminisce over my Novela days. And it was the very last novela I watched. I came upon an article the other day about Luz Clarita and was amazed that the article was written by a non-spanish speaking woman. She had to watch it with english-subtitles. It was her favorite of all time. After doing some search, I found out a lot of other people had watched many of my favorite novelas, including "Luz Clarita" and "Alondra" with subtitles. I'm amazed how big these little novelas were, that so many non-spanish speaking countries were able to catch this little treasures with either French, English or even Chinese subtitles among many others.

(image from "Alondra")
Alondra had to be my favorite of all time, like "Luz Clarita," Alondra was also an orphan. I guess I always related a little too much to these stories, since I lived with my aunt, uncle and cousins for four years in Quisqueya until I was eight. Every tear they shed, I was shedding with them. I just waited and loved the happy endings and along with the gorgeous costumes and settings in Alondra, I don't think another novela will come close to it in my heart.
But of course the one that I can never forget is "El Abuelo y yo." About a poor little boy and a rich little girl who end up falling in love (yes, one of the typical storylines for spanish Soap Operas). I was about the same age as the characters and their falling-in-love-for-the-first-time and sharing-their-first-kiss-for-the-first-time moments just reach down to me. I related completely and of course I had a terrible crush on Gael GarcĂ­a Bernal, which went on for years as he crossed over to Hollywood movies. What made "El Abuelo y Yo" touch my heart so profoundly was that I was never able to finish watching it. It started at a late hour in the night over one summer in n.y.c, and once school started my mother would not let me watch it. Last year when I went to Quisqueya, I could not believe when I heard the familiar theme song playing, I went over to the t.v. and there it was. Of course, it was only a few days before I had to come back to N.Y. I cannot add a picture to explain this, and the theme entry video cannot summarized the tender moments in this novela but I'm hoping it helps a bit:

Ahh to be a child again and fall in love, theres nothing more innocence, nerve-wrecking, thrilling and sweet all at the same time

1 comment:

  1. I was googling the novela Alondra, and came across this blog. I was probably 7 or 8 when this novela was on and yes I remember the costumes, I loved them. My cousin actually ended naming her daughter after her.