Author Archive
Game

Cops and Robbers

Main Piece:

In person interview. AM is the interviewee. LJ is me, the interviewer.

LJ: Can you describe how you play?

AM: Oh there’s six of us, so we would all split up. Three people would be cops and three would be robbers. And, um, it would be like hide and seek, like if you were a cop you kindof’ had to tackle the robber and that’s how the game would end. And yea…

LJ: Who taught you how to play?

AM: Um…I don’t remember…probably my cousin, they were older than me.

LJ: Would the winner get anything?

AM: The winner? Let me think. We would just switch, there wasn’t a prize or anything. We would just switch.

LJ: But was there an “oh I won” moment?

AM: Um…for like the guys, it was a bigger deal. So like my brother and my two cousins would be like “ohhh” and throw it in your face. When me and my girl cousins would win, we were just like “ok.” Haha.

LJ: How often would y’all win?

AM: We didn’t really care if we won, so we lost most of the time.

LJ: Haha. How often would you play?

AM: We played after school. I remember playing between 5th grade and 8th grade-ish–when all six of us went to the same school.

LJ: Where did you play?

AM: We would play outside of my cousin’s house. Or in their backyard, they had a big back yard.

Context:

This was brought up at a meeting, but I asked at her about it at a later date.

Background:

The participant is a first year student at the University of Southern California. She was raised in South Central, Los Angeles around the university in a Mexican household.

Analysis:

This caught my attention, because I had only heard of “Cops and Robbers” from television. It is interesting how this game is played in a community that primarily consists of people of color and which has had a high crime rate for the past couple of decades. That it is more of a hide and seek game was also interesting. I assume–although I should have asked–that the robbers would hide, while the cops would seek.

Typically, the male cousins wanted to win, as seen in the transcription above, while the girls were more interested in just playing. Perhaps this has to do with gender norms. If further study was done, I would observe children playing this game now and how/if the interactions have changed. It may help normalize male and female  interactions within the community. The participant played this game around the time of middle school, when many children are going through puberty. Perhaps it helped transition the participant and her cousins into teen years by allowing time away from the changes happening in middle school through this fun, competitive game.

general

Multicultural Greek Traditions/Terms

Main Piece:

The participant is marked as X. I am marked as LJ.

LJ: What can you tell me about Latino Greek Organizations.

X: So, Multicultural Greek Organizations, not all of them, but some of them…have historically been founded with the help of the National Pan Hellenic Council or people who are members of the National Pan Hellenic Council…also known as the Divine 9. So the original 9 historically black Creek lettered organizations, um…so what separates multicultural Greek organizations and the or you see on the Row are that…the multicultural organizations are culturally based. so, their practices and the things that they work on are in relation to their cultural heritage. This can be in the programs that they put on or in the values that they live on.

And within these, um, organizations there this certain slang that is used. There’s an entire culture. but part of the slang is burning sands. Sands are people from different organizations that become members in the same semester and year…this is also known as crossing

Context:

The participant and I were having a general conversation when this came up. This was recorded then.

The participant is part of the Multicultural Greek community and has first hand knowledge about how to use these terms.

Background:

The participant is a student at the University of Southern California. They were raised in a Mexican/Catholic household.

Analysis:

 There is a lot of different levels to the terms that Latino/Multicultural Greek Organization use. It helps differentiate between who is part of the Greek and non-Greek communities. The traditional “on the Row”  Greeks may fall within the non-Greek sphere for some since so many of the traditions are so different. These organizations have a deep history and pride in their own traditions that do  not belong to other organizations.

There is also an obvious link between the traditionally Black Greek Organizations and the Latino based ones. It parallels the dual cultures that have emerged as these two groups have constantly been near each other and have had to fight similar battles.

general

Quiroga, Mexico–Sangre Preciosa festival

Main Piece:

The participant is marked as EC. I am marked as LJ.

LJ: Are their any traditions in your some town?

EC: So, in this place called quiroa its not a pueblo or a rancho…its an articsal town it ahs the be st cranita. in early uly leate jlaty called preciosas sancgres…usualy it hanign tin the curhch the main church  but during the cvcrimanoy they take it down.

they contract musicains osme pay for few. for the weekend they just have the musicians and this huge tower of fire works. And people will put them in these cones or figure ines. all of this is done as a thank you to God for having sacrifices himself. For having given his Preciosa Sangre–his precious blood.

Context:

The participant and I were having a general conversation when this came up. This was recorded then.

The participant is part of the Multicultural Greek community and has first hand knowledge about how to use these terms.

Background:

The participant is a student at the University of Southern California. They were raised in a Mexican/Catholic household.

Analysis:

 

general

Rainy Day Tradition

Main Piece:

Participant/interviewee is marked as AM and I, the interviewer, am marked as LJ.

AM: So my mom, whenever it rained, she would cover the  curtains with blankets and make hot chocolate. She would go out and buy pan dulce too–so sweet bread.

LJ: When would you do this?

AM: That was like elementary school. So like 3rd, 4th, and 5th grad. And then she stopped.

 

Context:

We had been talking about childhood and this story came up. I then proceeded to record it.

Background:

The participant is a first year student at the University of Southern California. She was raised in South Central, Los Angeles around the university in a Mexican household. This was a tradition within her family–especially on her mom’s side.

Analysis:

This is a very nice tradition to uphold during childhood. It encourages bonding between parent and child because of the hot chocolate and pan dulce. The rainy day changes from something bad or dangerous (having to cover the windows) to a great moment between two people. Although I’m not sure if it had to be blankets to cover the windows, it shows that the rain outside was being warded off. Perhaps bringing negative energy in if the blanket was not on.

Folk Beliefs
Legends

Ghost in Grandmother’s House

Main Piece:

Particpant/interviewee marked as AM below. Interviewer (me) marked with LJ.

AM: So, it was, like a story of…there was a story about a little girl in my grandma’s house. So all of them…so my Tia Brenda, she went to school with a girl that passed away, like the girl was weird, she didn’t talk to anybody. And she didn’t have friends, they bullied her a lot. For some reason, my aunt talked to her. Um so like when she died, by aunt was we my grandma telling her “she’s here. Like she wants to talk to me.” My grandma was like “you’re crazy, what are you talking about?” And then, um, one of my aunts saw the girl. One of my other aunts. She told my grandma “oh no Ma, Brenda’s not lying, I saw the little girl too. She wants to tell Brenda something, but she doesn’t listen.”

They eventually moved out of that house, when my aunt turned 15. They moved to San Bernandino. And then the girl would talk to her again, but like trying to tell her something about my grandma. But my grandma still didn’t believe it. And then they moved again, to like Tahoe. And one day my grandma was home alone at night–the whole night. She said that something woke her up, like something tapped her. Haha.  When she woke up, like nobody was there. And then she finally saw the little girl. And then, so, she believed the little girl was there, but they didn’t know why she was there. They didn’t know why she kept coming.

A couple of years ago, my little cousin, Alondra went to go visit them and the same girl woke her up. Haha. And then like she said “you need to tell your Tia Brenda to stop doing bad things. Like she needs to be a good mom. She’s a bad daughter.” She told my little cousin this. Once they told my mom, they believed her. They told my Tia and she finally believed it, but she didn’t change. I haven’t heard anything about her since then.

 

Context:

Asked if anyone knew any ghost stories. I recorded this then.

Background:

The participant is a first year student at the University of Southern California. She was raised in South Central, Los Angeles around the university in a Mexican household. She believes in the existence of ghosts and has heard this story from her family, but nothing has happened to her personally.

Analysis:

The participant called this entity a ghost throughout the entire story. However, ghosts, are typically associated with one location. As Professor Tok Thompson said during a lecture “ghosts help us remember horrific acts.” Perhaps it was not a ghost that was following the family or why would the little girl become attached to Tia Brenda and her family?

It is interesting that the little girl’s message told Tia Brenda to be a better person. It might have been the little cousin creating a story, inadvertently, having grown up hearing stories about her aunts and grandmother seeing the ghost of a little girl. It might commemorate the story of this little girl who was ignored and bullied because she was different and then died (cause of death unknown). The story may have evolved to reflect how the family felt about Tia Brenda.

Typically, it was children seeing this girl. When the grandma saw her, she had been sleeping. It could all be a story, or it could be real, but no proof exists.

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