Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Spanish
Residence: New York City, USA
Performance Date: April 13, 2017 (Skype)
Mike is a 20 year old man, born and raised in New York, who is a mobile phone salesman in New York City. He is a high school graduate whose family is of Puerto Rican Heritage.
Interviewer: Good Afternoon. You mentioned that you follow a tradition your Mom taught you. Could you explain please?
Informant: “Ya it is like I am Catholic you know you know and we really go by this Catholic thing like every time I do the cross. Every time I pass a Church, I do the cross. And I feel if I didn’t do the cross that I would feel different.”
Interviewer: You mentioned you would feel different, why?
Informant: “Like this was a thing, you know the do the cross, that I use to ah see my Mom do every time, you know, we were passing a Church. Like it ah didn’t matter if youse was on a bus or a car or like just walking down a street, um she would always cross herself. Then… then I was, you know older then a little kid, ah every time she crossed herself you know and if I was wit her, she would stare at me if I didn’t cross myself. So I guess, like um I would um feel different like I wuz disrespecting my Mother, you know. So like , I am a Momma’s boy, she is very close. And um I don’t want to, you know give her anything that wouldn’t be very respectful. Does that make sense to you?”
Interviewer: Yes it does. It is a very nice thing to do. Do you do the sign of the cross even when she is not with you?
Informant: “Of course, it’s like so deep in my bones and mind that it is like ya I am like a robot! When I see the church, like I have to stop and do my cross, you know. It is so beautiful cause I see my Mom smiling a lot every time ah um I do that.”
Thoughts about the piece:
Devoted Catholics worldwide have been making the “sign of the cross” since the 400s: http://catholicstraightanswers.com/what-is-the-origin-of-the-sign-of-the-cross/
Here is a demonstration of how to do this movement prayer properly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpRzqXG1dhc