Occupation: College Freshman
Residence: Los Angeles, CA
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/14/17
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Spanish, American Sign Language
Interviewer: What is being performed? New Year’s Eve Tradition by Elisa Alfonso
Informant: Eating twelve grapes at midnight on New Year’s Eve
Interviewer: What is the background information about the performance? Why do you know or like this piece? Where or who did you learn it from?
Informant: It’s a Spanish tradition that is practiced in Cuba. I know about it because I do it with my family every year and uh I learned it from my Cuban relatives, specifically my grandmother.
Interviewer: What country and what region of that country are you from?
Informant: Camaguey, Cuba
Interviewer: Do you belong to a specific religious or social sub group that tells this story?
Informant: I don’t belong to it but I believe it comes from Catholicism.
Interviewer: Where did you first hear the story?
Informant: From my grandmother
Interviewer: What do you think the origins of this story might be?
Informant: I know that it’s a superstition. And that each grape is supposed to represent a month of good luck in the New Year.
Interviewer: What does it mean to you?
Informant: I really like this tradition because it makes me feel more connected to my culture and my family and it’s a fun thing to do every year. I’ve no idea where this tradition comes from or how it started, but my family has been doing it my whole life. It’s just something fun to do together.
Context of the performance- conversation with a classmate
Thoughts about the piece- This reminds me of the marketing campaign by Nathan’s Famous to have a timed hot dog eating contest on July 4th and a little research shows that ‘las doce uvas de la suerte’ was also started by marketers- grape growers with a surplus crop. Eight million people watch a midnight broadcast from Puerta del Sol each year. The 12 grape rule can devolve into a competition because they should be swallowed before the clock stops striking. For some grape eating strategies check here: http://www.foodrepublic.com/2012/12/28/12-grapes-at-midnight-spains-great-new-years-eve-tradition-and-superstition/