El Reloj or The Clock

“Tal parece que me vela y me dice el minutero, pongase aprisa el sombrero y salga para la escuela. El tiempo corre veloz, mas un amigo cercano. Por la manana temprano me despierta con su voz. Casi nunca se retrasa y por eso lo bendigo. Sepase usted que es mi amigo, el reloj de mi casa.”


It seems that it watches me and the minute hand tells me, quickly! Put your hat and go to school. The time runs fast, yet it’s a close friend. Early in the morning it wakes me up with its voice. It hardly ever falls back and that’s why I bless it. I will have you know that its my friend, the clock of my house.

This is a cuban refran, or saying, which message is basically thankfulness for the clock in their home. It’s a sort of homage to the clock, which never falls behind and helps them to stay punctual. Time in cuban culture would likely be a precious comodity. My informant, who was a field worker in cuba when she was young, tells me that her family had schedules that they adhered to on most days for work. As part of a group that relied on the changing of the seasons and weather for agricultural, and thus monetary, success, it makes sense that time would be viewed as something worth having a saying about.