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Colombian Women Create Bilingual Folklore Calendar To Celebrate Culture

A calendar rooted in Colombian culture was debuted for 2017, last December. Beginning with the title Aguapaneleando – a popular Colombian drink made from hardened sugar cane juice and boiled water – the bilingual calendar is host to 12 popular Colombia folk stories. Vanessa Andrea Urbina Bermúdez and Maria Angelica Ramirez Barrera spoke with Latina on Friday (June 2) about their shared interest in creating a bilingual calendar that tells a different Colombian folklore tale each month.

The co-creators are both from Colombia, and made the move to the United States while they were still in their teens.

For Ramirez Barrera, the calendar represents a generational sentiment to be passed down through generations. She begins, “I have a son, and it’s very important for me to pass this information onto him and the generations to come.” The mother then begins to highlight the lack of representation in mainstream culture, “It’s important that they grow up learning about all these fantastic creatures and heroes, these stories of bravery, liberation and some that are just funny. These are amazing stories we don’t often, or ever, hear about in popular culture, so for me, it’s crucial that it’s passed on.”

Urbina Bermúdez expresses the hope that Aguapaneleando will “make people proud of their land and ancestors.” She states, “Colonialism wants us to deny the parts of ourselves that are indigenous or Black. We want our people to be able to learn about the beauty and power they come from.”

The tales featured throughout the calendar include Urbina Bermúdez’s favorite, María Varilla. She recounts the fandango dancer and domestic worker as a “badass feminist,” due to her activism for women’s rights and domestic laborers. The connection runs as deep as lifestyle representation for the co-creator.

Ella es María Varilla. Personaje histórico de la Costa #Colombiana, cuyo poder la hizo leyenda. #Activista trabajadora del hogar, #bailarina de #porro y #fandango, y #feminista. Ejemplo de #fuerza, #pasión y #dignidad. Que el espíritu de esta inspiradora #mujer camine con nosotros <3 She is Maria Varilla. Historic character from the Colombian Coast, whose power made her a legend. Domestic worker activist, porro and fandango dancer, and feminist. An example of strength, passion and dignity. May the spirit of this inspiring woman walk with us <3 #aguapaneleando #Colombia #folktales #myths #legends #domesticworker #trabajadoradoméstica #strongwomen #mujeresfuertes #mariavarilla #ColombianCoast #CostaColombiana

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“I’m a folkloric dancer, so I have a strong relationship with music and dance, but when I came to the U.S. and started doing activism, I noticed that this wasn’t really connected to the culture So when I learned about María Varilla, a dancer and activist, it was inspiration for me; it showed me that I can do both.”

Illustrator, Ramirez Barrera, chooses popular character and warrior for the wildlife and greenery of the Amazon jungles, Curupira, as her top choice. The mother admits that she thinks stories like Curupira will give modern-day Colombians pride in the resistance that oozes from their heritage and lineage.

The transference of culture doesn’t end there. Ramirez Barrera shares that every element of the illustrations have meaning. Even the flora and fauna detailed are native to the home lands of the tales, while the patterns of the mythic characters' clothing resonates with the tribe from which their stories are indigenous.

The calendar also acts as a reminder for the various dates of fiestas populares, which are celebrations for music, regions, fruits and folklore.

While a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient, Ramirez Bermuda explains that the calendar is a way for her to travel back to the home that she has been deprived of returning to.

“I haven’t been able to return to my country for 16 years, and I feel there is so much that I have lost, partially taken away from me, like my right to return, my right to savor my food and my right to go back to my family,” she said. “But through this project, learning about myths and legends, through culture, no one is going to take this from me. It’s in me, and that is very powerful.”

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B-Real, DJ Muggs, Sen Dog, Eric Bobo of Cypress Hill attend a ceremony honoring Cypress Hill With Star On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame on April 18, 2019 in Hollywood, California.
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It's About Time: Cypress Hill Receives Star On Hollywood Walk Of Fame

Cypress Hill doesn't always get the credit they deserve for their impact on hip-hop history, but they've been honored forever with a revered star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

With a career of 30 years, the legacy of the four-man group of B-Real, DJ Muggs, Sen Dog, and Eric Bobo (along with former member Mellow Man Ace) includes six platinum albums and 90s zeitgeist songs like "How I Could Just Kill A Man," "Insane In The Brain," and "Hand On The Pump." They released their self-titled debut in 1991 and the chart-topping follow-up Black Sunday two years later,  and have continued creating ever since, releasing their ninth and latest album Elephants On Acid in September 2018. Cypress Hill are considered West Coast rap legends, and the first Latino rap group to have multiple gold and platinum records. Anchored by Muggs' gloomy, gritty production and B-Real's nasal, charismatic rhymes, Cypress Hill is as much a part of rap history as anyone.

The group's ceremony included speeches from Latino comedian George Lopez and fellow West Coast rap legend Xzibit, who said 'it's about time' before detailing the group's illustrious career.

Xzibit pointed out Cypress Hill not only brought Latino representation in an industry that largely lacked it, but that they were staunch marijuana advocates way before today's growing legalization.

"The Grammy-nominated group showed us stoned is indeed the way of the walk. Long before the days of legal dispensaries and medical marijuana, Cypress Hill were advocates of that sticky icky icky oooh wee!" Xzibit shared. "...Cypress Hill are pioneers in their own right. Their accomplishments and accolades reach deep in the roots and history books of hip-hop, and today is another chapter in that saga. Yo B-Real, Sen Dog, Muggs, Bobo: you are our Rolling Stones, Ungrateful Dead, you are the West Coast Public Enemy."

Lopez insisted that out of all the 2,600 stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, "there are none more important than the one we're about to unveil for Cypress Hill. There's a lot of actors, there's a lot of comedians, there's a lot of entertainers who are on this (Walk of Fame). But there's only one cypress hill, the first Latino hip-hop group. But to everyone who lives the American dream, not the last Latino hip-hop group to ever be on the Hollywood Walk of Fame."

Cypress Hill's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is unveiled pic.twitter.com/cNtpIUd8Xg

— Variety (@Variety) April 18, 2019

Xzibit says "it's about time" that Cypress Hill gets their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame pic.twitter.com/DHap9UkzXq

— Variety (@Variety) April 18, 2019

George Lopez says there are 2,600 stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but "none more important than the star we are about to unveil for Cypress Hill" pic.twitter.com/wuaakjKp6u

— Variety (@Variety) April 18, 2019

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Cypress Hill To Make History With Star On Hollywood Walk Of Fame

After 30 years in hip-hop, Cypress Hill is due to make history with their latest accolade. The multi-platinum selling group is set to become the first Latino American hip-hop collective to earn a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The induction ceremony, presented by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, takes place on April 18 in front of Greenleaf Restaurant located on Hollywood Blvd.

George Lopez and Xzibit will help unveil the star alongside Rana Ghadban, president & CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. The free ceremony is open to the public and will be live streamed via WalkofFame.com.

“We are proud to honor the first Latino American hip-hop recording group,” said Ana Martinez, Producer of the Hollywood Walk of Fame said in a press release. “They have been successful as a group for three decades and we know they will continue their success for many years to come.”

Cypress Hill, comprised of B Real, Sen Dog, DJ Muggs, and Eric “Bobo” Correa, is noted as the first Latino-American hip-hop group to have platinum and multi-platinum selling albums with more than 18 million records worldwide. In the early 1990s, Cypress Hill became the first rap group to have two albums in the Billboard 200 thanks to the success of their self-titled double-platinum debut and their sophomore effort, Black Sunday. The album went on to sell more than three million copies and spawned the rap classic “Insane in the Membrane.”

Cypress Hill released their ninth studio album, Elephants On Acid, last year. Following the Walk of Fame induction ceremony, the group will perform at the famous Whiskey a Go Go club in Hollywood.

 

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Join us for our induction to the Hollywood Walk of Fame!

A post shared by Cypress Hill (@cypresshill) on Apr 9, 2019 at 11:36am PDT

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Miguel

Miguel Drops Spanish-Language EP 'Te Lo Dije'

In an ode to his Mexican heritage, Miguel has released a five-track project that is the Spanish/Spanglish version of his 2017 War & Leisure album. Te Lo Dije features collaborations with fellow Spanish-speaking artists Kali Uchis, C. Tangana, Dante Spintetta and Emmanuel Horvilleur, as well as Mexican Mariachi girl band, Flor de Toloache.

Miguel's Spanish-language project is one that he has been teasing his fans with, hence the name of the EP, Te Lo Dije. The phrase means "I told you so" in Spanish and also happens to be the name of a song on the EP. On this collaborative effort, Miguel is mixing in his R&B vibes with his Latin ties, so for fans looking for a mixture of both, they can listen the Spanish version of his hit, "Sky Walker" featuring Spinetta and Horvilleur. Uchis can also be found on "Carmelo Duro" showing off her Colombian roots.

This is the 33-year-old artist's first Spanish-language project and he even said that he thinks he likes "these songs better in Spanish." The R&B artist took to his Instagram account to his express his excitement on Te Lo Dije, as well as give props to people who helped him through the process.

"FIRST RELEASE OF THE YEAR," he wrote. "TE LO DIJE (a selection of songs off of W&L en español)."

 

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FIRST RELEASE OF THE YEAR ! TE LO DIJE (a selection of songs off of W&L en español) I want to thank my cousin @yeyasmiles and @flordetoloache, @kaliuchis and @c.tangana and everyone that helped me translate these songs 🙏🏾. I think you might like these better in Spanish. Enjoy . Love you

A post shared by Miguel TV 📺 (@miguel) on Apr 5, 2019 at 9:22am PDT

Make sure to listen to Te Lo Dije here.

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