Entertainment

Indigenous Mexicans Were Able To Watch A Special Screening Of “Roma” In Their Native Language Of Nahuatl

The official countdown for the Oscars is long over, but there are still some that have yet to see “Roma” — which received the most nominations of any other film. While the general public has either seen “Roma” in the theater, the majority have watched it on Netflix. Yet still, the streaming service is a privilege, and many understand that, which is why some have made it possible for a marginalized community to see the movie that is in large part about them.

Ecocinema, an organization which aims to bring cultural movies to underserved communities had a screening of “Roma” for indigenous Mexicans in Cuentepec, Morelos.

Facebook/Ecocinema

To celebrate Día De La Lengua Materna — Day of the Mother Language — Ecocinema had a screening of “Roma” to a small community in Cuentepec, which is about a two-hour drive south from Mexico City.

The population there is roughly 4,000 people and they speak the indigenous language of Nahuatl. That meant organizers had to translate the movie.

Facebook/Ecocinema

Ecocinema worked alongside with the people of Cuentepec to make sure they had the translation down correctly. “Roma” director, Alfonso Cuarón, has aired his grievances about the discrepancies in which his film was translated incorrectly to audiences in Spain.

From the looks of it, audiences in Cuentepec certainly enjoyed the movie.

Instagram/@ecocinemasolar

We love that this community was able to enjoy this incredible film, and understand how rare it is to see the representation of themselves on the big screen.

We love this close up of a little boy who looks completely mesmerized by the movie.

Facebook/Ecocinema

It almost appears as if he is crying.

Here’s another beautiful image of women captiavated by the film.

Facebook/Ecocinema

We can only imagine what they must be thinking while watching an actress who looks so much like they do.

Actress Yalitza Aparicio also shared her adoration for this screening and the recognition of embracing indigenous languages.

Instagram/@yalitzaapariciomtz

“Our mother tongues is a sign of our cultural richness and diversity,” she said on Instagram.

Aparicio, who is from the town of Tlaxiaco in the state of Oaxaca, has been praised by her indigenous community for excelling in her role and bringing much-needed representation to the film industry.

“Yalitza from Tlaxiaco in Hollywood, that’s just wow! She’s such an inspiration to me,” Arleth Velasco, a 16-year-old from Tlaxiaco, told The Guardian. The community there is planning to watch the Oscar award show outdoors in their main plaza on Sunday.

“The film shows everyday life of our community, it is a reality that Mexicans who criticize Roma don’t want to accept,” Velasco told the publication, and was referencing, the disparaging remark that a Mexican telenovela actor said about Aparicio. “Yalitza’s triumph shows that people like me with few resources, us ‘indios,’ can be someone.”

READ: White Mexicans Are Despicably Targeting Yalitza Aparicio, But She Is Standing Proud Of Her Indigenous Background

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Mixe Author Yásnaya Aguilar Says Mexican Government Killed Off Indigenous Languages In Powerful Speech

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Mixe Author Yásnaya Aguilar Says Mexican Government Killed Off Indigenous Languages In Powerful Speech

Indigenous languages are often characterized as archaic, a connection to a past life, certainly not thriving cultures and communities that exist in a modern society. But this mentality isn’t just wrong; it’s also dangerous.

In a powerful speech delivered by Mixe author Yásnaya Aguilar to Mexico’s Congress last month, the writer explains that in the country, where indigenous languages are largely viewed as backwards, the state has killed off certain tongues.

“Our languages don’t die out, they’re killed off,” she said. “The Mexican state has erased them with its singular thinking, its [promotion of] a single culture, a single state. It was Mexico that took our Indigenous languages, [Mexico] erases and silences us. Even though the laws have changed, it continues to discriminate against us within its educational, health, and judicial systems.”

According to Aguilar, known for works like “Nosotros sin México: Naciones Indígenas y Autonomía” and “#Ayuujk: ¿Lenguas Útiles y Lenguas Inútiles,” by making Spanish, a language forced on the people of the region five centuries ago by Spain, the most important tongue of the nation, the state has created a culture where language discrimination can flourish.

“Languages are important, but their speakers are even more important,” she added. “Languages die because their speakers are subjected to discrimination and violence.”

For Aguilar, the country would thrive if it recognized the beauty and strengths, rather than challenges, that come with a multicultural society.

“Being Mexican is a legal status, it’s not a cultural status,” she added.

Watch Aguilar’s thoughtful speech in its entirety in the video above.

(h/t Remezcla)

Read: This Latina Is Saving The Indigenous Peruvian Language One Computer Game At A Time

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Yalitza Aparicio Gave The Best Advice Ever On Plaza Sésamo

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Yalitza Aparicio Gave The Best Advice Ever On Plaza Sésamo

Growing up as a little brown girl, rarely (if ever) did I see a person that looked like me on TV. Sometimes, on Spanish-language programming, I’d see Latinas who had darker skin tones — but more often than not they were parodied versions of what white people assumed indigenous people to be. Unfortunately, those stereotypes are still with us today. However, thanks to Sesame Street, I did have a brown Latina role model that I could look up to, and that was Maria, played by the fantastic Sonia Manzano.

Now, another beautiful Latina — who was once unknown, but has captivated the world with her talent will do what Sonia once did for me.

Yalitza Aparicio made a special apperarence on Plaza Sésamo to celebrate International Women’s Day.

Instagram/@cinematropical

Aparicio joined 3-year-old Muppet, Abby Cadabby, and the two had a lovely chat about believing in oneself, how imagination can help you achieve your dreams, and how to be persistent about your goals in life.

The brief segment began with Aparicio showing Abby on a globe all the places she’s been able to travel since the release of her Oscar-winning film “Roma.” Abby said in Spanish “when I grow up, I want to travel the world just like you!”

Aparicio said that she too dreamed of traveling the world when she was a little girl. Abby asked the Oscar-nominated actress what advice she had for her to make her dreams a reality, and Aparicio gave her the best response ever.

Aparicio advised Abby: “if you believe in yourself and work really hard, you’ll be able to accomplish all of your dreams.”

Then Aparicio told Abby to repeat the phrase over and over “if I can imagine it, I can accomplish it” so she never forgets how to reach all of her goals.

Now those are words to live by!

Click here to watch the segment.

READ: Netflix Posted Beautiful Throwbacks Of Yalitza Aparicio, Now #YalitzaChallenge Is A Thing

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