Sing and Don't Cry
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Sing, and Don’t Cry is Cate Kennedy’ s sensual and touching evocation of her time spent working as a volunteer in small town Mexico. The people in Tequisquiapan she comes to love, and their gusto for celebration, pilgrimage and family, force her to cast a penetrating light on her own Western values and ways.
‘What is truly essential, and who is truly poor?’ asks Kennedy in a book that also challenges the reader to care more for his or her world. Described as ‘a travel book with a social conscience’ this essential memoir, from the award–winning fiction writer and poet, is funny, warm, yet ultimately disarming.
returns, telephone connections, registration papers, bills, e-banking, surfing the net. Lock your keys in the car and call the RACV, follow the voice prompts and quote your ID number for service. You never need to communicate with your garbage men or meter reader or gas-bottle replacer. It’s efficient, but it feels like it’s only slowly dawning on us that there’s a price to be paid for those dehumanised processes and systems. You’ve insisted on complete functionality, so you can’t be surprised
revealed. ‘¿Quién sabe?’ the people here say all the time, who knows? Who knows when the car with a rope might arrive, or the shop might reopen, or the party begin? In surrendering your need to have the future mapped out and organised, you are free to focus instead on the present; constant, sensuous, waiting. When things work out, miraculously, it can seem like divine providence. If they don’t, nobody will blame you, so relax. ‘The day set out from the east and started walking …’ begins an old
and they are yellow and pink and occasionally a purplishblue, depending on the maize which has made them. Walk through a street at mealtime and you are accosted by their distinctive aroma. Early in the morning I hear the creaking of the machinery and soon the whole flat is filled with the smell. That day I know I will eat a few for breakfast, around eight with the main meal of the day at two, and probably a couple more in the evening. They will be fried, sprinkled, cut up in my soup, filled with
under. Absorb them into the growing industrial and service sectors, and then, with agro-industrial export earnings, purchase the country’s food that the people used to grow themselves. Only now there’ll be a dependent workforce of people who need to buy their food to survive, and who’ll be willing to agree to almost any conditions the companies might impose – because if you’re hungry enough, you’ll agree to anything. Official figures state that 35 per cent of the labour force is organised into
reaches my shoulder. The groups have spread out all over the country, travelling by bus and in convoy from their remote villages for often the first time in their lives. A strange spirit of jubilation seems to strike the country at large as the mission gains momentum and nobody gets killed. The fifteen male Zapatistas who visit Mexico City play a game of soccer with the city team, and the photo of the two teams – the mestizos towering over the indigenous – makes front-page news. The Zapatistas