Wednesday, December 14, 2011

La Rama

In early December, we started noticing the local kids out on Hidalgo with their decorated tree branches.   La Rama had begun!  The tradition puzzles me since I'm not fluent in Spanish, but basically it consists of kids decorating small Christmas trees or branches with tinsel and ornaments and singing a song for pesos.  I found a translation of the song online.  The La Rama verses go something like this!

Good evening, we say, gentlefolk, the branch comes to sing to you
it comes to sing with honor
to see what you can give us.

Oranges and lemon
lemons and limes
the Virgin is prettier
than all the flowers.

In a small stable
made of lime and sand
Jesus Christ was born
on Christmas Eve.

At midnight
a rooster sang
and in his song said
that Christ was born.

Up in heaven
there's a little stable
where he's looking down
on the little boy (Jesus).

Green grass
covered with dew
he who doesn't cover up
will die of cold.

Give me my bonus
if you're going to give it to me
the night is very short
and we have to go.

The branch is now leaving
very thankful
because at this house
it was well received.

I'm still not sure if the kids are collecting the pesos to keep themselves, or if the money goes into a community fund for a party.  A friend said when the kids are in a group accompanied by teachers, they're probably collecting for a group party. Whatever the tradition, it's fun to see all the smiling faces of children as they sing their song for pesos. 


Ann said...

Great shots of the wonderful children of Isla! Their faces are so expressive!

krisla said...

Wow--I did not know about this. What a cute fitting, and moreso since branches hard to come by!
I sure have seen a lot of Christmas activity going on...high gear already