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Cómo hablaban los abuelos - How did our grandparents speak?
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is
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Art wrote:
I wonder if there was discrimination in the Asturian American communities by those who spoke Spanish against those who spoke Asturian? That might explain some of the comments I've heard from my family.


Interesting question, Art. I'm sure there could be plenty of answers of all colors as a response. As Mafalda said earlier, speakers of Asturian or the Galician variant spoken in western Asturias would have been deemed 'hicks', or at least 'lower class', because they did not speak standard Spanish (Castilian) by those 'aware' of subtle social codes.

But where I disagree with Mafalda is that the local language is a 'throwback' to past times and that she only 'looks to the future', as if the 'throwback' factor was associated with something like the FLDS compound in Texas. That is her own personal reinterpretation of a decision, not extensive to myself or to most people I associate with in Asturias.

Often, I find the more 'forward-looking' people in Asturias are precisely those who have no 'stigma' or 'prejudice' against Asturian, and use it freely whenever they find it an apt choice--to talk about the weather or about corruption in local government. People who do not take things at face value and question things to the root strike me as healthier because they use the tools of critical reasoning, as opposed to hand-me-down ideas.

But back to your question, would those inbuilt prejudices against Asturian carry over to a place like West Virginia?

I don't think so. I think it would have been a cohesive factor in places like Spelter. The social fault lines associated with the mainstream 'Spanish' culture would have faded out because there was no pressure to conform to something other than what they associated with Asturias. There was no Spanish administrative machinery to further the notion that Asturian was synonymous with a 'lack of education'. For the immigrants in West Virginia, it was probably an emotional nexus and a source of ethnic affinity in a foreign environment.

It continues to be the case for most of us, Asturian-Americans, in 2008, whether we are in Pasadena, Maryland, Rockport, Massachusetts or in Washington DC, where I am writing this.

I think the 'problem', at its source, is a conditioned inferiority complex that is integrated into the worldview of people living in Asturias today, particularly those who buy into the idea that Castilian Spanish is somehow synonymous with a superior level of education.

To my mind, a superior educational level is recognizing and speaking both Castilian Spanish and Asturian/Galician. That’s a sign that a person is intellectually curious and in learning mode, as opposed to blocked by institutional prejudice. My friend Busto, whom you know, Art, has learned Asturian from his father and then with books by the Academia de la Llingua. He also speaks good English and French. He's a mechanical engineer by training, but has made an effort to learn languages. And he has integrated Asturian just as easily as he has English or French. I think that is quite admirable.

People in Asturias are obviously the product of their schooling. In the case of the language conflict, I’m glad not to have had their schooling and grateful for an American education instead.

----

Ia interesante tua entruga, Art. Dexuro que hai respuestas abondas, ya de muitos colores. Cumo dixera Mafalda, los falantes d’asturianu ya gal.lego-asturianu en West Virginia seique foran vistos cumo aldeaninos ou probinos por parte la xente que falaba castel.lan ya taba aliel.lo a sutiles codigos sociales.

Pero au nun tou d’alcuerdu con Mafalda ia que la l.lingua l.lariega ia ya foi cousa del pasau, ya que el.la mira namai pal futuru ensin dengun interes pa cona l.lingua. Eso ia sua re-interpretacion de una decision que feixo, ya non ia estensible a la xente cona que tou avezau a asociar n’Asturias.

Bien de veces, na mia esperiencia pulo menos, la xente adicao al futuru n’Asturias ia xustamente aquel.la que nun pon torgas a la l.lingua ya nun asume prexuicios dalos. Davezu, fain usu de la l.lingua pa falar del tiempu ou seique de las corruptelas nel gobierno’l Principau. Peimeque las personas que nun fain l.lectura facil de las cousas ya utilizan los preseos del pensamientu criticu en cuenta d’idegas topicas, son mas amanaos.

No cincante a tua pregunta, esos prexuicios escontra l’asturianu chegarian a sitios cumo West Virginia al entamu del sieglu XX?

Cuido que non. Al contrariu, seique fora un factor de cohesion social en municipios cumo Spelter. Las l.lindes l.lantadas pula cultura ‘mainstream’ espanola de los anos 1920-30 dexuro que sumieron rapido al nun ter qu’adaptase la xente a el.las n’America del Norte. Namai que guardarian las cousas que-ys fadian remembrar Asturias. Tampouco nun habia una alministracion espanola recordando-ys que l’asturianu yera daque d’incultos. Pa los inmigrantes en Spelter, cuido que la l.lingua ou la fala que trouxeron de casa firrulou cumu un elemento de xuntanza nun ambiente foriato.

Eso sigue siendo verda pa nos, asturiano-americanos, en 2008, teamos en Pasadena, Maryland, Rockport, Massachusetts ou Washington DC, au escribo esto.

Pa min que el problema, no sou raigon, ia el complexu d’inferiorida que la xente anguano n’Asturias integrou na sua percepcion del mundu. Tou falando de la xente que ‘mercou’ la idega que el castel.lan ia sinonimo con un nivel d’educacion superior.

Un nivel superior d’educacion, baxo el miou puntu de vista, ia la persona que fala tanto castel.lan cumo asturianu ou gal.lego-asturiano, ya outros idiomas. Eso amuesa que tien curiosida intelectual ya inda ta deprendiendo cousas novas, en cuenta d’asumir prexuicios istitucionales. Miou amigu Busto, que tu conoces personalmente, Art, deprendeu asturianu de sou pai ya con l.libros de l’Academia de la L.lingua. Tamien fala bon frances ya ingles. Busto ia inxenieru, pero bregou por deprender l.linguas. Ya foi quien a integrar l’asturianu nel mesmu tarren que l’ingles ou frances. Eso ia bien curiosu.

La xente n’Asturias ia’l productu de sua escolarizacion, cumu en cualisquier l.lugar. Nel casu la l.lingua ya’l conflictu al sou rodiu, tou contento de nun ter esa ‘educacion’ ya agradeciu pula forma de pensar que inculca el sistema educativu norteamericanu.


Last edited by is on Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:04 am; edited 4 times in total
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Art
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree mostly with what you've written, Is, but I'd expect competing forces. On the one hand, as you say, there would have been very strong togetherness impulses, which would appear as the desire to support one another in a foreign land. On the other hand, human groups always form hierarchies, so I'd also expect there to be discrimination of some sort, even within the context of "solidarity". Of course, any such discrimination wouldn't have to be rational.

My own family valued education. Back in Asturias, the San Cristóbal farm family had hired a tutor to teach the children to read and write. I don't know how typical that was. Given several brief comments, I suspect that the family which moved to WV saw themselves as somewhat "other".

A little of that same attitude can be seen in the part about my grandfather in the book Pinnick Kinnick Hill. The author certainly thought his dad was above anyone else. Was that just a child's wishful thinking? Or did it represent a subtle reality in the Asturian American community? Reading that book made me wonder if there was a very small merchant class in WV that had a slightly elevated self-image.

At this point, this is conjecture. I'll need to ask other family members about it, and if it did exist, I don't know how wide spread it would have been. It could be just one family's neurosis, or maybe just mine!

Hm... A little further from the topic at hand, it has always struck me as odd that there appear to have been very few Asturian American entrepreneurs. But that could have been a result of cultural influences from back home, couldn't it? In comparison, today there are tons of Italian businesses in WV.

---------------------------

Estoy de acuerdo contigo sobre casi todo que has escrito, pero creo que habría sido fuerzas opuestas. Por una parte, como dices, habría habido los impulsos muy fuertes de la unidad, que aparecerían como el deseo de apoyar uno otro en una tierra extranjera. Por otra parte, todos grupos humanos forman jerarquías, así que también esperaría ser discriminación de un modo o otro, incluso dentro del contexto de la "solidaridad". Por supuesto, cualquier discriminación no tendría ser racional.

Mi propia familia valoró la educación. En Asturias, la familia agrícola de San Cristóbal contrató a un profesor particular para enseñar a leer y a escribir a los niños y niñas. No sé si era típico o no. Dado varios breves comentarios, sospecho que la familia que se trasladó a WV se vio como un poco "otra".

Una poca de esa misma actitud se puede ver en la parte sobre mi abuelo en el libro Pinnick Kinnick Hill. El autor ciertamente pensó que su padre fue mejor que cualquier persona. ¿Fue ése simplemente el optimismo a ultranza de un niño? ¿O representó una realidad sutil en la comunidad astur-americana? Leyendo el libro preguntarme si había una clase mercantil muy pequeña en WV que tenía una imagen de sí-misma levemente elevada.

A este momento, es totalmente conjetura. Necesitaré preguntar a otros parientes, y si existió, no sé la extensión. ¡Podría ser solamente una neurosis de la familia, o quizás la mía!

Hm… Un poco más lejos del tema, se me ha extrañado siempre que aparece haber sido muy pocos empresarios astur-americanos. ¿Pero quizás ése fuese un resultado de influencias culturales de la tierrina, ¿no? En comparación, hoy hay muchísimos negocios italianos en WV.
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Mafalda



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Carlos dijo:
Quote:
Me parece estupendo, Mafalda, eso es mucho más franco. A otros sí nos importan estas cosas, pero después de 30 años ya nos va costando tener que seguir dando una y otra vez las mismas explicaciones. Llegados a este punto, me parece que esto es una simple cuestión de sentimientos: o se quiere a la lengua asturiana, o no.

Y digo yo, Carlos ¿no podias haber dicho "sincero" en lugar de "franco" ¡salieronme ronchas! Laughing Laughing Laughing

No quiero tomarme este debate en serio, basicamente porque me llevas mucha ventaja, tu eres lingüista y yo no Wink , pero en una cosa tienes razón, y es que es una cuestión de sentimientos, de mis sentimientos, y me explico:

Cuando oí a Anita Menendez y otros de nuestros artistas hablar en el docu de Luis, me emocioné, hablaban como los mis güelos y los mis tios, ya fallecidos. Sin embargo, cuando oigo y leo lo que ahora se llama asturiano, (que no bable ¡faltaria mas!), los escritos de IS, sin ir mas lejos, o los tuyos, me produce el mismo efecto que si tengo que traducir catalàn, ningun problema, estudié latin y algo de griego, sè frances e italiano y no tengo ningun problema, pero tengo que traducir , no lo siento como mio, no es mi lengua materna, algo falla.

He de aclarar, que ni resido ni voto ni pago impuestos en Asturias, lo cual quiere decir que no me meto en ese jardin, (el de la politica) solo lo contemplo desde detràs de la valla. Y no me gusta lo que veo, no me gusta nada.
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Mafalda



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
¿Me pregunto si había discriminación en las colonizaciones astur-americanas contra los que hablaban asturiano por los que hablaban español? Creo que explicaría algunos comentarios que he oído de mi familia.


No se que comentarios habrás oido en tu familia, pero no creo que ninguno de aquellos emigrantes (1903-1920) hablase en castellano.

citaré un parrafo que leí hace tiempo :

Quote:
Hay un pueblo cerca de Clarksburg donde una empresa puso a andar una fundición de zinc con los trabajadores que la RCAM echó de Arnao tras una huelga. Parece ser que los "españoles" (eran todos asturianos) tenían fama de ser los mejores trabajadores en la metalurgía, y se les cotizaba...... Hay varios descendientes de esa gente que ultimamente se tomaron mucho interés por recuperar sus raíces. Tenía gracia porque esas personas, habiendo oido hablar a sus abuelos lo que pensaban era el español, no podían encontrar muchas de las palabras que conocían en el diccionario. Eran palabras asturianas, pero no lo sabían.


Llamar incultos o paletos a quienes hablaban asturiano fuè posterior a la guerra civil, cuando la enseñanza se impartìa en castellano y no estaba al alcance de todos.
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Bob
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The people who moved from the Clarksburg area to Niagara Falls, like my grandparents, were all asturianos, and spoke very much like the people in Luis Argeo's film. There was, of course, the occasional neologism or archaicism after 50 or 60 years of separation from their places of birth. And many of them were cousins, or from the same area and knew each other from Asturias in their youth. When jobs opened up, they would notifiy family and friends on both sides of the Atlantic. They kept in touch with other friends and relatives in West Virginia, Ohio, Asturias and other places by letter and, after 1950, an occasional visit.

If there was heavy industry - zinc, steel, coal mining - you can be sure there were significant numbers of asturianos there. They took care of one another and remained a community in a very real sense. If someone was injured and could not work, everyone chipped in to help the family. If anyone failed to do so, some very real (and sometimes physical) pressure was brought to bear.

They kept their communities intact as best they could, and they continued to speak more or less as they had in their youth. When we were in Asturias, many people commented that my father spoke just like the older local people, with no discernable foreign accent. I wasn't astonished, it was his first language. His explanation was always "I just speak like my parents." He didn't learn English until he started school.
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Art
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mafalda, éste es una clave en el problema de la sobrevivencia de la lengua.
Mafalda wrote:
...tengo que traducir , no lo siento como mio, no es mi lengua materna...
No creo que es solamente tú que sienta así. Is habla como la gente de su zona, pero su lengua es algo extranjera a ti. Claro, a los que ama a lingüística interesa los variantes. ¿Pero cómo podemos crear una comunidad lingüística viable cuando tanta gente tipa se sientan alienado por los variantes de la lengua?

-----------------------------------

Mafalda, this is a key problem for the survival of the language:
Mafalda wrote:
[trans. Art] ...I have to translate, it doesn't feel like part of me, it's not my maternal language...
I don't think it's not just you that feels that way. Is speaks like the people in his area speak, but it's somewhat foreign to you. Sure, those who love linguistics find the variants fascinating. But how can we create a viable linguistic community when so many average people feel alienated by the variants of the language?
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Art
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob, you may be the perfect person to answer my question from above. You said that your father spoke Asturian, or at least that he spoke like the old people from the area around Castrillón. Was his language essentially a variant of central Asturian? Did his language have a lot of features that a speaker of Castilian would have labeled "Spanish"? How much of his language used grammar and vocabulary of what we would call Castilian?

-------------------------------

Bob, quizá seas la persona perfecta contestar mi pregunta de más ariba. dijiste que tu padre habló asturianu, o al menos que habló como los viejos de la zona de Castrillón. ¿Era su lengua esencialmente una variante de asturianu central? ¿Tenía su lenguaje muchos rasgos que un hispanoparlante calificaría de ser "castellano"? Cuánto de su gramática y vocabulario correspondía a lo que llamaríamos "castellano"?
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Bob
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I remember best is that he spoke just like the older people in Samartín de Laspra when he spoke with them. His vocabulary included words like falar (not hablar) and curuxa (not búho) although he knew the castellano words too. Before we went to Asturias, he was worried that his language skills had deteriorated because he hadn't had much occasion to speak it with anyone since my grandfather died 16 years before. On our very first day there, he commented that his worry had evaporated once he stopped thinking about what he was going to say and just said it (i.e., stopped thinking in English first).

Here in the US, when he spoke with Mexicans or Puerto Ricans, he would shift in the direction of castellano.

He also spoke unaccented American English and understood quite a bit of Italian and some Polish as well, thanks to the multiethnicity of Niagara Falls.

The one remaining family member of my father's generation lived most of his working life in Mexico and Argentina, so his speech is no longer a good indicator of my father's.

Whatever they spoke, and I think it was a slightly out of date version of central Asturian, everyone (family and Asturian neighbors) called it Spanish when speaking English.
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Art
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's interesting that he was completely aware of Castilian words, too, and would shift toward Castilian when that fit his audience. Do you think that would indicate that his parents probably did the same thing? And would that indicate that even back in the early 1900s people from Castrillón were able to shift between Asturian and Castilian? Or do you think that's extrapolating too far?

----------------------

Me interesa que fue completamente consciente de palabras castellanas, también, y que cambiaría a castellano cuando cabe a su audiencia. ¿Crees que eso indica que sus padres probablemente hiciera lo mismo? ¿Y indicaría que incluso a principios del siglo XX la gente de Castrillón podía cambiar entre asturianu y castellano? Or crees que eso extrapolaría demasiado?
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Bob
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I was in college and enrolled in a Spanish class I sometimes spoke Spanish with my grandfather. He would shift to castellano when talking to me because that was what I was learning, sometimes catchng himself and repeating a word in castellano when he had first said it in asturianu. I didn't understand the difference at the time, but I do remember him doing this. I suspect that the bosses at the zinc factory and mine in Arnau spoke castellano. They were probably from out of the area.

I don't know many things about his parents or grandparents language, but I assume that it was 19th century central asturianu. Samartín de Laspra and Salinas in Castrillón are where my grandparents were born, but some of their parents had moved from Muros de Nalón and Samartín de Podes in Gozón.

I don't know if he did (or could do) this in his youth, but he was good at languages. He could read a newspaper in English and simultaneously translate for those around him. His English was heavily accented by fluent. My father maintained that he also spoke Portuguese. His cousin Carmen (Really Maria Carmen), who lived across the street from my grandparents in Niagara Falls, served as unofficial translator for those without good English skills.
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is
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a fascinating thread, by the way. It could easily serve for a second installment of Luis Argeo's film, Asturianus. The conscious shift from Asturian to Castilian Spanish, even in rural Asturias where I am from, has always intrigued me.

But I would say that not ALL people knew/know how to shift, or were/are conscious that there was/is another way to express oneself. I'm thinking of people like Herminiu, who once confounded dinner guests when he began to talk about his experience in the 'batallon ciclista' during Spain's Civil War. He was telling them (me included) a story about how a boat sunk in a bay, and the snippet went something like this:

"Entos, taba el barcu amburau y fundiose."
"Como que se fundio?"
"Fundiose, ho!"
"Pero, por la temperatura del fuego?"
"Nomenon, fundio! Fundio! Fundio!"

He could not understand how certain people did not understand. Fundir means to sink in Asturian and in Castilian it is hundirse.

Interesting that people even in the early 20th century in the countryside (I'm supposing Arnao and Samartin de Laspra were very rural back then) were conscious of the language difference. I'd expect that in cities, but not really in rural areas.

Another thing that Mafalda mentioned has intrigued me. Would others also say that the prejudice against Asturian and Galician-Asturian is the result of the Franco years?

I've heard older people talk about the importation of language instructors from Leon (mainly) to teach at small rural schools in West Asturias during Franco's dictatorship. You can also read about this in some of the personal accounts by Paquita Suarez-Coalla, La mio vida ye una novela.

If so, did the local language have more prestige in, say, the 18th and 19th centuries? What was the attitude toward Asturian and Galician-Asturian during Spain's first and second republics of the 1930s? Better? The same as during Franco?

I've heard not very friendly stories from older people about the teachers from Leon who scolded children for using Asturian. Maybe there was a day when there was no prejudice at all from speakers of Castilian Spanish in Gijon (Xixon) and Oviedo (Uvieu) toward people from the countryside.

Today, interestingly, I find that people in the cities will sometimes shift toward me and answer in Asturian. But it's mostly people with ties to the countryside or whose parents speak it at home. It happened to me recently buying fruit from a vendor at El Arco in Xixon who is originally from Bual (West Asturias). She had no problem shifting into Galician-Asturian because she didn't harbor any prejudices/stigmas about the language. If only things were more normal in Asturias...


Last edited by is on Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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Bob
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think we all do a certain amount of code shifting/language shifting/dialect shifting. I certainly speak differently to friends and family than I do in lecture or when giving a presentation at a conference. It's not as extreme as central asturianu and castellano, but I'm always aware of the more formal situation. Essentially it means I'm not as much of a potty-mouth as I am in real life, and I tend to speak (even extemporaneously) in complete paragraphs with longer and more complex sentences.

If anyone REALLY likes long and complex sentences, I can't recommend any readings more enjoyable than some of the works by Gabriel García Márquez.
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Mafalda



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

¡¡¡UF!!! vais demasiado deprisa para mi, lo siento, no tengo tiempo para seguiros, haré lo que pueda.

Is dijo:
Quote:
Another thing that Mafalda mentioned is intrigued me. Would others also say that the prejudice against Asturian and Galician-Asturian is the result of the Franco years and the forced importation of language instructors from Leon (mainly) to teach at Asturian schools?

Shocked ¿¿¿como??? Shocked ¿no estarás confundiendo los maestros asturianos con la tarta San Marcos? Laughing Laughing Laughing

No he dicho en ningun sitio que los maestros asturianos se importaran de León, es mas, no tengo ni idea de donde eran los maestros asturianos, pero supongo que en su mayor parte eran... Rolling Eyes de Asturias

Pero la cosa es muy sencilla, durante los 40 años de dictadura, el asturiano no fue el único idioma que estuvo reprimido en este pais, lo fueron todos, el catalán, el gallego, el euskera, el valenciano y yo diria que hasta las zzzs del andaluz. Por imposición gubernamental, el único idioma oficial de este pais llamado España, era el castellano.

Y mas sencillo todavia, en un pais donde el indice de analfabetismo era muy alto, al final de la guerra (1940), la distinción entre cultos e incultos, imponiendo la enseñanza en castellano en la misma escuela, cae por su propio peso, los que hablan español es porque han ido a la escuela, por lo tanto son cultos, los que no han ido, ni siquiera saben hablar "bien". Solo hacia falta dejar pasar algunos años y el objetivo estaria cumplido, en este pais solo se hablaria español.

Twisted Evil eran...pero tontos no.

No ocurriò solo con el idioma, tambien ocurrió con la religión y con la historia, fueron 40 años de dictadura, que dejaron huella.

¡Y sin embargo, resulta que uno de los pocos ayuntamientos que cuenta con una alcaldesa de Izquierda Unida es el de Castrillón! ¡que cosas! Laughing Laughing Laughing

Quote:
Interesting that people even in the early 20th century in the countryside (I'm supposing Arnao and Samartin de Laspra were very rural back then) were conscious of the language difference. I'd expect that in cities, but not really in rural areas.


No Is, Arnao a principios del Siglo XX era industrial, un pueblo, pero industrial, alguna gente aun tenía un cachin de huerta, plantaban berzas, arbejos y patatas y criaban pitas y gochos, pero el dinero se ganaba en la fábrica, por eso la crisis de 1903 a 1920 y el cierre de la mina en 1915 provocó la emigración de muchas familias a West Virginia, donde habia otras fábricas de Zinc que les ofrecian trabajo.
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Mafalda



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing ¡Vaya!, tampoco hacia falta que frenarais en seco. Laughing

Opino, como Is, que este es un hilo fascinante, y hay algunas cosas que quiero comentar:

Art escribió
Quote:
Mi propia familia valoró la educación. En Asturias, la familia agrícola de San Cristóbal contrató a un profesor particular para enseñar a leer y a escribir a los niños y niñas. No sé si era típico o no. Dado varios breves comentarios, sospecho que la familia que se trasladó a WV se vio como un poco "otra".


No es que fuera tipico o no, Art, supongo que hablas de principios del S.XX, en esa época, cuando la familia podia económicamente, les ponia un profesor en casa a los niños, hasta la edad en que era posible enviarles a un internado en la capital.

Las escuelas eran pocas, no creo que en San Cristobal existiera una, por lo tanto era una simple cuestión de dinero, si lo tenias para pagar un profesor, tus hijos podian acceder a la educación, si no, no.

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Hm… Un poco más lejos del tema, se me ha extrañado siempre que aparece haber sido muy pocos empresarios astur-americanos. ¿Pero quizás ése fuese un resultado de influencias culturales de la tierrina, ¿no? En comparación, hoy hay muchísimos negocios italianos en WV.

Pienso que mas que influencias culturales, en este caso, la gente que emigró se fué con un fin muy concreto, practicamente con un contrato de trabajo en el bolsillo, iban a trabajar en las fundiciones de WV, el mismo trabajo que hacian aqui, puesto que en Arnao no habia trabajo suficiente, la mina se habia cerrado hubo despedidos tras las huelgas y la fábrica pasaba por una crisis importante, en ese contexto, llegaron las ofertas de WV y muchos se fueron, llevandose despues a sus familias.

De ahí que pocos se dedicaran al comercio, aunque alguno debió de haber, concretamente Gerardo, el primo de mi madre tenia un restaurante, o un comedor para los empleados de la fábrica, algo asi, él nunca trabajó en la fundición.

Es curioso, si os fijais, en la 1ª y casi siempre en la 2ª generación, los matrimonios son solo entre españoles, es en la 3ª cuando empiezan a aparecer apellidos principalmente italianos e ingleses y algun que otro aleman y polaco.

A diferencia de esta emigración tan concreta, en la que los que se fueron eran trabajadores cualificados, adultos y con familia ya creada, incluso con hijos pequeños, hasta entonces, los que se iban a America, iban a hacer fortuna, se iban solos y muy jóvenes, la familia que dejaban atras eran padres y hermanos, por lo tanto su familia la crearon allí.

El destino era Centro y Sur América, donde el idioma no era un problema, casi siempre al llegar tenian algun tio, primo o amigo de sus padres que les hechaba una mano en los comienzos y despues todo dependia de la suerte y el trabajo de cada uno.

Algunas de esas fortunas retornaron a Asturias, se construyeron las famosas "casas de indianos" de las que está salpicada toda la geografia asturiana y se crearon fundaciones, escuelas o simplemente daban dinero a los párrocos para que atendieran las necesidades de los pobres.

¡Y ya me he "ido por las ramas" y me ha salido un post superlaaaaargo!
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Bob
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Ellis Island records for my grandparents (1913), as well as for my great grandfather who came to the EEUU a year earlier, indicate that they could all read and write. I always thought that this was somewhat unusual for working class people who emigrated to find jobs. When I look at other immigrants from Asturias in the same time period, however, I find that a surprising number of them were able to read and write.

My great grandmother gave my grandfather money to have his wife and child accompany him because, as family lore has it, "too many men forget their families in Asturias once they find work in the EEUU."

My family never returned as indianos and could not have done so if they wanted to, but they left a legacy of 12 grandchildren in my generation, mostly well-educated. They gave generously to their cihildren, as their children did to my generation, and in amny ways are very much responsible for the family's success today.
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