957. “Bekita” by Elis Juliana, Gentleman and Poet

Bekita

Bekita dams a kanga shimis
pronka drenta sal’i balia
k’un finura k’un koketa
kada paso na su tempu
kada zoya na midí
Békitá! Békitá!
Békitá! Békitá!Hernan dí: E dams akí
ai ta flor pa hasi bunita;
yena sala ku pèrfume
hari saka djent’i oro
zoya renchi di makurá
Békitá! Békitá!
Békitá! Békitá!

Ma or’un pachi prufiá
a bai lamantá Bekita
pa é tuma’den k’e tumba
el a keda babuká
kon e mosa tantu lesma
por a para serená

Békitá Békitá
pa kén b’a mirá
Békitá Békitá
pa kén b’a tumá
Békitá Békitá
Békitá Békitá

[Papiamentu]

Lady Bekita lifted up her skirt
And stalked into the ballroom
With a smile, with coquetry
With calculated steps
And complete body control
Bekita, Bekita,
Bekita, Bekita.The gentlemen said:
This lady is just a pretty flower
filling the room with its perfume
smiling and showing her golden teeth
And swinging her red coral earrings
Bekita, Bekita,
Bekita, Bekita.

But when a gutsy old man
Dared to invite Bekita
To join him in the tumba,
He was flabbergasted
That such a delicate lady
Could sway her hips in total abandon:

Bekita, Bekita,
For whom did you take
Bekita, Bekita
Who did you think she was
Bekita, Bekita
Bekita, Bekita
Bekita, Bekita

Translated by Aart G. Broek. Source: Callaloo, Vol. 21, No. 3, Carribean Literature from Suriname, The Netherlands Antilles, Aruba, and The Netherlands: A Special Issue (Summer, 1998), p. 577

Start below video at 2 minutes to hear Bekita recited in Papiamentu… in the rythm of our Tumba.

Little known Awesome fact: Bekita is the nickname for Rebecca, a young Jewish woman.

Despite being forbidden by her own social circle, Bekita slips away to join a tumba party, primarily an Afro-Antillean cultural phenomenon at the time. This Jewish woman stupefies everyone by dancing the tumba just like any black woman would… a true symbol of creolization.

About 1000awesomethingsaboutcuracao

I'm Carolina Gomes-Casseres, the creator of 1000 Awesome Things About Curaçao. I live in and love Manhattan, but sometimes miss my first Awesome island...

3 comments

  1. Narda

    Super cultureel, erg mooi. En een geweldig interessante, en modern vormgegeven encyclopedie van 1000 awesome things.

  2. Pingback: 757. In Celebration of International Mother Language Day.. « 1000 Awesome Things About Curaçao

  3. Astonishing. Exhilarating. Timeless.

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