07 August 2007

rhymes we learned in childhood

Here is a rhyme we spouted when we were children:

Bate, bate chocolate (pronounced tso-ko-la-te)
Uncle Borja ta bate

The above one was taught by pompous older cousins. Several years later, when we were adults, we learned that the particular rhyme was quite a salacious one. In our innocence, we recited them in front of adults during merienda cena, when hot chocolate made traditionally using a wooden mixer was served. What I vividly remember were the chuckles and the giggles that came from the older people who were present. Poor Uncle Borja (may he rest in peace)! I just could imagine his discomfiture as we chanted those lines through the whole merienda scene.

This one was simply racist and very stupid. We chanted it when in an angry mood or when boisterousness possessed us:

Bisaya, Bisaya
Ta kaga na paya

This was sort of a social reaction on our part; a retaliation for endless taunting (children can be unmatched in cruelty); and a salve for broken egos. Well, we hope that we are forgiven and have learned our lessons. It is very ironic that, as an adult, my best of friends are Bisayas. Moral of this story - listen to what your children are chanting; for all we know, they don't really have a grasp of the connotations of their chants nor the effects they can have.