Soy Andina Study Guide (with map

prepared by Mariella Arredondo, Indiana University (Sept. 09) 1. What tangible connections do you see that exist between Nélida, a first generation Peruvian immigrant living in New York who frequently returns to visit Peru, and Cynthia, a second generation New Yorker “returning” to Peru, where her mother was raised? Does the film Soy Andina succeed in its attempt to reveal these interconnections? Please explain. 2. Can someone who has no first hand experience migrating, or has no knowledge of Peru’s artistic and cultural traditions, connect with this film? If so, how? 3. What is the uniting theme throughout the film that allows one to identity with both main characters? 4. What cultural manifestations did the film use to communicate experiences that cannot be related in words? What are some examples of these manifestations? Can we put these emotions into words after watching the film? 5. Were you able to connect with the nonverbal language spoken by the music and the dances relating their own story in the film? If so, which part of your body/experience understood the connection, and what did it say to you? 6. There is evidence in the film that a migrant’s (Nélida’s) social and cultural space can serve and be seen as a model of modern life. Do you agree? If yes, how is this evidence displayed in the film? 7. Do you think that Nélida’s experience as a transmigrant (i.e. her double migration -- first an incountry migration from Llamellin to the capital city of Peru, and then venturing out even further to an international destination) was a catalyst in her strong affirmation first and foremost as a Llamellina, then as an Andean woman, dancer, as a Peruvian, and then as a Latina living in the US? If so, do you think that one’s reaffirmation to one’s roots grows or decreases with migration? Can it occur both ways? Why or why not? 8. Nélida’s migration experience shows how, though she left her native Llamellín, she maintained a strong affirmation to her roots and was known as the “Llamellina” in social circles abroad. a) Do you think she would have succeeded as a folkloric dancer if she hadn’t remained true to her Llamellina identity? b) Do issues of authenticity come into play abroad but not in one’s own land? c) What do you think one means when one talks about “authenticity”? 9. Can you think of an experience familiar to you, or someone you know, that resembles Nélida’s transmigration even if there wasn’t movement involved, and her search for the everyday connection to her roots? If yes, how might that experience be similar or different to Nélida’s? 10. Can one accept multiple identities as part of one’s own identity? Or will multiple identities fragment one’s existence? What can we learn in this respect from the two leading characters? 11. Cynthia’s desire to find her roots in her ancestor’s land coupled with her non-conformist attitude and with not having experienced many limitations growing up could be seen as forces behind her desire to find in Peru’s folkloric dances their most intimate possible expressions and meanings. Do you agree? What power do you think these traditional dances hold for Cynthia that perhaps enabled her to ground herself in the identities of her ancestry? - Page 1 of 3 -

Soy Andina Study guide (page 2 of 3)
12. Do you think that Nélida’s experience is a successful example of someone who truly feels she belongs legitimately to many cultural spaces without having to renounce to her own identity? If so, what examples can you provide that shows us: a) how this is demonstrated in the film b) how you think she may have been able to accomplish this. 13. Do you think Cynthia’s return trip to the land of her ancestors to learn the traditional folkloric dances can be interpreted as experiences that are both expressions of identity affirmation and reinforcement of belonging, while at the same time experiences of feeling truly lost and dislocated? Please explain by providing examples of how this can be true. 14. The film depicts Cynthia feeling like she resides in the margins, outside of the circle. She is treated as a Latina in the United States, but as a gringa in Lima. Hence, she is not truly from here or from there. Do you think that she finally reconciles that part of herself and begins setting roots wherever she goes? Is this possible? How would one go about doing that? 15. Why was Nélida not able to make it as a dancer in Lima, but was able to in the United States, even starting her own Folkloric dance school? What barriers do you think were present in her own country that she was able to transcend in the U.S.? 16. Why would Nélida feel discriminated in her own country? Is there any evidence to suggest that she experienced similar type of discrimination abroad? What about upon her return trips to Peru? 17. Nélida questions the male chauvinism present in Andean society and, although she remains faithful to some customs, rebels against other traditional norms. a) Do you think that Nélida would have been able to be assertive in questioning those chauvinistic practices if she hadn’t left Llamellin? Why or why not? b) When is it okay to break tradition? 18. Do you think that traditional forms/customs in the dances and the music used in the patronage festivals (fiestas patronales) should change with the times? Why or why not? 19. Did the film succeed in showing the religious syncretism present in every day Peru? How so? 20. Based on your viewing of the film: besides size in territory and population, how is the Peru in small towns different from the Peru in the big cities?

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Soy Where was Soy Andina lmed? filmed Andina: places
Ecuador Colombia

studIes Cynthia studies Tondero
m Tu



Piura Chiclayo
Concurso dance contest


(Lambayeque) Ca ja

az on

PERU South America location



ar ca


(La Libertad)

Llamellin (Ancash)
Cynthia studies Marinera

Nelida returns for the esta patronal



ncav elica




Dance school exam

El Carmen Paci c Ocean

Chincha (Ica) Ayacucho




Carnival / Cortamonte Afro-Peruvian dance Candelaria festival
Prepared by: Araceli Ma



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