4878 stories
·
6 followers

The storytellers who read aloud to Cuban cigar rollers

1 Share

In a practice that started in 1865 and still continues today, lectores (storytellers) in Cuban cigar factories read to the workers while they roll cigars. They read the news, novels, horoscopes, recipes…it’s like a live daily radio show or podcast for the workers.

I’m not just a reader; I’m rather a cultural promoter of sorts. I usually try to bring topics that can influence their day-to-day, and help them face certain issues.

(Gee, that sounds like what I do here!) The practice started as a way to educate and entertain workers and eventually helped fuel the Cuban independence movement…a little knowledge goes a long way. Nowadays, the practice is less revolutionary. From a piece in The Economist about lectores:

The workers themselves choose the lectores. “This is the only job in Cuba that is democratically decided,” says an employee. The audience is demanding. Torcedores signal approval by tapping chavetas, oyster-shaped knives, on their worktables; slamming them on the floor shows displeasure. They vote on reading material: Ms Valdés-Lombillo recently finished “A Time to Die” by Wilbur Smith, a South African novelist, and “Semana Santa en San Francisco”, by Agustin García Marrero, a Cuban. When the readings get steamy, torcedores provide an accompaniment of suggestive sound effects. They laugh when a horoscope suggests that someone might inherit a fortune.

This piece in Mental Floss also contains some interesting tidbits:

One lectora, Maria Caridad Gonzalez Martinez, wrote 21 novels over her career. None were published; she simply read them all aloud to her audience.

Tags: Cuba   video   working
Read the whole story
smallfrogge
19 hours ago
reply
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Share this story
Delete

Clutter

4 Comments and 9 Shares
I found a copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, but the idea of reading it didn't spark joy, so I gave it away.
Read the whole story
smallfrogge
2 days ago
reply
This is freaky, I reached the "ah" stage today..
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Share this story
Delete
2 public comments
alt_text_at_your_service
3 days ago
reply
I found a copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, but the idea of reading it didn't spark joy, so I gave it away.
alt_text_bot
3 days ago
reply
I found a copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, but the idea of reading it didn't spark joy, so I gave it away.

German Tuner Builds Mid-Engined 210 HP Old-School Beetle Roadster Because Life Is For The Living

1 Comment

Memminger is one of the best Volkswagen Beetle restoration companies out there. They’re somewhat unique in the vintage Beetle restoration world because they tend to focus on the generally less-loved Super Beetles, but the cars they produce are outstanding. This time they’ve taken things a bit further, re-imagining a

Read more...

Read the whole story
smallfrogge
2 days ago
reply
Desperately want
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Share this story
Delete

Rickrolling Anniversary

2 Comments and 6 Shares
Want to feel old? The 'want to feel old?' factoid meme dates back to around 2011, closer to the Bush/Kerry election than to today.
Read the whole story
smallfrogge
6 days ago
reply
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Share this story
Delete
2 public comments
alt_text_at_your_service
7 days ago
reply
Want to feel old? The 'want to feel old?' factoid meme dates back to around 2011, closer to the Bush/Kerry election than to today.
alt_text_bot
7 days ago
reply
Want to feel old? The 'want to feel old?' factoid meme dates back to around 2011, closer to the Bush/Kerry election than to today.

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Dance

4 Shares


Click here to go see the bonus panel!

Hovertext:
Look, at least he's only eating the pie.

New comic!
Today's News:

One week left to get your tickets!

Read the whole story
smallfrogge
7 days ago
reply
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Share this story
Delete

Turkish Delight

7 Comments and 15 Shares
I take it Narnia doesn't have Cinnabons? Because if you can magic up a plate of those, I'll betray whoever.
Read the whole story
smallfrogge
9 days ago
reply
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Share this story
Delete
6 public comments
amijangos
5 days ago
reply
Turkish Delight
Columbus, Indiana
zippy72
8 days ago
reply
Is his the real thing or Fry’s? Because trust me, there’s a BIG difference...
FourSquare, qv
satadru
10 days ago
reply
hahahaha
New York, NY
Ferret
10 days ago
reply
So true.
alt_text_at_your_service
10 days ago
reply
I take it Narnia doesn't have Cinnabons? Because if you can magic up a plate of those, I'll betray whoever.
kyounger
7 days ago
whomever?
rraszews
10 days ago
reply
This is a common reaction, especially from people who aren't British. It's a World War II thing; privation in England during the war was so bad that children would betray their families for a confection that basically tastes like snot dusted with powdered sugar. (The fact that Tolkien and Lewis were both writing in the wake of WWII food rationing is why modern high fantasy has such a rich tradition of Food Porn scenes)
ericprasmussen
10 days ago
That makes sense, but how do you account for GRRM's voluminous food porn?
pmac
10 days ago
Oh! That's fascinating. I always wondered about that. Authors like George RR Martin also love talking about what people are eating and wearing.
rraszews
10 days ago
A lot of it is that later writers who hadn't lived through rationing grew up reading Tolkien and Lewis and so saw opulent feast scenes as "Just a thing you do in fantasy novels". JK Rowling included scenes like that in Harry Potter too, even though she's too young to have experienced it for herself.
artmoney
10 days ago
Rowling may not have experienced war rationing, but she did live in poverty and on assistance for long stretches of time.
mareino
10 days ago
I suspect George RR Martin is one of those people who are genetically cursed to be hungry all the time.
Next Page of Stories