Maya girl denounces gender violence with poetry and wins state award

Photo: (Yucatán ahora)

PUEBLA, (June 28, 2021).- Yulissa Caamal Cab is a 13-year-old Maya girl who lives in the Tahdzibichén community of Yaxcaba, Yucatán municipality, and through poetry, she demonstrated that age is not an impediment to literary creation or to reflecting on complex issues such as gender violence.

“Táan u yok’olin puksi’k’al / My heart cries” is the name of the poem written in Maya that addresses the violence that is exercised against women every day in the country, and which led her to obtain the first place of the Worms Prize for the Memory of Literary Creation in Native Languages ​​of Mexico, 2021.

Lee la antología del Premio Gusanos de la Memoria de Creación Literaria en  Lenguas Originarias - Leviatan
Photo: (Leviatan.mx)

“Violence against women is something in which action must be taken, taking into account the laws, because it is sad to see that even in our days where the laws and our rights are supposed to support us, there are always violated women, even murdered women ”, exposes the young writer in an interview.

The little girl said that it was her aunt who inspired her to speak, from her mother tongue, about this issue that has been denounced by countless civil groups and international organizations due to its seriousness, because according to Unesco data, at least 6 out of 10 Mexican women have faced an incident of violence at some point in their life.

“It was an inspiration or admiration when my aunt spoke about ”machismo” (a strong sense of masculine pride: an exaggerated masculinity), violence against women; it was she who motivated me to address this issue ”, she said.

Although she recently started in the profession, she points out that she uses her free time to write stories or poetry, almost always on matters related to society; the Maya language, her vehicle to express, on this occasion, “the idea of ​​the beauty of women that is not properly valued.”

As in many other indigenous people communities across the country, Tahdzibichén suffers double violence: in the community as a woman, and in other states because they are speakers of an original language. Therefore, to the one belonging to an indigenous community, she expressed her concern that neither Maya nor any other of the original languages ​​of Mexico disappear.

Yulissa Caamal Cab

“It is part of our culture and it is what differentiates us”, emphasizes Yulissa Caamal Cab when asked about the importance of the Maya language, and adds “so that we do not forget the tongue of our ancestors” because although her parents are already bilingual, her grandparents only speak Maya.

Having received recognition from experienced writers at such a young age gives her double satisfaction as a spokesperson for Maya women of Yucatan and other Mayan speakers.

“I am happy to have won the award. It is a beautiful way of telling women who read it that we must fight against violence.”



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