A personal experience of tango by Susana Miller
I was born to tango without memory, perhaps like most porteñas. In those days, Buenos Aires held the scent and the pulse of the tango, which was inseparable from what it meant to be a porteño.

Nevertheless, the youth of my generation were anti-tango and pro-rock'n'roll, on principle and as a consequence of the tragic upheavals in Argentina's political history and the media empire. Adults, however, sang and danced tango. The majority amateurishly, because their parents and sometimes they themselves arrived in Argentina as poor immigrants and assimilated the urban culture, appealing in itself as well as being a way of identifying themselves with and feeling part of the country that would save them.

My old lady could be heard singing tangos and boleros while she washed down the patio of our 'chorizo' house, the romantic architectural icon of the 40s and 50s. My old man sang 'La Casita de Mis Viejos' (My parents little house) moving my sister and me with his sweet, tanguero expressions.

Grown older, living overseas, a long way from Buenos Aires and the little house of my parents, if by chance I'd hear a tango, a sweet pain would fill me with the memory of Buenos Aires, her tree-lined streets, Corrientes Avenue, dulce de leche and mate. Radio el Mundo, with its programmes 'Los Perez Garcia' and 'Glostoro Tango Club', paradigmatic examples of radio programmes of those times, were listened to anxiously by all Argentineans. The house maid, sitting at the kitchen table, glued herself to the radio as if she expected the artists to appear from it live, as though it were Aladdin's Lamp.

In this golden age the tango whistled from the wheels of the tram cars and the paving stones, it lived in the souls of Argentineans, still smiling and with faces to the future - just like the publicity spread by 'Academy Pitman' and its 'triunfadores de mañana' (tomorrow's triumphant).

[Translation being completed!]

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