El Porrón

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
My father, Juan Prat-Sanchez, drinking from our porrón.
My father, Juan Prat-Sanchez, drinking from our porrón.

Growing up in Portland, Oregon, I did not often see my father’s family in Catalonia, Spain. I did encounter this object from my Spanish heritage when my grandmother came to Portland and brought one for her son.
The porrón is a communal drinking vessel, generally for wine, which, in my family, is often filled with a beer and lemonade combination, clarita, a light summer drink. 

To drink from the porrón, you tilt your head back and tip the porrón towards your teeth.  With a quick flip of your wrist, you can drink without touching your mouth to the glass. 
In my household growing up, the porrón was an exciting object -- unfamiliar to friends and parents. It was a fun event to show neighbors how to use it at a barbecue and laugh as everyone inevitably spills on their chins or chests (or worse) as they learn the specific movement and coordination of drinking from the new object.
The porrón also offered me a way off sharing a token of my Spanish heritage with people in my community. It offered way of acknowledging my patrilineage and the hybrid culture my parents built in the U.S.
On another level, the porrón symbolizes the value of communal sharing. This value is vital to my paternal family in Spain -- my father’s six brothers and sisters come together often to eat, to celebrate together, to watch each other’s children, etc. Though my biological family in the U.S. is a much less extensive and less connected network, the value the porrón represents about a celebratory collectivity is central to me in my life and my kin in the U.S.

Place(s): Catalonia, Spain, Portland, OR
Year: 1981

– Kendra Prat

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant