Peru: Celebrating 20 years of ‘Nubeluz’

Peruvians who were children in the early 1990s may remember the very popular TV show Nubeluz. In those years, Peru was going through very hard times: terrorism attacks made the news frequently, the population was used to constant blackouts and, on top of that, hyperinflation made life even harder.

In that context, Saturday and Sunday mornings were lightened up with an unprecedented concept for Peruvian TV. Nubeluz was based on three basic features: 1) it was not supposed to be a TV show but a children's party (the word “program” was forbidden); 2) the party was held on a magic cloud that went from one place to another commanded by Glufo, who had two female friends named “dalinas” (glufic language) and; 3) all the games had to involve cloud elements.

In Spanish, “nube” means cloud. So, literally, the show's name could be translated as ‘light cloud’.

This week, Nubeluz is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and some bloggers reacted to the occasion. A page on Facebook [es] dedicated to the show is also celebrating the anniversary.

From Todo pasado (no) fue mejor [es], blogger Sandro Escandón sums up [es] the context under which children watched the show in Peru:

[…] mientras nuestros padres (los mios y los de los de mi generacion) se debatian entre las colas,la hiperinflacion y el terrorismo sanguinario, la mayoria de nosotros,los niñas y niños de mi generacion, nos sumerguiamos en esa nube,cual burbuja de cristal contra el horrible presente y la realidad nacional que muchos desconociamos en su exacta magnitud, 5 horas-de 8 am a 1 pm- en ese mundo magico llamado “el mundo glufico” o “Nubeluz” en el que el capitan Glufo nos trajo a las dalinas,las cindelas y los golmodis un 9 de septiembre de 1990.

[…] while our parents (mine and those of my generation) struggled among lines, hyperinflation and bloodthirsty terrorism, most of us, the boys and girls from my generation, became absorbed by that cloud, as a crystal bubble against the awful present and the national reality, whose exact magnitude remain unknown for many of us, 5 hours-from 8 am to 1 pm- into that magic world called “the glufic world” or “Nubeluz”, in which Captain Glufo brought us the dalinas, the cindelas and golmodis, on September 9th 1990.

Blogger Jhon Núñez Sandman, from the blog Diario de un soltero [es] in his post “Yo fui nubecino” (I was a nubecino) shares how he felt when his father told him he had tickets to see Nubeluz live:

Año 1993, aquella infancia espectacular que nunca volverá, que se llevo lo mejor de mi niñez y me dejo los mas hermosos recuerdos.


Mi padre, una mañana llego y me dijo que tenia pases para ir a ‘Nubeluz’, salte tanto que no me lo creía, cuide las entradas como oro, las puse debajo del colchón, para que los traviesos de mis hermanos no las tocaran.

Year 1993, that spectacular childhood that will never come back, that took away the best of my early years and left me the most beautiful memories.[…]

My father, came one morning and told me he had tickets to go to ‘Nubeluz’, I jumped so much, I couldn't believe it, I took care of the tickets as if they were golden, put them under my mattress, so my naughty brothers wouldn't mess around with them.

Nubeluz included a whole set of new words [es]. According to this “glufic” vocabulary, “nubecino” was the child at the TV studio and “nubetor” was the one who saw the show from home.

Children at Nubeluz show in 1990s. Image from Flickr user medea_material used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic Creative Commons license

There were lots of songs with messages for children and their parents. Maybe the most remembered is ‘Papi, deja de fumar’ (Daddy, stop smoking), that recommended [es]:

Papi, papi, papi, deja de fumar
Cuando me das un beso no puedo respira
Deja ese cigarro si me quieres de verda
No ves que a mí también me hace mal ¡basta ya!

Daddy, daddy, daddy, stop smoking
When you kiss me I can't even breathe
Quit that cigar if you really love me
Can't you see it's bad for me too. Stop it!

The blog Ser peruano [es] posts pictures of the reunion of the cast and production crew, and shares some feelings from the cast:

Recordaron los miedos que enfrentaban en cada gira fuera del país ” En el estudio nos enfrentabamos a una cámara, pero cuando salíamos fuera, en las grandes presentaciones, en donde nos esperaban miles de personas, nos daba un poco de miedo, en realidad salíamos casi aterradas. Nos dábamos cuenta recién el éxito que tenía el programa y las miles de personas que lo seguían.”

They remembered the fears they faced on every tour out of the country. “At the studio, we faced one camera, but when we went out, on the big presentations, where thousands of people waited for us, we were a little afraid, actually, we used to go out really frightened. We just realized the success the program had and the thousands of followers it had.”

But all the fun started to end when gray clouds entered this magic world. Mónica Santa María, known as the ‘dalina chiquita’ (little dalina) committed suicide in March 1994. Her character was replaced with other girls who, along with Almendra Gomelsky, the other dalina, did their best to carry on with all the fun.

The magic world of Nubeluz ended in 1996, but those who were children back in the 1990s may still hear “grántico, palmani, zum”, (similar to “ready, set, go!” in glufic language) when the fun is about to start.

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