Thursday, November 6, 2008

día de los muertos y votación

Liz & Walker just got in their taxi for a long trip back to Boston, so now we are home alone again and back to work. But it's been a really exciting week since the last blog post. On November 1st and 2nd Día de los Muertos is celebrated throughout Mexico. Families make altars in their homes – the ones we saw involved photos, candles, fruit and sweet bread, alcohol, lots of flowers, and pine needles – eat meals together, and go to the cemetary to decorate graves and talk about the deceased. On the second we travelled uphill to the autonomous and traditionally conservative Tzotzil-speaking town of San Juan Chamula. We walked around inside the church (right), which is not your aveage Catholic church (see the link).

From there we walked up to the cemetary. It was late afternoon on the 2nd, and we had clearly missed the party, but the aftermath was pretty amazing. Almost all of the hundreds of graves were covered in pine needles and flowers, and there were empty cans of beer, soda, and posh all around. It was a pretty lovely place to be.
Then it was election day. Someday when our children ask us where we were when Obama was elected president, we will have to tell them that we were in a sports bar called Tequila Zoo in San Cristóbal, Mexico watching coverage on CNN International. Gringolandia was out in force, though there were a number of Mexicans in the crowd as well. It is worth mentioning that the group of gringos who are living in Chiapas are, to put it mildly, not McCain supporters. The older residents – many retirees who decided they could live better off their savings down here – are perhaps the roudiest of the bunch, and often need to be shhshed from their heckling so that we can hear what is going on on the television. The night ended with chants of !Si se puede! and tequila shots all around. We are even more excited about coming back home in a couple of months and it feels a little less embarassing to be an American living abroad.

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