Getting in the groove: I’m falling for Mexico

Mariachi paying respect
Originally uploaded by behang

We’re getting our bearings, adjusting to differences here and generally revelling in them.

Such as the delay of beginning the rush to celebrate Christmas until… well, until it’s nearly Christmas! Besides, there are other celebrations in the offing here- Dia de los Muertos on November 1 and the feast day for Mexico’s patron saint, Nuestra Senora de Guadelupe (technically on December 12th, but there’s a couple of weeks of buildup for her)- taking over the period that covers what we think of as “the holidays,” that continuum from, oh, something like Halloween until New Year’s Day, back in the states.

This photo was taken on the feast day for Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe. Notice (if you can, from my poor framing) how the mariachi are not playing for a crowd- they are singing to HER, the madonna in the shrine. Her image had been rolled out in front of the main entrance to the public market; there were flowers around the shrine, touches to her image from the reverent. A crowd gathered in front, but the combination of enthusiasm- this *was* a mariachi band- and plain respect for the saint- was really moving.

Not long after the serenade to the madonna ended here, we found ourselves next to the mariachi again- inside one of the many little lunch stands adjacent to the market. Their tone was significantly changed: no longer playing reverent odes to Nuestra Senora, they were instead teasing the women who worked in the Loncheria. The average age of the women was similar to mine- but they sang to them of their Quinceañera, the celebration at age 15 of a girl’s transition to womanhood. Oh, the blushing! Oh, the giggles! The loncheria ladies were barely holding it together while the musicians circled their stand.

The playfulness, the gear shift from reverence to fun, the human story behind it all- it’s all quite a contrast to the worship of Shop! Buy! Decorate! Buy! Another Party! Buy! Have Holiday Cards! Cook! Buy! Stress Over Whatever! Did you buy enough yet? (repeat ad nauseum) which we traditionally associate with the middle of December.

I think we’ll stay for a while.

serenading the loncheria ladies

7 Responses to Getting in the groove: I’m falling for Mexico

  1. Nosualcy December 21, 2008 at 10:16 pm #

    Fantastic people they are down there. A whole different outlook on life than we have up north here!
    (Reference my comment on Niall’s blog)

  2. Anonymous December 22, 2008 at 11:15 am #

    So awesome, Behan! You can’t imagine how much I wish we were there. We’re under 8 inches of snow and it’s still falling.

    I didn’t get a package to Christy in time. I don’t think there’s anything urgent. I did make the deposit, though.

    We plan to Skype you in to our cookie-baking with your parents on Christmas Eve. Can you make that possible?

    Te Amo!

    The Denlingers

  3. rebecca December 22, 2008 at 2:23 pm #

    Sounds so wonderful! I love that playful sort of energy and human connection, so often so missing in public life here.

  4. Mary & Scott December 24, 2008 at 5:17 am #

    hi Behan! Elizabeth Sewell sent us your weblink and said you were cruising in Mexico. We are just south of you in Puero Vallarta (anchored in La Cruz) where we will be until mid January, and would love to hook up some time. Please hail us on VHF 22 when you come in to town.

    Mary, Scott, Timothy & Finn Malone
    s/v Whisper
    Tartan 37

  5. Frank December 26, 2008 at 7:12 am #

    Merry Christmas!

    And congratulations!

    We’re having a true white Christmas here in the Northwest. Amazing. Wish I were there! (grin)

  6. geoff April 27, 2009 at 2:46 am #

    my wife and I are looking at buying a blue water boat to cross oceans in with our teen aged family. We have narrowed our search down and went to see a Stevens 47 yesterday. She met our high expectations and is now a very strong candidate for a purchase. We are now trying to gain enough of a handle on the detail of the design and performance to be able to make a decision. I wonder if you would mind entertaining a few questions.

  7. Behan April 27, 2009 at 5:17 am #

    Hey Geoff, we’d be happy to answer questions on the Stevens you. Send ’em to us at sv-totem (at) hotmail (dot) com, and we’ll get back to you. We don’t always have regular access to the Internet, but are pretty well connected this week.

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