Friday, April 9, 2010

Reaching out to Mexican Culture

BOSTON - I haven't been very discrete about some of my concerns about living in Mexico, and sometimes, I've been outwardly hostile, though in my usual tongue-in-cheek manner.

(Hey, I can get only so excited about the Naranjeros!)

So while on the surface of this blog it might seem like I'm not attempting to learn a little about Mexican culture, let me defend myself a bit by proving otherwise.

The most recent example was spending a couple of hours this past Saturday at the Anacostia Community Museum (one of the lesser known Smithsonian museums) where they had a special exhibit from the National Museum of Mexican Art.

Very interesting history and contemporary news. In particular, I was fascinated to read about the advantage Black Mexicans (is "Blaxican" racist? I heard that expression on Scrubs, so I hope not; either way, it makes we smirk a little.) enjoy in that they look more American than the majority of the Mexican population, which makes it easier to sneak across the border.

While the exhibit will be there some time, the main draw for last Saturday's visit was a hands-on demonstration of music and Semana Santa (Holy Week) by Bill Jenkins. Mr. Jenkins had probably no less than 100 instruments on hand ranging from plastic maracas to beautifully hand-crafted guitars to the more bizarre use of a horse jaw bone as a washerboard-type instrument in which the player draws a stick or something over the teeth.

To paraphrase esteemed Veep Joe Biden, Semana Santa is "a big Ef'in deal!" Actually, Catholicism in Mexico is a big deal. (Those cheers you heard were my parents celebrating.)

While the church-going aspect of Catholicism, Christianity and organized religion in general does not appeal to me, I do think I will be interested in learning what it is about Catholicism that appeals to our southern neighbors.

I realize Mexican Catholicism is quite different from the rest of the world in that the religion has been adapted somewhat to incorporate indigenous practices, but I do hope to gain an understanding of the hype is all about.

Somewhat paradoxically, two topics that I've displayed a somewhat negative attitude toward (Mexico and Catholicism) are joining forces into something that I want to know about. Who da thunk it?


  1. So if you're now interested in Mexico and Catholicism... does that mean... there's hope for Twitter and Facebook? :)

    (Sorry, David, please don't hate me! I couldn't resist! PLEASE DON'T HATE ME!)

    And I about lost my mouthful of lemonade to the computer screen when I read "Blaxican!" Holy cow, I have *never* heard that one before!

  2. One problem with your theory; my dislike for twitter and facebook are rooted in the same problems, which is over exposure and a waste of time.