viernes, 20 de septiembre de 2013

Dress Up Days and Independence Musings

I have been excited about Clara starting school for a number of reasons and one of them was for all the dress up days that Mexican preschoolers are expected to participate in.  First of all, there´s Independence Day, where all the children were asked to come wearing some regional costume.  There´s about 8 different regions in Mexico that all sport different ways of traditional dress.  Fortunately for us, Clara´s teacher asked that the girls wear a China Poblana skirt (typical from the state of Puebla).  Clara´s abuela made Clara and her girl cousins china poblana skirts for the bicentinneal three years ago--whew!  (Of course, if we didn´t have one on hand, we could have easily found one at the market downtown.)

The other dress-up days are November 20, where all the kids are supposed to dress like revolutionaries (as it´s the anniversary of the Mexican Revolution).  The boys all sport mustaches.  That´s my favorite.  Then they´ll dress up again on March 21st, for the first day of Spring.  Then they´re expected to dress like animals, butterflies, flowers, etc.  Kind of makes up for the  hardcore-ness of Revolution Day. 

Thanks to Clara´s homework the other day--we were supposed to tell our kids about Mexican Independence and then Clara was supposed to draw something about what she heard--this is the first Independence Day that she´s ever been clued into.  As in, she had a bit of a clue about what was going on and why.  I explained about the grito, when at 11pm on the 15th of September every year the Mexican president (and every governor and mayor) stands on the balcony of the National Palace, waves the Mexican flag, and shouts, ¨Viva Mexico!  Viva Mexico!  Viva Mexico!¨  (He also sends some shout-outs to the big-wig leaders of the Independence movement.)  The president does this in rememberence of Miguel Hidalgo doing more or less the same thing 203 years ago, kicking off the War for Independence.  Anyway, even a few days after explaining the grito to Clara, she remembered it, thought that sounded pretty cool, and nearly
stayed up to watch it.  Maybe next year. 

I was kind of sad that she wasn´t able to stay up and see the grito, too.  It´s very ¨pomp and circumstance¨ and would seem very silly except that it is really rather moving.  No matter what we think about the current president (who gets to do the grito), it´s still touching.  No matter how many thing we may complain about what may be wrong with this country, it´s a time that all Mexicans get together and boldly claim that this is THEIR country and they´re still proud to be Mexican.  Like I said, it´s a bit moving. 

And it makes me sad for my country, in a way.  Despite our fireworks and Fourth of July barbecues and Star Spangled Banners before sporting events, we have no one big ceremony to bring us all together like that.  (Then again, given the US´s rampant patriotism, maybe we don´t need that in the same way that Mexico does.)

So, in the end, I´m happy to be a guest in another country and grateful that I get to see the way that people in other countries get to celebrate being an independent nation, too.    

4 comentarios:

Yvonne Kay dijo...

Too Cute !!!!

I'm the Mami dijo...

Adorable! Cant wait till mine are in school and we have all those excuses to dress them up. :)

Emily Bonderer Cruz dijo...

The kids look adorable!!

Jill dijo...

Aw, thanks! Next year, I´ll be painting a mustache on Joey whether he´s in school or not. ;)