Tuesday, March 10, 2009

WEEK 6: Experiences With Mexican Traditions

This week we moved in with our home stay families. All of us, except for those with internships, live in Colonia Lagunilla. In this first week of staying with a family, I have learned a lot about culture, family and women’s roles here in Mexico. The house that I am staying in consists of the mom, dad and their son. In the upstairs apartment lives my home stay mom’s mom, brother and sister. They often come downstairs to talk, eat or watch tv with us.

The day that we moved in was the birthday of their colony. A parade of Chinelos and members of the neighborhood danced up the main road to celebrate its founding. The Chinelos originated in Morelos and while they are native to this state, they are extending to other states as well. They dress up as the Spanish conquerors, and are, a way, making fun of them. Because their dance consists solely of jumping, it is called el brinco (jump) de los Chinelos. Whenever there is a party in Morelos, they end it with the music of the Chinelos.

Students dancing along
with los Chinelos.

My home stay family took me to see a Quinceanera for the first time. This is a traditional event in Mexico, that occurs on a girl’s 15th birthday, when she becomes a woman. It was beautiful to see. I was told that girls look forward to their Quinceanera for two or more years before they turn 15. My host grandmother told me that “It is a girl’s dream to have her Quinceanera. Her Quinceanera and her wedding.”

I have talked to both my host mom and her mother about the roles of women here in Mexico. They have both mentioned that women generally get married in their early 20’s, even though it is somewhat changing now. My host grandmother mentioned that there was a cutoff age for getting married because if women did not get married before they turned 30, it will be difficult to have children. She also mentioned that it is not the same to adopt children, or marry someone with children, as having your own. I have learned a lot about women’s roles here in Mexico, and how women are seen from staying with a family.

A Young Mexican Woman at Her QuinceaƱera

--By Kay Hockeiser

1 comment:

  1. It is one of the best parts of traveling to another country to know its particular cultural aspects. Although, that celebration seems kind of ridiculous.