Wednesday, September 16, 2015
another independence day
My choice of living in Mexico is filled with contradictions.
I am a postmodern man who finds very little comfort in ritual. To be more accurate, I am a post-postmodern man who finds ritual rather annoying.
And, yet, I live in a country where ritual is the very essence of cultural life. At least, ritual is the steam that runs the cultural engine in the highlands of Mexico. Not so much here on the coast.
My local Mexican neighbors tend to be a bit more utilitarian in their celebrations. Today was Independence Day -- when Mexico declared its intention to be free of the colonial yoke of Spain.
There were the usual parades of marching school children. And the neighborhood fiestas.
Falling mid-week, though, does take the edge off of the celebration. After all, our area thrives on tourist pesos. And now that school is back in session, not many people made the trek to the beach to honor Miguel Hidalgo and el grito.
That does not mean that even an anti-ritual curmudgeon cannot enjoy the day with a bit of tradition. Mine is dining on chiles en nogada on the beach with good friends and even better conversation.
And we didn't even have to rely on tales of how the war for independence concluded with the "treachery" of a Spanish general who would be declared Mexico's first post-conquest emperor (1810 or 1821?). One of those tales that makes Mexican history as contradictory as my indulgence of ritual in a post-postmodern world.
Here's to Mexican independence. But, even more important, here's to good friends -- absent and present.