Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Cultural Growth

Scrapbook page done by Marilyn Kroeker
 Living abroad allows for many opportunities for growth and change.

I imagine all cultures have things about them that you cringe at, maybe food, and then there are some things that look like something you could learn.

Mexican culture, especially here in Guadalajara,  is quite different from my own home country. Now I also realize that I am speaking from my own experience.  Not ALL Mexican's hold to the same experience nor do ALL Canadians.  So I am speaking from my own experience.

I have found that Mexico loves music and dance.  At almost all gatherings that I have attended over the years, both here and in Chihuahua, music was played.  I would add here that this is not quiet background music but load festive music.  Many times there is a Mariachi, which goes without saying, that it is loud.

Dancing is also very common at parties, at birthdays, at weddings, etc.  They love to dance.  And I would say that many dance, and dance well.

Our friends love it if we know a song or if we can request a song for the Mariachi to play.  Sometimes they are amazed when I mouth the words to a song.  To which I reply, "most mariachi play the same play list...I'm learning."

Music was easier than the dancing thing, two left feet! So Ernie and I took dancing lessons for several months and now can join our friends on the dance floor  Salsa is a little tricky for dancers, but we had a great teacher and can now survive! They are excited when we join them on the dance floor.

So, some things we take from the culture, and then there are some things we try to add.  We have noticed that at most Mexican parties, or events, are mostly sitting around tables, trying to visit over the loud music, eating, and most of the rest are drinking.  We have introduced doing a few things differently.  At both my birthday and Ernie's we changed it up.  People DID stuff.  Most people said they enjoyed our parties cause they are so different.

This weekend we were at a birthday party. Before leaving Ernie threw a yard game into the car.  We were at a lovely terraza with a large green space.  It was a very relaxed atmosphere so he decided to haul out the game.  It was enjoyed by the men throughout the day and many asked for instructions on how to make one.
Ernie made friends with several men over the Ladder Golf game. They enjoyed having something to do.  We had long since introduced floor hockey and if the sticks are out they are put to use!
It becomes about sharing one's culture (or family traditions) with others.  My family gatherings are always done with some kind of table game or activity.  Might be because of the over active kinds of people in my family? Ernie hates to just sit around. He has learned to dance, so if he must he does, but while I was dancing with the ladies, the guys were playing Ladder Golf.  

The point is to see the good in the other's culture, to look for ways to bridge the gap.  I learn from them and they learn for me.  Mutually beneficial. 

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