A Mexican Party (Fiesta Mexicana)
Tonight was the Mexican Independence Celebration, which I attended at my church. Here are some of the decorations that were up for the event.
Our Church bulletin board---decorated by one of the youth! :)Here is my pastor, Luis Mundo Ocampo--just thought you might be curious what he looks like. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of him and his wife together.
Here I am-all dressed up with a few added touches to the same outfit that I wore on Tuesday night.
Our meal time together consisted of pozole (see photo below) and tacos dorados. Pozole basically means "foamy." It is a soup that is traditionally pre-columbian. It is prepared to eat on special occasions. It consists of corn (whole hominy kernals) and meat (Most commonly either pork or chicken but can also be made with pork rinds or turkey). It is then garnished with various other items such as: (dried cilantro, chili pepper, lime juice, and chopped onion just to name a few of them) depending on a person's preferences. This is a very Mexican dish and there are different variations in the different States of Mexico. It took awhile for me to get used to eating it when I first arrived---but now I really do enjoy eating it--especially when the meat in it is chicken! YUM!!
Here are some of the tacos before they were fried. They are tortillas rolled up and filled with things such as potato, cheese, etc. They go great with pozole.
We also played all kinds of games together as a church body! Some of them were just along silly and fun lines. The highlight was groups that had to dress up as Mexican historical figures and give a five minute "drama" with their other group members. I didn't catch everything in the sketches but the mix of history with modern day was very interesting! I must say there are some very creative people in my church here! (might have to see if there are ways to put their gifts to use in the future!) Here are the "drama actors!!!!"
An important part of the celebration is called "El Grito"--the Cry of Independence. This cry dates back to September 16, 1810 and marks the beginning of the Mexican war for Independence. The cry was announced by Hidalgo, Costilla, and a Roman Catholic priest. Now each year in remembrance of the event and I would sort of say this is like an emblem of Mexico's Independence, on September 15th at 11:00 p.m, "the Grito" is carried out. People typically gather in the town square together. It is a huge national and cultural event that typically takes place in the zocalo or the town square in Mexico City and in other cities and towns throughout Mexico at the same time. In Mexico City the president rings the bell and does the independence cry and in other cities and towns either the governor of the state or other government officials are given this privilege.
In my church we didn't go to the town square-several churches have their own Independence celebrations(partly to offering a safer alternative for celebration) as I had previously mentioned. So here is our youth leader giving his version of "The Grito." My pastor made a contest out of it and we voted on who did the best "grito" between the younger children and the adults. It was fun. Hopefully some year I will actually get the actual town square event on video so you can see what it really looks like.
After The Independence Cry, we all sang the Mexican National Anthem together....and then someone decided to put off some very tiny indoor "fireworks" on the cement basketball court of our church. Lots of them just made smoke though. Anyways, it really was really safe and fun even though it probably sounds scary!
So it was a fun evening---and really neat to get to know my church members better too!