Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cultural experience - Mexican Museum of Art

An ofrenda displaying the elements of earth, fire, wind and water.

These next few pics are pieces of art depicting life or events in Mexico at various times in history. The skeletons are made of paper mache!! Impressive!

The gentleman who made this ofrenda dedicated it to both his Mexican and Chinese heritage. This is only a portion of it, as it was too large to fit in the picture, but it was beautiful.

Another ofrenda displaying the elements of earth, fire, wind and water.

This is art made of sand. Isn't it beautiful???

These days one of my goals is to really focus on occupation and culture. I'm always trying something new anyways, but now I want to take it up a notch. I'd like to put myself out of my element and get a little uncomfortable at least once a month. And being out of my element does not mean I have to be uncomfortable but it does mean that I have to learn or experience something new and different.

So, on the 11th I went to the Museum of Mexican Art with one of the organizations for which I volunteer at school. I LOVED it. The art was BEAUTIFUL. We took a tour as a group and I learned quite a bit. One of the main things I learned was all about an 'ofrenda.' The closest English equivalent to an ofrenda is what we would call an 'altar,' except ofrendas are not for worshiping. Instead, ofrendas are an offering to a deceased relative as they make their way back to Earth to visit.

Living relatives decorate (is the word decorate appropriate??) the ofrenda with the favorite food and items of the deceased person as a way to honor and please them on their visit back. Of course, the deceased does not eat the food or play with the items on the ofrenda, instead they enjoy the aroma of the food and the sight of the items they used enjoy while they were alive. I learned that an ofrenda is supposed to display elements of the earth, water, fire and wind. And finally, I learned that there a lot of Chinese in Mexico, due to the Chinese participating in the building of the railroads.

Afterward, we all sat around and ate Brazilian pizza, which was delicious! I've been to Brazil and I loved the food but I never had Brazilian pizza. Overall, I really enjoyed myself!

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