On the Day of the Dead

One of the fascinating things about crossing over into a different culture is thinking through how to live as a Christian in your adopted culture, and how that process sheds new light on living as a Christian in your home culture. As we encounter different cultural customs and celebrations, we have to work to understand what they mean and then, informed by the word of God, determine how we may or may not participate. 

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¿Traes Cambio?

I sometimes joke that the national pastime in Mexico is searching for change. Mexico is still very much a cash economy and there are many places that won’t accept a credit or debit card. In addition to that, there are security concerns which means many stores do not want to keep large sums of change in the till. This leads to a never-ending pursuit of looking for change, of which there always seems to be a shortage. 

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I imagine that if I asked you to name a traditional Mexican dish, pozole wouldn’t be the first to come to mind. And yet, it is a dish that enjoys widespread popularity in Mexico and which boasts ancient, albeit disturbing, roots in the pre-Hispanic civilizations. You can expect to see it in restaurants and on dinner tables in September, around Mexico’s independence day, and during the Christmas holiday season.

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About three hours away from our place is a place called Tolontongo, where you can enjoy a volcanically-heated river along with a falls, cave, and tunnel. It’s an incredible display of the Creator’s artistry and if you have the time, it’s worth a visit. To get there, you pass through the town of Ixmilquilpan. The name is a bit of a mouthful, but compared to other places in Mexico, it’s not too bad. For example: Nezahualcóyotl or Azcapotzalco. These names are a reminder of the way Nahuatl has shaped the Spanish language.

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What Does Arabia Have To Do With Mexico?

You might not think the Arab world has much to do with México, but it’s true. The architecture, cuisine, and especially the language of México have all been shaped by the Arab world. The reason? The Moors (Muslim people group of Arab descent) invaded Spain back in the 8th century. Their stay in that country for several centuries impacted the Spanish culture, which in turn impacted the Mexican culture when the Spaniards sailed across the Atlantic and landed in México.

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The Cry For Independence – Part 2

Previously, I delved into some of the history behind México’s independence. This time around I want to go a bit deeper and look at some of the major threads which weave themselves through México’s history. I’ll do this through the lens of Miguel Hidalgo and the war for independence. I don’t pretend to be an expert on Mexican history, and especially Mexican politics, but I hope to highlight these common themes I have come across in my readings. Hopefully it will give you a better understanding of México and its people.

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That We Might Speak

Most of us have tried to learn a language at one point or another. For many this attempt came in the form of a required class in school. We had to learn French (or whatever language) and would show up to class (maybe?) and endure the lesson. Trying to learn a language without the motivation necessary usually ends up as an exercise in futility, as many teachers can attest to, including and perhaps especially, my own.

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The Feast of the Flaying of Men

To be the victim was an honour. To have your heart cut out and lifted to the skies was your gift to the sun. To have your blood poured out onto the gladiatorial stone meant access to the paradise of the House of the Sun. Courage and integrity belong to the one who is ready when death calls. Honour is bestowed on he who does not falter in fear but desires the knife of demise and savours the scent of death. Continue reading “The Feast of the Flaying of Men”

A Mayan Creation Account – Part 2

This post is a commentary on my previous post about a Mayan creation account.

Three Observations:

  1. The Mayan creation account is “place-specific”. As an example, consider why corn is the key ingredient in the creation of human beings? It is because corn was the staple food of the Mayan diet. When man attempts to define and describe the divine he is always limited by his own experiences. The biblical creation account differs in this regard, for it does not display place and cultural limitations. Of course, this is because it is the Creator himself who is describing the actual creation of the world. God communicates his creation account in a certain language (Hebrew) and to a specific culture (mainly Israel), but it remains true for all times and places and this is reflected in the account itself. Continue reading “A Mayan Creation Account – Part 2”

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