Sunday, 5 November 2017

'A Tree in Water: My Journey From Aotearoa to The Great White North' Chapter 25.

I was really hoping it would not rain for today, but, luckily, it was not pouring with rain. It wasn’t sunny, as some of us had hoped, but it wasn’t like New Zealand during winter. Plus, who care? We were indoors most of the time anyways.

If the dead ever came back to life (and that’s a bid if), I think they would have enjoyed the Day of the Dead festival down at Queen’s Wharf. Which was the subject of the new photography meet up. It’s nothing like what they would actually do in Mexico, which I had hoped to see if I ever visited Mexico, but it came close. The Day of the Dead (or Día de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday that focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and help support their spiritual journey. In 2008, UNESCO inscribed the tradition in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Fun fact: Originally, the Day of the Dead was not celebrated in Mexico, where it was unknown until the 20thcentury because its indigenous people had different traditions. The people and the church rejected it as a day related to syncretizingpagen elements with Catholic Christianity. They held the traditional ‘All Saints’ Day’ in the same way as other Christians in the world. There was limited Mesoamerican influence in this region, and relatively few indigenous inhabitants from the regions of Southern Mexico, where the holiday was celebrated. In the early 21stcentury in Northern Mexico, the holiday is observed because the Mexican government made it a national holiday based on educational policies from the 1960s; it has introduced this holiday as a unifying national tradition based on indigenous traditions.

We quickly figured out that this holiday was like no other, especially me when I got there. Over the years of meeting and knowing friends and acquaintances, they’ve told me that it is a holiday that is unique and needs to be experienced, and they were not wrong. It was only a few minutes in, and thus far, amazing. There was so much to capture with my camera, and so many potential images to share. The entire meet up took a little more than three hours, as there was so much for us to capture. So, obviously, we stayed as long as we needed to until we got everything we could get.

Afterwards, we wrapped up and headed for Amsterdam Brewhouse for dinner, and shared our photos to each other. Of course.

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