|lost in deceptions|
The first of November I usually light candles all day long because I like to honor those who have already passed away.
I grew up in a society that approached death with braveness and also tragically. An important part of life revolved around that issue. Mourning was endless; widows wore always black; oil candles remained lighted in front of the portraits of deceased relatives in all the houses. And every single Sunday, families went to cemetery with fresh flowers, they cleaned the tombs, talked and cried a lot.
There was not a conversation during my childhood where dead ancestors were not present. I know so many names and anecdotes of persons that I have never met… but I love those fragment of my story and somehow I feel that they have helped me to define myself.
Little by little, while religious pressure decreased and society was modernized those customs started to give way to a more relaxed way of life, they commenced to be forgotten and now many persons -whose number is increasing- are starting to celebrate Halloween.
I don´t know why, but this last fact drives me crazy. As a person who works in the social field and has researched the communities’ development, I accept that culture is not fixed, on the contrary it´s changeable and this is not necessarily bad. In fact, one of the biggest capacities of a community is its ability for creating its own development style according to new realities considering them opportunities and not threats.
On the other hand, I can understand the attraction that can be aroused by the unknown, by what is different (the same way I can understand the fear), and I am aware of the unavoidable impact of this globalised world on our communities and on us.
However, when after lighting my candles, I leant out of my window and I saw a few boys in black with blood spurting out their eyes; a little witch wearing striped socks and a corpse with a knife going through her skull, screaming trick or treat, trick or treat!! (but in Spanish, of course) I became furious. I perceived the whole scene like a betrayal. I perceived it like a personal failure.
Even when it´s absolutely clear to me that societies reinvent themselves, cultures mutate, interbreeding and destruction are part of civilization this doesn´t diminish my unease. To tell you the truth, I expected a different future, maybe a different behavior.
I had imagined a mosaic made of different cultures that could evolve and create a thick weave made of a variety of threads. I had imagined a wonderful and creative diversity where the best of any culture could inspire something somehow cross-cultural. I had imagined a clever dialogue where every voice could represent the most sophisticated aspect of every culture. I had imagined that interaction would be able to refine and purify many of the roughest things that our culture passed on to us and would give us new perspectives.
But which could be our thread, our contribution, our voice... how could we interact consciously if we adopt uncritically new customs?. When I saw those children I only perceived acculturation.
Is this the only way we can move forward? I resist believing it.
Cross-posted at Vision and Verb on Friday. Many other women share their passion for creativity and words there, please visit us, it is a wonderful site
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