Friday, October 10, 2008

Dragons, Costumes, and an aside on Rice Crispie Treats

Collegio Yeccan Waldorf students put on a San Micael play where Jorge defeated the dragon in a perfect stone grotto at a park in the hills above Guanajuato.  Costumed first through eighth graders played the threatened farmers, the king and his court (including Noah as one of the guards), and of course the dragon (Dana was one of four fifth graders in the dragon costume).  The kids variously sang and spoke the story to recorder accompaniment - all in Spanish, of course.  It was a great show.

Afterwards, we participated in an intercambio, an exchange of homemade goods as a celebration of the fall harvest.  Our rice crispie treats were not very indicative of autumn, but were certainly a hit.  Regular rice crisp cereal wasn't in the store this week, so we made them with cocoa rice crisp cereal ("Arroz Inflado Sabor Chocolate" the box says, for those interested in the Spanish). Marshmallows here come with various colors in one bag, so there was some debate about whether to use both the strawberry and vanilla marshmallows with the chocolate cereal, creating a neapolitan sort of dessert.  We ended up sorting out the pink marshmallows this time, but Dana's classmates (yes, we've already corrupted them, she has shared at lunch) are familiar with rice crispie treats in several variations.
That's Dana's class taking their post-play bow, with friends Maura and Danae on the left and Dana on the right in the dragon.  The dragoneers moved well together, with one little kid yelling out as they approached, "Will it breathe fire and eat children?"

Our first experience seeing a costumed event however, was when Noah and I hiked through the mountain village of al Mineral del Monte de San Nicolas during a religious festival.  The parade included some fifty people on horseback, like the woman in the photo.  No dragon, but a noisy event with church bells ringing, fireworks going off, and drums and brass instruments playing.

Then there was the weekend we were in San Miguel de Allende, about an hour from Guanajuato, and wandered past costumed dancers with huge headdresses.  Also on that trip, we were in the village of Atotonilco, site of the church where Father Hidalgo led the revolutionaries after his September 16, 1810 speech, and picked up the banner of the Virgin of
 Guadalupe for the group to march under.  The market there was very focused on religious items, such as crosses, rosaries, "Pope trading cards" as Noah said, saint medals, and even latigos for self-flagellation.  The part I liked best was watching the Purepecha women from the countryside.  I practiced taking photos holding the camera down by my side instead of up to my face, so as to be less intrusive.

All these costumes and we're not even to Halloween and Dios de los Muertos yet.  We hear the kids' school assigns a category of costume to each class.  Dana thinks the fifth graders are supposed to be vegetables.  Ah, so much to look forward to.

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