January 29, 2010

* Ivy blooms, a walk, and a little history

I had no idea Ivy's bloomed.  Is anyone familiar with this.  I guess they do in warmer climes ... because look at this little lady on my balcony.  She is bursting out all over.  I was surprised.  Told her she was doing a great job.  We should all bloom like this!

A little walk down the street where my art teacher lives.  A very very Mexican neighbourhood.  Not many gringos.  Very close to centro - so I can walk to Nina's from where I live.

Stairway to the stars
This made me smile, because the clothes on the line look exactly like the Mexican flag.  They are hung in the correct order.  It amused me.
Peoples roof gardens.  I am so curious as to what they all look like!

A little more history, and then I'm done, I promise!

For three centuries, Mexico was colonized by Spain, during which time the majority of its indigenous population were killed or died from foreign disease.  Formal independence from Spain was recognized in 1821, after the Mexican War of Independence which began in 1910.  A war with the United States (The Mexican American War) ended with Mexico losing almost half of its territory in 1848. France then invaded Mexico in 1861 and ruled briefly until 1867. The Mexican Revolution (which is a totally different ball game from the War of Independence) would later result in the death of 10% of the nation's population. Since then, Mexico as a nation-state has struggled with reconciling its deeply-entrenched indigenous heritage with the demands of the modern Western (European) cultural model imposed in 1519.  (Note on the Mexican Revolution:  too complicated for me to explain here ... however the War for Independence gradually turned into a multifaceted civil war which tore this country apart and finally in 1917 produced the first Mexican Constitution.  The conflict and growing pains of this country did not end there.)

I feel the above little summary above (courtesy of wikipedia) says it very nicely and succinctly.  When you see the land mass Mexico occupied before the US stepped in, it's amazing.  Mexico lost an incredible amount.

Perhaps, after reading these little 'blips' of the past few posts, you may begin to see the layers and layers of history I speak of.  All the Mexico's indigenous peoples  planted the first seeds which established this society as it exists today.  This is where the roots of Mexico lie.  The cultural configuration, the first socio/economic structure, the manner of dress, the colours, the languages, the food, the agriculture, the architecture.  Then the Spanish arrived.  They did the same.  They were here for a long time, so much of there heritage rubbed off on the peoples and was absorbed into every part of the culture.  The Moors (The Ottoman Empire - Turkey, the Sultans and all that good stuff) had a tremendous influence on Spain. The Morrish flavour becomes a huge influence here.  Look at all the arches in the architecture for instance.  The Moors left the architecture in Spain.  Spain left it here.  Then, of course the French.  You see that as well in the layers.  Sometimes here, I feel like I am in Paris.  A Gothic cathedral built in the main square .... where did that come from?  I'm told the architect copied the design from a French postcard.  It's all so intertwined with Europe and it's left its mark in the fabric of the people. You see it in the food culture.  The food is good here, they love to cook, it's tasty and healthy.  They adore food. I'm sure the history of food development is fascinating. When you move further south into middle America you loose the food culture.  Food is not nearly as well prepared or as tasty.  There hasn't been the same kind of influences historically.

Mexico has been through sooooo much!  Her people are very resilient.  The have Spirit and it shows. I guess when we look at the trials and tribulations of the world, one gift we all share is that of resiliency.

I'm not going to carry on with the more recent history since 1917.  Just as a note, I believe the Mexican Revolution was not considered officially over until 1920.  As you probably know, happenings in this country are fairly since 1920 have been complicated as well.  Mexico is making her way.  She is learning her lessons.  Just like the rest of us.  So ..... here endeth the lesson on what I have learned about the history of Mexico.  I hope you have enjoyed it.  I have.

Grumpy Marshall Weather Report for San Miguel de Allende for Saturday, January 31, 2010

Jan 29

PM CloudsPM Clouds
Hi: 70° 
Lo: 54°
Day: Cloudy skies. High 70F, humidity 30%. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph. Air Quality: NA, UV Index: 7
Night: Cloudy skies. Low 54F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."  ~Henry David Thoreau, 1854 

No comments:

Post a Comment