Guelaguetza Mexican Festival – culture, dancing, and some “dare to eat” delicacies

July 21, 2017 under Travel

By Helene, Mexico. A little detour from pantyhose for the sake of the love of culture and festivals. This event happened on July 15th, meaning last weekend.

Can heavy rain can be an obstacle for a holiday, even the most waited for?

This Saturday we went out to catch the last calenda of Guelaguetza – an amazing procession of representatives from all corners of Oaxaca, a state in the very heart of Mexico.

This was an unforgettable plunge into centuries ago, when people believed that each stone is alive. It’s like having a flash back to the times when indigenous tribes were the masters of their lands, the times of great civilizations which are believed to have vanished.

Though, here, in the heart of Mexico, old traditions are kept even in everyday life, and during Guelaguetza they come alive like hundreds of years ago.

Guelaguetza Mexican Festival 2017 Oaxaca 1

Wearing gold? Why not, as gold was as common as dirt at the festival.

 

Guelaguetza Mexican Festival 2017 Oaxaca 2 parade VIVA breadkmakers

These are our local bread-makers. We can find their bread in markets and specialized shops.

 

Guelaguetza Mexican Festival 2017 Oaxaca 3

Are you from far mountains? Welcome here to dance!

 

Rain? You have already forgotten about it, and some mezcal in an improvised chili-glass that dancers are giving to anybody willing to try will make you want to dance as well. Just take off your modern shoes and put on the hand-made sandals that dancers are wearing. Now you are one of them, those indigenous who came to visit their successors. Take a ripe pineapple and dance with the girls from Pineapple valley. Or do you prefer the bright colours of Villa de Zaachillla?

Guelaguetza Mexican Festival 2017 Oaxaca 4

Dancers representing Villa de Zaachillla region in bright costumes.

But all ends sooner or later. The calenda is over, the dancers went to have rest before tomorrow`s performance – the last day of Guelaguetza.

I returned home and changed out of my soaked clothing and shoes into a slim black dress, a pair of ultra sheer tights, and my favourite high heel sandals. Inspired by all that I saw, I decided to go out for…

Guelaguetza Mexican Festival 2017 Oaxaca 5

Guess what for?

Have you ever tried grasshoppers? Fried, with chili, this time they were served with pasta and cheese and were not so grasshoppish. And well, that was OK, even very fine. Ok, OK, just for a change…

Guelaguetza Mexican Festival 2017 Oaxaca 1 sweet plum jam treat

Plum jam with chili.

The plums were delicious! I got it in a small plastic bag – just caught it during the procession, as the dancers were throwing in crowd all that they make or grow. Thus I came home with a bag full of home-made bread, a sombrero, and many little things of I-don’t-know-what, like these plums (if those were indeed plums).

I am already looking for the next Guelaguetza, even though this one has finished just today, several hours ago. Moreover, am sure that I will come to visit it wherever in the world I am. Just to plunge once more in childhood where we were watching films about ancient civilizations and dreaming of visiting those times and places. Here, in Oaxaca, it became my reality.

Cuban chambermaids in hosiery despite the heat – Controversy

March 20, 2012 under Practical

Every time I am in Cuba, I am surprised to see female hotel staff wear hosiery at all times despite the heat with closed toe shoes.  If I’d have that job, I probably wouldn’t be able to take it anymore and would go ahead and jump in the pool.

A model is posing in a maid outfit near the pool. Courtesy of WamInStyle team.

Just recently one of the women I know returned from Cuba and that was the first thing she mentioned to me, knowing about my hosiery obsession.

To my surprise Cuban staff wear hosiery, but not basic plain.  They all seemed to show off with a variety of patterned tights.  Not only that they wear it, they put effort to draw attention.

I also visited Dominican Republic and Mexico, but their staff go with bare legs.  Only Cuba seems to maintain such high dress code standard.

I can’t really say if I like the idea despire my love for hosiery.  To me clothes should not jeopardize one’s health.  At temperatures soaring close to 40 Celsius wearing synthetic fabrics may lead to skin irritation, fungus infection, and to additional female problems.

Once I was walking all stylish in the heat of the Middle East and the next day ended up with an excema-like rash on my skin.  Locals confirmed that this is what happens to them too if they don’t dress smartly in such heat.

Do you think that pantyhose should still be enforced in extreme heat?  I would probably suggest in summer months to wear fine fishnet stockings (no silicon lining) with a garter belt in order to both look stylish and not feel too hot.

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