Forum for discussion of the way cultures interact, interesting observations about other cultures and reflections on our own. www.anchoredmusic.com
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Christmas In Rio
Well, since I wroteaboutmyanticipationofChristmasin Rio notbeingwhat I amused to, I shouldwriteabouthow I experienceditnowthatithappened. First, mycommentswerenotmeant to denegrateotherpeople's cross cultural expressionsoftheChristmasholiday. Just to relate myownreactions to perceiveddifferences. Andthispost is intended to react to thoseafterthefact.
ChristmaswithBianca's familywasverydifferentthan I amused to. I enjoyeditbecauseoftherelationships. Wehad a relaxingdayathome. Watching some movies, reademails, talked to herfamily, ate, etc. But I willsaythetraditions I havetreasuredmostofmylife as theepitomyofChristmaswereprettymuchabsent. Notjudgingtheirexpression as wrong, mindyou, justsayingit is notmuchrelated to myown. That is as far as thefamilythinggoes. Butitwasstilldelightfulinitsownwaybecause I waswiththeone I love.
As for thecommunity, ofcourse, Christmasfeelsdifferentwhenit is 107 outsideanditdidnotcooldownuntilthisweek. Itwasinthe 100s alllastweekandtheweekbefore. So, itdidnotbringimagesofsnow, etc. to mind. Butthere are lotsofChristmasimagesaroundfromdecorationsatshoppingmalls, stores, andotherbusinesses to thoseinhomes. Bianca's family does nothave a Christmastree, buttheyhavevariousChristmasitemsaround. Theydon't do theexchangeofpresentsmyfamilysoenjoyed, butwedidgivepresents. Itjustwasn't setaside for a particular time, withbowsandwrapping, etc. theway I amused to. Buttheshoppingmalls, thesales, thedeocrationsallstruck a familiar chord. Some oftheChristmasdisplaysatthemallsmusthavecost a lotofmoneyandtakenlotsof time to puttogether.
There is alsoChristmasmusiconthe radio andplayingatvariousplaces. This, ofcourse, alwaysmakesonenostalgic (atleast me). Andit is fun to hearBrazilians, manyofwhomspeaklittleEnglish, singthewordsinEnglish, memorizedfromjustsuchmomentsrepeated time andagain. We even saw the world's largest Christmas tree, floating in the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas. It changed colors regularly and was quite a site, and they also had lasers and water dancing (a combination of fountains, jets, etc.) all against an amazing background as you see in the picture above. Then we sat and ate crepes and pastels and talked. It was indeed special and moving. I guess I got new sentimental memories after all.
SoChristmasin Rio wasnotallstrangeandunfamiliar. Itwasjustdifferent, andoverall, that is notalways a badthing. Mostofus, ifwe are honest, willadmit to hatingchange. Andwewillalsoadmit to strugglingwithitwhenitcannotbeavoided. Oneofthereasons I lovecross cultural travel is that I gettheopportunity to dealwithchangeandamforced to dealwithit. I have to digdeeperinsidemyself, lookatthingswith more introspectionandintensity, and to growinourexpectationsofandunderstandingoftheworld. Christmasin Rio hashelped me withthat, and I thinkthat's a blessing.
A writer of stories and books, especially science fiction and fantasy, my first novel, "The Worker Prince," comes out in 2011. My first collection, "The North Star Serial, Part 1" came out May 2010. I've had stories and articles published in a number of magazines and newspapers, released 3 CDs of original music, and love to teach others how to be more effective with their creativity. I also read avidly and review short stories and books for Tangent Online (www.tangentonline.com) and my blog. My author site can be found at www.bryanthomasschmidt.net