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Are You Ready to Give Up The Past–Part II (The Day of The Dead Celebrations)

Alter for Day of the Dead -Skull

Alter for Day of the Dead -Skull

 

The Day of the Dead celebrations or “El Dia de Los Muertos,” as it is called in Spanish is a tradition which has its roots in ancient Mesoamerican culture. In San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, many alters or “ofrendas” are set up in the streets, in restaurants, in businesses and in homes to honor the loved ones who have departed. It is also a time when families gather in the cemeteries to clean up the graves and adorn them with flowers and to commune with those who have gone before. And although it is Mexico’s way of laughing at death, it is also a celebration of life.

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Several temporary markets pop up during this time selling the items needed to play out this annual ritual. These markets constructed of tents as far as the eye can see are adorned with brightly colored hanging cut out paper flags and have tables set up laden with tiers of “alfeniques,” which are colorful confectionery figurines handmade of sugar and decorated to depict such things as skulls, skeletons, coffins, animals and food which are used to place on the alters.

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The alters are made up of the alfeniques and flowers—the signature flower being the orange marigold, photos, candles, momentos, and food and drink beloved of the one who has passed.

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A major part of the celebration is the “Catrina” parade held in El Jardin which is the town square or central plaza where everyone hangs out. You never know what’s going to happen there. One day while we were there, the doors of the Parroquia church located on the plaza flung open and a bride and groom and throngs of people exited and we became participants in a wedding celebration. The most unique part of the celebration were these huge dancing puppets on stilts called “mojigangas” representing the bride and groom.

(click on the pictures to reveal a manual slideshow)

 

On the night of the Catrina Parade, crowds of people gathered in El Jardin to watch people dressed up as “Catrinas,” march around the square and there was even a competition to pick the best costume. The Mojigangas also parade. La Calavera Catrina was a zinc etching by Jose Posada depicting the image of a female skeleton dressed only in a hat befitting the upper class outfit of a European of her time. It was Posada’s illustration of a person who was ashamed of his Indian origins and dressed imitating the French style while wearing lots of makeup to make his skin look whiter. La Catrina is Mexico’s Grand Dame of Death and she has become an icon of Mexico’s Day of the Dead.  Here is a gallery of some incredible  pictures that I captured of the Catrina parade. These gracious people just allowed me to walk up to them and take pictures.

(click on the pictures to reveal a manual slideshow)

(Click on the pictures to reveal a manual slide show)

 

Finally, there were also carpets made out of seeds on the ground in the plaza which are roped off so that they will not be disturbed. I don’t know how long it takes to complete these grand mosaics, but they are works of art that is worthy of appreciation. If you ever get a chance, The Day of the Dead celebration is really something to experience.

Please join me next week for the final part of this story where you will find out what I learnt out of this whole experience. See you then.

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HAPPY NEW YEARS

2012 Happy New Year

2012 Happy New Year

As we close out 2011 and enter into 2012, I am reminded that the world is supposed to end this year. Well, that’s the prediction of Hollywood, and of the seers, and of the doomers and gloomers. As I contemplated this on New Year’s Eve, I recollected a time line that my dear Unseen friend Lazaris, laid out back in April of 1995 which has come to pass exactly as he said it would. I’d like to tell you what Lazaris said in terms of where we have come from, and where we are going,  so that you can make decisions about where you would like to be. So, let’s begin.

Once upon a time, resources were the things of the earth—land, chattel in the form of cattle, in the form of horses, in the form of servants, in the form of serfs, in the form of slaves. The driving force was agriculture—the ability to plant seeds and make them grow and sell crops, to gather horses and tame them, to gather cattle to milk them, to get chickens to lay eggs to sell those eggs. Agriculture was the driving force, and “them” that had the most, were the most powerful and successful. They were the Lords, they were the landlords—they were the lords of the land.

About 300 years ago, things started changing. There was a revolution. It was called the Industrial Revolution and the Captains of Industry challenged the Lords of the Land and the Captains won, and over the last 300 years, the Lords have been replaced by the Captains. Success was no longer measured by how much land you had, but by how many widgets you could produce.

Now, there is a third, a new, a different driving force which has replaced agriculture and replaced industry. And this deity of profit is called “information.”

It does not matter how much land you have, or many widgets you can produce, what now matters is how much information you have access to, how you store it, how you use it, how you transmit it and how you receive it.

This intangible thing called information has now become a form. It has now become a “thing.” It has now become a commodity, and a very bankable commodity at that, and the Captains of Industry have taken control, but what they never counted on… was this. That somebody in a garage somewhere, would make this itty-bitty computer, and call it Apple, with a bite taken out of it appropriately. And you silly people, you never learn. You ate of the Tree of Knowledge, and now, you have… “information.” And as time has continued, the common man has access to information in his lap and in the palm of his hand. And with the Internet, he can talk to millions of people around the world without government interference. In 2011, this gave rise to such movements as The Tea Party, and Occupy Wall Street, where the 99% are saying, “No.” It has even led to the toppling of nations called the Arab Spring. And the Captains are mightily put out.

So, where are we heading? Information technology is moving us to an Innovation Age. Innovation in the form of talent and inventiveness will be the source of industry. Out of information, we are creating something that has never been done before. There are no reference points for the world we are currently experiencing, and those who try to repeat the past are failing miserably. That’s what makes this recession so different. We have had recessions in the past, but whereas; in the past, the factory worker always had a factory to go back to, in this current recession, those jobs are not there anymore.

Human resources will become the commodity of the future. And what are these human resources? In my book, An Awakening, Mapping your Dream Vol. 1., Lazaris calls these human resources, “human gifts and powers.” These gifts make us unique as human beings. The first human gift is being able to perceive and conceive, which allows us to be creative. The second gift is the capacity to think and evaluate. The third gift is the freedom to feel. The fourth gift is the freedom to choose. The fifth gift is the capacity to imagine. The sixth gift is the freedom to give and to receive. And the seventh gift is the power to heal, i.e. having the capacity to heal yourself and others. Lazaris says, whereas oil has been one of the most bankable valuable resources, as time unfolds, perception is going to be more bankable than oil. Thinking and feeling are going to become more profitable than how many widgets you have. Your ability to prioritize you needs, wants and preferences is going to become as good as gold. Your capacity to use your imagination is what’s going to draw the prices far more than pork bellies. Your capacity to consciously love and consciously heal is what is going to become bankable. In case you didn’t know, we have entered that time.

If you want 2012 and beyond to be happy years, here’s a tip. Whereas, value in academia is currently placed on attaining a MBA—Masters of Business Administration, it will be replaced by a MFA—Masters of Fine Arts where creativity, inventiveness and innovation rule the day. So get a head start by developing those God given resources that were bestowed on you because of the fact that you are human. Developing your birth “rights” are the keys that can unlock the door to the changing standards and the resources of the future.

Happy New Year 2012

Welcome to My Blog

Suzanne Hosang

Suzanne Hosang

Hello, I am Suzanne Hosang. I hail from Kingston, Jamaica; however, I migrated to Miami, Florida at the age of 15. At that determining age, my heritage was already ingrained in me, so I am one of those transplants who has never lost her roots. As such, I have decided to aptly subtitle my blog, “Let’s Labrish,” as, in patois— the language spoken by the locals—“to labrish,” means to chat.

My home land has been the incubator for who I am. It is an island which is surrounded by sunshine and crystal clear salt waters; with mountains that touch the sky, and valleys vegetated by lush tropical foliage. There are rivers that feed waterfalls, and white sand beaches that people visit to refresh their souls and their spirits. It is a place where the earth truly loves herself. Yet, on the other hand, it has its savagery and brutality, generating artists such as Bob Marley to use reggae music as an expression for the woes of the people that come out of the cruelty of poverty. It is that dichotomy which has made me who I am.

I own a plant nursery in South Florida. Working with plants is just natural to me. This spills over into my personal garden, and into the Faerie Realm, and the all encompassing realm of Fire, Water, Air and Earth. Somehow, it’s in my blood and runs through my veins.

I have studied metaphysics all my life and I am also an energy healer. Being an energy healer came in the later years; however, it is what I consider myself, first and foremost.

I also keep animals. I have dogs, cats, birds and fish. Working with animals is my passion and compassion. I am one of those people who get suckered into picking up animals off the street. I used to breed birds for a hobby. Now I basically keep them as pets.

I also work with crystals out of the earth. I consider these sentient beings my friends.

These are the things that I will be talking about. The range is broad…so, Let’s Labrish.