Sunday, April 19, 2009

Colombia: Playing the game of "tejo" (1987)

Because of the difficult terrain, not many railroads were built in Colombia. One that was built was converted into a tourist train that leaves the north of Bogotá and proceeds to the towns of Zipaquirá - the town where the salt cathedral is located - and Nemocón. In the areas surrounding Bogotá, including Nemocón, there are many places to play the game of tejo (TAY-hoh), a game going back to the pre-Columbian days, which is similar to horseshoes. Here I'm throwing the disc (it reminded me of a shot put cut in half) toward a target that is a raised platform, filled with tightly packed mud or clay, with four pouches filled with gunpowder surrounding the center of the target. The goal is to hit the center target and make one of those pouches explode. Tejo is associated in people's minds with beer, because plenty of it is consumed during the tejo matches.

Visit my webpage on Colombia.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Philadelphia: Mexican group at the International Village Fair, 1987

An incredible event took place in Philadelphia in July 1987 called the "International Village Fair," which commemorated the 200th anniversary of the US constitution. It took place in the vicinity of Independence Hall, where the National Constitution Center and the Independence Hall Visitor's Center (both of which hadn't been built) now stand. Each day featured performances representing different parts of the world, though there were stands representing the whole world throughout the week, and a commemorative booklet was issued. This event was well-organized, showed evidence of ample funding, and featured a lot of talent brought in from outside the city, such as the Mexican Veracruz trio in the picture. The roof you see in the picture was temporary and came in handy when the rain came down later in the day. I only had one criticism of the event: it came and went without any follow-up activities in what I consider the ongoing task of sharing other cultures.

Visit my webpage on Latinos in the United States.