12 Oct. 2009
There are several Children's days, I don't know if it's really observed in the U.S. by European-Americans but it is celebrated in many different countries. The day it's celebrated on varies as well, but in Brazil it is October 12, along with the celebration of Brasil's patron saint, Nossa Senhora da Aparecida (Our Lady of Aparecida). Children's Day is simply a day to honor children and minors.
So my family was like "Hey Sonia, come with us to see the church. It's the oldest church in Bahia and it's really pretty" So I went. I find it really hard to say "no" or rather "nao" to experiences here. Especially after watching Yes Man with my family. But really I was told by one of my friends once that we regret what we don't do more than what we do, so I find myself doing things other than homework whenever they arise--but I still do homework. Anyway, on with the story:
And it turned out, it was pretty old indeed.
It was the Nossa Senhora da Aparecida church too I think.
Very peaceful. We didn't go during mass time but just explored.
So as usual, although they were just like "sonia let's go to the church" but we ended up going to a party! We went over to my Tia's house who has two children and is a professional baker. She makes cakes for a living and here is one of her custom-made masterpeices.
The two year old daughter had requested that her mom make her a doll with a purple dress, purple shoes, a purple purse, and two pink scrunchies. So she did and voila, you have the center doll.
I always feel really happy when family is just arriving at someone elses house because they look soo happy to see each other and it gets so joyfully loud. To make the effects more extreme my sister stomps in playing a pot like a drum and singing some axe (carnaval music). The hosts always seem extremely enthusiastic to see the guests and everyone is trying to greet and talk at the same time so it just gets louder and louder.
What is a culture shock to me sometimes though is how they divide the people among spaces in the house. At almost every party I've been present, the adults are in the living room, the children in their rooms, and I'm usually escourted over to the room where my younger sister and her friends are. I have to admit that I feel segregated and slightly offended at first to be physically moved into and restricted to a certain space, at fist thought/impression. But I guess it's just the way of dealing with the limited space there is for so many people and it's just more convenient to separate by age.
Then everyone was reunited into the huge mass to sing the congratulatory song, "Parabens pra voce" It's such a great song! It is used for birthdays too but since it's one of the only Happy Birthday songs that doesn't say "happy birthday" it can be used for other things as well.
"Parabens pra você
nesta data querida
muito anos de vida"
which translates more or less to:
Congratulations to you
on this beloved date
good wishes to you
many years of life
This is my little cousin enjoying her slice of cake and the doll. She explicitly expressed that she wanted to eat the doll all by herself and started with the head. all that's left to the left of the cake is the torso in this picture.
Some of the murals made by these children.