Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Just a nice picture to start off.

Cooking - I enjoy it. Some friends and family members have told me that I should open a bistro or restaurant. I would never want to do that. It would move cooking from something fun to a chore.

Plus people are petty. I just don't want to deal with that, at least not when I am cooking.

Today's dinner was a combination of leftovers. A couple of days back I made some African Groundnut (peanut) Stew, which you usually eat with rice (or plantains or some other starch), but we ate all the rice. However, we did have left over rice from yesterday. It was some Chinese Forbidden Rice (which is a reddish black color) that we had with some Salmon and Fennel. When Sara saw me putting the two together, she said, "Ah Chinese forbidden rice with African stew...fusion!"

That's when it hit me, if I were ever to open an eatery, I would call it Confusion Fusion.

I thought I was clever, but then I googled it and found that I wasn't all that creative at all. Oh well.

The Xoloitzquintle Free University
Lesson 429 - Religions in Chiapas

My mother and step-father are currently undertaking a long road trip in Mexico. They are driving with their fifth-wheel trailer from San Diego to Yucatan. They have already driven down the Pacific coast and are currently in Chiapas.

I get sporadic and brief email updates from them. Recently, their observations have been quite anthropological. I almost feel like an arm-chair anthropologist (definition pilfered from Wiki):
Modern socio-cultural anthropology has its origins in 19th century "ethnology", which involves the organized comparison of human societies. Scholars like E.B. Tylor and J.G. Frazer in England worked mostly with materials collected by others – usually missionaries, explorers, or colonial officials – this earned them their current sobriquet of "arm-chair anthropologists".
There is quite a mess brewing up there when it comes to religion. I already knew about Catholicism replacing/merging with indigenous beliefs and the more recent arrival of Protestant missionaries (mostly Pentecostals, Mormons, and Jehovah's Witnesses). But according to my mother, there is also an indigenous belief revival. They went to a Catholic church where they were told not to take any pictures or their cameras would be smashed. It turns out the whole service was a traditional belief ceremony.

In her most recent report my mother mentioned the conflict emerging with the growing Muslim population there. I had only heard brief mention of this somewhere, but I guess it is a growing issue.

After looking into it a little more, I also found out that the anti-immigrant movement in the US is already using the phenomenon in its propaganda. Alarmism at its best. When do we send troops to Chiapas? It is better to fight them over there than over here...but wait, they are already over here. They are among us.

I think I will just give up.

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