Sunday, July 22, 2012

Independence Day! (Colombian Style)

So, the whole thing started over a flower vase, though not really.  As is frequently the case here, the whole thing was rigged.  
The locals were getting sick and tired of the Spanish, and the group of patriots (=hotheads) in Bogotá decided to stir things up.  So, they went over to Joaquín Gonzalez Llorente's bric-brac shop and asked if they could borrow a vase for a dinner they were going to hold for another local hothead.
They knew who they were bugging.  Really, it was a set-up.  They had picked Old Man Llorente because he was a Spanish merchant and also a mean guy, and they knew well and good he'd say no.  Which he did.  So, they hit the streets, now all riled up over the lack of flowers on the table.  
And because all of this happened on July 20th, 1810, we got the day off, and almost everyone else scrammed out of town for someplace warmer, I think.  Meanwhile, the porteros put up the Colombian flags on our empty street.
This whole vase-asking-refusing thing had very little to do with Simón Bolívar and all that happened several years down the road (see later entry), but it was the first time the good folks of Bogotá had openly revolted.  And some are still openly revolting, I might add.
But what if you're a Colombian Mormón, and you decided to stay put for Independence Day?  Well, after revolting, the next best thing is eating!
The Tierra Linda Ward, the congregation we attend, had a big get-together, to which everyone was to bring a typical dish from whatever country they originated.  It was varied, as we have someone from pretty much every country in Central and South America.  Paula, good American girl that she is, baked two apple pies.  They were declared, "Muy deliciosos!"
The Santendereanos (people from the state of Santender to the north of us) got together and made "mute"  (that's pronounced "Moo - tay").  I had a bowl-full, and was informed that it was a good batch of mute.  Yeah...OK.  However, I was also quietly informed by a non-Santendereano that I should not ask the identity of the "meat" floating around in it.  Double OK on that one.  Better not to know.     
The Peruvians brought something with potatoes,
 while the Mexicans brought (wait for it, wait for it..) TACOS!
 We were made to wear funny Colombian hats while everyone laughed and took pictures.
All in all, a good social day, with some interesting food.
But really, if someone wants to borrow a flower vase, just lend the silly thing.  They could have avoided a lot of trouble.
We hope your hats are even half this attractive next Colombian Independence Day!
Dave & Paula

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