SECRET TO HAPPINESS: Accept yourself and others for being different and embrace who you are
TRADITION:La Vela de las Autenica’s Inrepidas Buscadoras del Peligro – (bit of a mouth-ful, roughly translated as ‘The festival of authentic, Intrepid Danger-seekers)
CELBRATED: Juchitan, Mexico
Being different to others can suck balls! I know from my own experiences growing up. There are all these stereotypes of how a person should fit into society. You know, like that popular girl that everyone gravitates to with the blonde/ black hair and blue/green eyes -the perfect figure. Everyone wants to know her. Then there is the Emo who wear eyes liner and grunge clothes and never smiles and gets odd looks wherever he/she may go. People stop and stare and gasp. People call him/her a freak. Then you get the straight A student with a bad case of acne, skinny, pale and is an easy target to bully. I know I am generalising a bit but you get my drift.
I know the world is getting it’s head around the fact that gay people , lesbian people and Trans-gender people do not have a kink in their nature, and as a culture we are more accepting of peoples sexuality choices/ race and religious choices. This step is not enough because their is still a lot of prejudice around being ‘different’. Many people are still segregated from society because of these reasons. In a world of never ending war – British Muslims and American Muslims are being ostracised and blamed because they supposedly share the same faith as terrorists/suicide bombers. An intelligent and learned person will know that these cowardly terrorists hide behind the Muslim religion and distort and warp this faith to justify their horrific actions. There has been a lot of debate around African Americans being over looked by the movie industry. A lot of people still think that all people who identify themselves as black, are gangsters who want to mug people or deal in drugs.
In Juchitan, the the zapotec people of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec believe and celebrate a ‘third sex’ This group or class of people includes both Gay/Lesbian and Transgender people. They are referred to as ‘Muxes’ ( pronounced Moo-shays). Muxes people are given divine sanction status and are considered a blessing to their families and within their community. They are respected and treasured for their beauty, tranquillity and their domestic talents.
Forget about San Francisco’s annual ‘Gay pride parade’ being a cutting edge and bold culture in celebrating diversity. These awesome people in Juchitan were celebrating different sexualities when G.P.P. was not even a seed -in germination mode.
At this festival -the muxes Zapotec people dress up flamboyantly proudly sashay around in brightly coloured clothes. They have a full on fiesta- with plenty of food, drink and revel in the whole towns attention.
What a glorious world we would live in if everyone no matter how different was accepted and got their very own party to celebrate their differences. Can you imagine it?
The message is simple: Love who you are -you are not meant to conform to one ideal of what a community or a society dictates you should be.