Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas In Argentina

Christmas in so many other things is the opposite of Christmas in the States. For one thing they don't do real trees here.Here is the big white Christmas tree next to the Obelisko and of course many blooming flowers.

Sweet classic wooden Santa on Florida St.

The Duracell store was decked out. Here's a closer look:
And here are some of the decorations in San Telmo. Points for funny, but very different from the excessive amount of decorations one would see in the States. Another big difference is that the decorations go up much later and you aren't bombarded by Christmas commercialism starting the day after Thanksgiving. For the first time in years I didn't get sick of Christmas songs and I didn't feel overwhelmed by the buy buy buy mentality that often comes with Christmas every where you go in the States. That feeling is slowly coming, but Christmas culture is in the middle of a transition here. This was seen at a mall where we met for a meeting with a teacher we will be working with next week. On the ground floor we walked by the ever present Santa set up that transcends borders across the world, but this one was a little different from what we are used to in the States. Instead of being flanked on both sides by elves, this Santa sat next to a camel. According to our new co-worker, when she was a child it was the Wise Men who had a set up in the mall (at that time the only mall in Buenos Aires was Harrod's) and it was the Wise Men who you handed a letter with a list of desired presents to. The camel is left over from those days. Amazing. Anyway, we spent Christmas Eve (much bigger here than Christmas day) at our friend Filipe's house. We brought our menorah and had everyone light the candles. For most there it was their first Hanukah experience. There were fire works, and then dancing in the kitchen to salsa and meringue. Christmas day the city was deserted as it had been for the past two days, but Florida Av. was still buzzing. We saw a movie and relaxed and enjoyed Christmas in the Jewish way!

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