Today I went with my host family to a Fonda in Vitacura. A Fonda, for those of you who don’t know, is a huge outdoor festival with lots of food, music, games, rides and Cueca dancing!
These things are huge! And they’re basically just an explosion of national pride and traditional Chilean culture, which meant I had no shortage of new things to experience.
Remember the Mote con Huesillo?
These things were everywhere. I couldn’t find water or lemonade, but EVERY vendor was selling Mote con Huesillos (non-alcoholic, peach juice with grain), Terremotos (white wine, grenadine and pineapple sorbet) or Fanschop (half beer, half Fanta). I don’t know about you, but I’m a purist when it comes to wine and beer. They just shouldn’t be tampered with.
In the middle of all the food vendors there was a huge dance floor for people to dance Cueca and just next to that was this appetizing site….
Another new experience for me was the rodeo. You know that expression, “this isn’t my first rodeo”? Well this WAS my first rodeo, and to be honest, it was kind of hard to watch. Don’t get me wrong, there were some great parts to the show. These people are so skilled with their horses (they can even make the horses dance “Cueca”), but a good portion of the show was watching this poor exhausted cow get chased in circles until it was captured by the cowboy. Then it was released and prodded back up so someone else could have a go at it.
The cow was lassoed, slammed into walls, and I’m pretty sure at some point just collapsed from exhaustion. Part of me wondered if the poor thing was thinking, “I give up! Just turn me into a hamburger already!”
Another striking cultural difference was the game area of the fair. Sure, they had many of the same games we would expect to find at a state fair in the U.S.
Well…except for the archery
And this bubble thing…
But what really took me by surprise were the prizes!
You can win Liquor! All the tables were covered with this spread of different types of candy for the kids, and among all the candy were these bottles of liquor! I couldn’t believe it. There were a lot more adults in the game area than usual though, so I guess it was a good incentive for people to play bingo.
Some other new attractions included the parrots…
I’m still not quite sure what those were about, unless maybe they’re the National Bird of Chile.
If you are unfamiliar with this disaster you can find out more about it here
Or just wait till the film, “The 33”, comes out in 2014. Apparently it was based on this event.
Some other cool aspects of the Fonda, were all the Mapuche artifacts and the people dressed in traditional Mapuche garb. The Mapuche, are the Native people of Chile and they still represent about %9 of Chile’s population.
One of my favorite parts of the Fonda, was all the kite flying. Something about looking out over the scenic mountain skyline and seeing a clear, blue sky, freckled with kites, just gave me hope that Spring might be on it’s way. (I’m so ready for it to get here, so I can stop borrowing Gabby’s coats!)
- Oh the Places You’ll Go… (paulatraversingchile.wordpress.com)
- Home Away from Home (chilechillin.wordpress.com)
- My First Weeks of Internship (theredhandedjill.wordpress.com)
- Fiestas Patrias (gringagold.wordpress.com)
- The craziness around Independence day in Chile (larszeekaf.com)
- Three weeks later… (rlyons280.wordpress.com)
- Mira lo que me encontré (notnearuganda.wordpress.com)