Alasita and Ekeko

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January 24th 2007
Published: March 13th 2007
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Just as if Bolivia needed another festival to celebrate something, January 24th is spent celebrating Alasita, the festival of abundance. Before I can get to talking about this festival, today was the last day for a fellow Canadian coworker, Ximena, who decided after two months of being very ill that it was time to go home. The office had a small celebration to wish her off with salteñas (pastries filled with stewed meat) which unfortunately Ximena could not eat due to her stomach problems. As part of buying minature things (which I will get to more later) during Alasita, the office bought her a minature health certificate which should bring good health to her in the upcoming year. Hopefully this will do the trick as whatever she has just won't go away while she is here.

After the small farewall get-together for Ximena, a group of us from the office went down the Alasita market at Mercado Camacho to participate is todays festivities. Alasita, the festival of abundance, has got to be one of the most interesting and strange festivals that I have taken in. The festival is centered around the household god of abundance, Ekeko. The Alasita market was filled with people buying and selling minatures versions of everything, including cars, buses, houses, food, marriage certificates, money, basically everything. Buying this minature versions of things is suppose to bring these things into your life in the next year, as long as it is blessed by a shaman afterwards. I can't believe the amount of people at the market and the amount of stuff that they were buying. Some minatures have deeper meanings, such as a minature suitcase I bought containing money, a minature Bolivian passport, a flight ticket, amongst other things, is suppose to bring me luck while traveling over the next year. Men buy hens and women buy roosters in hope of finding a partner in the next year. An owl is suppose to bring wisdom, and the list goes on.

After buying all of our goods, Karla and I went for some api and buñuelo, my new favorite snack at a little stall in the market. Then we were off to get all of our stuffed blessed by a shaman. First he tied up all our stuff with a paper ribbon, pour some alcohol on our stuff and then passed everything over smoking wood to bless
The Canadian Cooperants in the officeThe Canadian Cooperants in the officeThe Canadian Cooperants in the office

Karla, Me, Kevin, and Ximena
it. Quite interesting I must say. After about an hour and half in the massive crowds, it was time to leave and get lunch before going back to work for 2:30PM.... I love these long lunch hours, there is so much you can do with them. Maybe I can bring this back with me to the Canadian workforce somday, what do you think?

Additional photos below
Photos: 29, Displayed: 23


Getting my suitcase blessedGetting my suitcase blessed
Getting my suitcase blessed

In that suitcase, is a minature Bolivian passport, a flight ticket, and money and this is suppose to bring my good luck in my travels over the next year.
Ekeko MinaturesEkeko Minatures
Ekeko Minatures

Ekeko is the household god and the keep and distributor of material possessions.
Look at all those minatures magnetsLook at all those minatures magnets
Look at all those minatures magnets

I am wondering if you buy a miniature fish magnet, if fish will be in abundance for you when you live in Bolivia, which has no coastline?
More minaturesMore minatures
More minatures

Tools, could be a useful thing to have an abundance of. Laundry detergent... I wonder if this has any other meaning? Clean clothes for a year maybe?

14th March 2007

Cool Pink Drink!
Have you tasted that hot pink drink yet? what does it taste like? looks like you are still having a great time down there - that's awesome! keep it up =)

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