Flavio Matani (flavius_m) wrote,
Flavio Matani

Martes de Carnaval....

Pancakes? I’ve never done it. Martes de Carnaval, Shrove Tuesday, has different resonances for me. In Venezuela, in Caracas in particular and, most of all, in the working class neighbourhood in West Caracas where I grew up, it was a savage day where people would roam around throwing water bombs at you -water, that is, if you were lucky. They also would throw -at each other but also at you, or any passer-by- paint, eggs, soap water. There were always stories on the papers about brawls originating from this and stories like that of the soldier or cadet who was walking with his girlfriend on his way to Naval school or something like that and got ... bathed and in the fight that resulted somebody got killed Somebody told me this still is a thing in some parts of Spain, which we inherited that wholesome custom from (I have to find out whether this is true and where, to make sure I never go there). To see the street battles between roaming gangs of young men in loincloths all covered in paint, egg, flour etc was a rather scary thing. And my dad, who in spite of his strong Italian accent had become far more Venezuelan than I ever was or could ever be, one time emptied a big laundry polythene bag full of water on me while I was sitting down reading. I don’t remember enjoying that much, funnily enough. I don’t miss Martes de Carnaval. It wasn’t Rio, it wasn’t Venice; in Caracas it was more like Mordor. My sister tells me that that hm, tradition has fallen out of use, which makes me glad.

One of these years I'll have to have a go at making pancakes. It is a silly and kind of very minor tradition but I'm all for it, having seen other possibilities. I'm on Dreamwidth at http://flaviomatani.dreamwidth.org/ -do follow me there if you can.
Tags: caracas long ago, life of fla, shrove tuesday, stuff, venezuela

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