At the Cemetery

Another Journal Entry:

15 June 2014 Sunday

Today we went to the Recoleta Cemetery. Yes, a cemetery.

I was a bit freaked out at first and I kept wondering if I even belonged there being that I it’s against my religion to participate at all in funerals. One of my classmates commented to me that she doesn’t do grave yards at all and we were able to connect. I quoted what Jesus said to his disciple, “let the dead, burry the dead”.

Nevertheless, I went along with my class and Dr. Anderson and at the end was not scared at all. I realized walking through that the Recoleta Cemetery was actually a tourist site! Imagine, a cemetery as place to sight see! But it is indeed like no other cemetery I ever saw! It is literacy a city of the dead! We walked in and had a time finding our way out. 

We met our tour guide, Simon, who made the tour very interesting and informative. It is at this site I begin to understand the story of the Peron’s and Roca, the father of the disappearance, since I was behind readings.

Simon’s mind seemed to be a store house of innocuous anecdote. He told us stories about government officials as well as others who happened to be buried in the cemetery.  A few stuck with me and if I could have a favorite, it will be the couple who always argued. The man held power of some sort which made the family rich. The women loved to shop, not clothing shopping but high art and things of value. She shopped and created debt for herself and her husband until he put his foot down and told her to quit. Of course she wouldn’t and that is when he refused to pay her debt or associate himself with her buying habit. They stopped talking and their graves were built resembling that fashion. Their backs were towards each other.

I should say here that these tomb stones are huge, some over 10 feet!

I also learned through the story of Rufina Cambaceres (1902 )that Argentina doesn’t waste time in burying the dead, she was buried alive!

The only animal buried in the cemetery is a dog of a girl named Lilliana who died in the 1970’s. She (I forgot if the dog or the girl died that day…) died on her wedding day.

The cemetery was once a garden and is connected to a huge church. It dates all the way back to 1716 and is 14.5 acres which is equivalent to 6 city blocks.

Check out my youtube videos for the full stories.

Cazona De Flores

Cazona De Flores

 

Today we went to a lecture by Ezequiel Adamovsky. (nice name right?)

The place where we went is called La Cazona De Flores and while I don’t understand fully why it’s so significant I do know that  it is where a lot of learning takes place and many educators such as writers and authors give speeches there.

To welcome us into the place was an anthropologist named Nicolas Fernadez. He sat us down and told us a little history about La Cazona De Flores. It was an upper class house full of paintings owned by a rich family. However,  when the city begin to grow, the neighborhood swallowed up the smaller rich neighborhood.

Now it’s an open space used for studies.  He told us that It connects study courses with employment. I guess that’s the equivalent to an internship. “The house has achieved prestige among the intellectuals, he commented, and the neighborhood of Flores is associated with Afro-Argentine families.”  I think this means a lot, but currently I am not sure why I think this.

Fernadez switched the topic to race in Argentina and I jotted down some of his quotes that I thought were intriguing:

The meaning of race has been a challenged  myth of the country since the beginning

The problem with the stereotypes is not that they are false but incomplete.

Education and violence is what constructed the nation and the false ideas that race doesn’t exist 

If you want to evolve, leave your ethnicities behind

The difference is the resistance of the people and how change comes (his comment in regards to other nations and their response to inequalities)

During the discussion, we spoke about how the government is in control of maintaining the history of Argentina and telling the history of Argentina. He then showed us the 100 peso. There are currently two circulating. One of them, the older one, has the father of the disappearance on it, Julio Argentino Roca (we spoke a little bit about him at the Recoleta Cemetery) and the other peso has Maria Eva Duarte De Peron picture’s on it.

 

Recoleta Cemetery

Recoleta Cemetery

 

On Sunday we went the Recoleta Cemetery. I know, you are probably thinking, the Cemetery?! But the Recoleta Cemetery is not like your typical cemetery. It’s like a city built for the dead. It is easy to get lost in this 14.5 acres of land. It’s 6 city blocks and if you don’t know your way around (which was us) you can easily get lost.

I was a little bit unsure about visiting the cemetery but when we met our tour guide Simon I adjusted a bit. He had a interesting way of telling us stories of those who passed away.

The Recoleta Cemetery was first a garden and belonged to the church in 1716. Around 1822 it started to become a cemetery. The Recoleta Cemetery is where people of politics and in the government of rich families are usually buried.