A Visit to the Dead

In Culture Shocks, International Living, Latin America, Venezuela by hufanLeave a Comment

One thing that I as an in European logic trained Philosophy graduate, like about Latin America is that many people there are still not totally controlled by the dogmatic authority that logic and rationalism have reached in the heads of the majority of European people. Instead there is still some space some spiritualism. You do not believe in Ghosts and spirits? Probably nobody can convince you of the opposite, but at least you might understand that to see this world out of a spiritual angle makes it seem much more colourful and alive.

One good place to experience some of this spiritualism surely is a cemetery. Hudie was talking to me a lot about it before we finally went there. At the same time she was a bit afraid of taking me there, because it is located in a quite dangerous zone of the city and a lot of people get robed over there. An other thing is that there are frequently funerals of whichever street gang member and it seems not to be the best thing for a Gringo to be around a group of armed gangsters who are drowning their grief in alcohol.Cmeterio imagen

But still we went because Hudie really wanted me to see it. It is a really big and old cemetery. Directly at the entrance there are some big new graves for the heroes who died in the fight for the revolution before Chavez got into power. Behind there are a lot of new graves and places for urns. Quite a few show that the person did not reach 25 before he or she died. GraveAnd behind these are the old graves mainly of rich, important and or holy people. Especially the graves of the last ones were interesting to see.

We went to see for example the grave of the virgin Maria Francia (one of the million celebrated virgins that exist in Latin America). She must have been a really good teacher and managed to educate children well. So till now there is people coming to her grave and putting down roses in front of it praying for her to help them in their exams. DSCN1394DSCN1389Quite a lot seemed to have received some help because once they passed, they feel it necessary to show some gratitude to the virgin and leave their exams there, or their graduation rope or plaster the ground around the grave with engraved stones.virgin mariaDSCN1397

An other grave we saw was under a big tree and on the branches of the tree there were hanging a lot of with dedication fabricated models of cars, houses or just nice cards which asked for the realization of wishes like a journey or the love of a friend…

Surely I as a central European have quite some trouble to really believe in the existence of some spirit or an other, that actually intervenes in reality. But I definitely believe that the hope people got out of visiting these holy sights was something that made them less likely to give up to achieve their goals.


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