Last night, I was watching a beautiful movie (Palmeras en la nieve), in which one particular scene stood out to me. Mind you, this scene has become such a norm in other movies, it never stands out and is sadly a normalcy in any society around the world. In the film, one of the female characters decides to visit her father’s past life and travel to Equatorial Guinea, where he had lived out his youth. Her aunt proceeds to tell her “you must be careful, it is not safe for a woman,” and instantly this struck a nerve in me. As mentioned, this comment IS common in movies and in real life, but it has always been accepted that women MUST be more careful than men in most situations. The question is, why is this normal? Why do women HAVE to be more cautious than men?
Here I stand amongst the greatest thinkers of the world
The Ivy Leagues
How lucky can I be
Surrounded by the elite, willing to work with me
To take me to another level
I could finally let my wildest thoughts escape this vessel
To compete with anyone and take them down
I’d be standing on the highest ground
Soon the formalities began to fade
No longer did anyone care about my day
The sweat dripped down and met my blood
How could anyone bear this much?
Inti Raymi – Quechua
Of course, half of this great continent is on the flipside of the equator, which means winter solstice actually falls in late June rather than December. According to Peruvian chronicler Garcilaso de la Vega, Inti Raymi (or “Festival of the Sun”) was established in the early 15th century by the Inca emperor Pachacutec and was celebrated every year until it was outlawed by Catholic priests in 1535.
Traditionally the new years celebration lasted nine days and involved dances and animal sacrifices to Pachamama. In more remote indigenous communities throughout the Andes, the celebration has been preserved through the ostensibly Catholic festival of San Juan Bautista, while a recreation of the original pre-Columbian festival takes place every year at the archaeological site Saksaywaman on June 24th.
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