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2022-02-06 12:39:03

How can Mexico surprise tourists?

How can Mexico surprise tourists?

Mexico is one of the countries in which all restrictions on the entry of foreigners have been lifted. Now tourists from all over the world can explore the local way of life and color on their own experience.

In large cities, despite the high positions in the ratings of environmentally unsafe cities and the reputation of the criminal capital of the continent, you can go completely safely. Of course, the situation is far from ideal, but not much different from the conditional Capotney or Chicago South Side. There are a lot of police – just like in the capital's subway, which makes walking safe even at night.

Of the minuses - it is very crowded, which is understandable: about 20 million people live in the agglomeration, which cannot be compared with Chicago, New York or even Moscow.

It is difficult to single out the dominant architectural style. On the one hand, there is a lot of Spanish neo-Gothic, on the other hand, a large number of Baroque or neoclassical buildings; no wonder they wanted to build a pan-American capital.

In the city there was a place for many museums with samples of classical and modern painting and sculpture - both the New World and European. And the Somaia Museum with an excellent collection of paintings by Italian and Dutch masters, made of 28 curved steel columns trimmed with hexagonal aluminum tiles, would do honor to any European metropolis.

The world's most leftist city

If you really start talking about painting, you can get acquainted with modern authors: in the city there are a huge number of murals and frescoes by Diego Rivera and David Siqueiros, not to mention countless graffiti. Monumental canvases placed on the walls of houses unequivocally hint at socialism, which was part of the political landscape of the country's past during several decades of the rule of the institutional revolutionary party. The subjects of the paintings resemble our domestic times of avant-garde: here there is a lynching of the landowner, there they distribute expropriated land, flutter red flags, eliminate illiteracy, fight enemies, wear red stars.

At the same time, two great masters were competitors. One, Rivera, was a friend of Leon Trotsky, the other a Stalinist, the author of the most clueless attempt on the restless Soviet revolutionary and the living banner of the Fourth International. At the same time, both regularly visited the USSR, enjoyed popularity and recognition there. One of Siqueiros' works was very much to the taste of Comrade Stalin. When he died and in Moscow Khrushchev began to debunk the cult of personality, Siqueiros was offended and soon reoriented to Beijing.

If there are few murals and frescoes, you can look at another one of them, located in the Museum of Fine Arts. The author – Rivera – depicts a man at a crossroads, in which the viewer not without surprise recognizes Vladimir Lenin. This is all the more surprising because the customer of the work was the son of the American multi-billionaire John D. Rockefeller! Seeing what happened, he first demanded that Lenin be replaced with something abstract, and then ordered the painting destroyed. Then Rivera redrew it, adding to Lenin his friend Trotsky. To the left of the couple are the vices of capitalism, to the right are the blessings of the communist world.

These frescoes are the whole essence of modern Mexican socio-political culture. Here, the vile oppressors coexist with the uncompromising and noble fighters against the enslaved workers. At the end, a strange synthesis of mental and speech activity was formed, which made the Mexican United States almost the only socialist state in the world along with the DPRK, Cuba, Venezuela and Vietnam. The country has never banned free business or requisitioned private property, and the "revolutionary" to this day is rather a positive characteristic for a public and political figure.

The most famous local artist, who plugs both masters of the frescoes behind the belt, is Frida Kahlo. Her creative aspects and private life were the subject of close attention of fans of revolutionary art, and in 2002 she became the subject of everyone's attention: this year the television film "Frida", awarded the Academy Award, was released.

Many feminists, and just women working within the framework of the left agenda, chose Kahlo and her story as an object for imitation, which is not surprising: after a terrible accident, she became disabled, was known for numerous and diverse sexual relations, was a communist, a lover and cohabitant of Rivera. She even adapted her biography to the revolutionary style.

Corrupt Love and Shamans

Yet, despite the mix of museums with examples of art and architectural masterpieces, Mexico City bears little resemblance to the traditional cities of Europe. Unlike them, there are a huge number of markets and bazaars, outdated around the world. Here they can sell women's underpants or mobile vans with a built-in statue of the Virgin Mary. In the assortment of large outlets there may be even more goods, in particular - live. Here they sell cattle and poultry, and immediately sell "living goods" - of both sexes and of very different ages.

True, tourists are more interested not in clothing markets and platforms selling meat, but in ordinary food markets. There you can have a good, hearty and tasty meal. In the sea rows you can order fresh seafood, in meat (in another sense) - the freshest ham or local smoked and dried dishes, and all this will be accompanied by excellent light and dry wines, or a little less good, but certainly not worse than American, beer.

They also trade in a variety of human skulls. Most often – not real. This is an indispensable attribute of the main national non-state holiday, which is called the Day of the Dead. On this day, God-fearing Catholic Mexicans forget about their special relationship with the church and are at the mercy of the idea that on this day the souls of the dead can visit their living relatives. Therefore, it is customary to visit the graves of the departed, to erect on tombstones peculiar altars decorated with photographs and things of the dead. They are brought treats: their favorite food and drink. All this is necessary in order to sort out the dead man's feelings and lure him to visit his home. It is believed that in this case, all living relatives will in some sense be blessed with their ancestors and provided with protection from dark forces.

The tradition dates back to the national custom of the Mayans and Aztecs, has more than three millennia. Before the arrival of the Spaniards, the locals kept at home not dummies, but the authentic skulls of their deceased relatives, regularly communicating with them.

A frequent phenomenon in the city are real Indian shamans. Usually they live on their reservations, but natives of the United States and Europe, attracted by the works of Carl Castaneda, come to Mexico to learn from shamans. Therefore, they leave their indigenous habitats and meet with "seekers of truth", and at the same time earn extra money by removing damage from those suffering from the evil eye.

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Egor Eremeev
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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