Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Loss of Traditions

As immigrants the process of ACULTURATION between two countries and two cultures can be long and complex.  My family has been in the US for almost 40 years now and I ponder the loss & rentention of our traditions - it seems that as time passes and we become more Americanized  some of our celebrations are no longer practical.   Gone are the days of large Thanksgivings, Christmases, the countless birthday celebrations when 30-50 of our family and friends used to come together in big fiestas.  Fortunately for my family that we grew up running a family restaurant that could host such large gatherings.    It seems now that as time passes our celebrations are shrinking.  
This loss may be inevitable, after all who has the time or energy anymore?  Not to mention the expense.    As we adapt to modern times and settings, letting go of some of our traditions may be necessary; what may be appropriate in smaller towns in rural Mexico may not fit in here in modern Silicon Valley.  But I  feel most a sense of loss for my Mom whose idea of fun on a Sunday is cooking for 20 people & nothing makes her happiest than when the whole family gets together.

My Elders; my Mom & Auntie Aminta have supported me unconditionally with my business from the very beginning when things where the hardest.    I am fortunate to still have them with me, I know they day will eventually come when I will have to step up and become the elder to the next generation.
My Mama y Tia siempre me han apoyado con mi negocio incondicionalmente.  Estoy agradecida que todavia las tengo en la tierra para disfrutar. 

I am always happiest with different generations around me.
Siempre me siento mas feliz cuando tengo varias generaciones a mi alrededor
Since we cannot turn back the clock, the best we can do is hold on to the memories with nostalgia & create new meaningful memories with the next generation.

ESTRELLITA RESTAURANT in Los Altos, one of the original Mexican restaurants in the peninsula of San Francisco, is still in my family after almost 40 years.  It is currently owned by my cousin Carlos Corlay and still has some of the best authentic Mexican food in the Bay Area.   My older cousins have branched out with a restaurant of their own; MEXXI'S TAQUERIA in San Ramon, also a blend of traditional and Mexican American recipes- they are currently celebrating their 20th year in business.    You see I come from a long line of family businessmen and women.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Dia de los Reyes * 3 Kings Day

A Very Latin Tradition 
(bigger than Christmas in some places)

January 6th is a widely celebrated holiday in Mexico that marks the official end of the Christmas season.

In religious households a statue of a Baby Jesus called a NIÑO JESUS  is placed under the Christmas Tree on Dec 24th day & serenaded with Las Mañanitas, Mexico's birthday song. 
Jan 6th marks the Holy day marks when the 3 Magi arrived at the site of the Baby Jesus' birth with gifts of Gold, Myrrh & Incense.
Tradition states the letters are tied to balloons that are released or
can be placed inside your shoes under the Christmas tree.
Photo: Michael Andrade

Before January 6, children in Mexico write letters to the 3 Kings requesting the gifts they desire.
(Traditionally children were not given gifts until January 6-Santa Claus is a modern influence).
Photo: Michael Andrade

Treats of peanuts, carrots & water are left under 
the Christmas tree for the 3 Kings camels (how cute)
Photo: Michael Andrade

On this day a Traditional Bread, the 'Rosca de Reyes' is eaten, accompanied with Hot Chocolate, Atole or Champurrado as drinks.  
You can find the Rosca in any Mexican bakery.  Our favorite in SF is from
Dianda's Bakey Mission @ 25th St.

Tradition says that whoever gets the hidden doll inside the 'Rosca' bread gets to host tamales on  
Feb 2nd
Dia de la Candelaria, when the Baby Jesus is taken to church to be blessed by the priest.

Vicky from Floreria La Poblanita on Mission St.
in San Francisco, demonstrates the dressing of the Niño Jesus.
On January 6th he is dressed with special clothes and sat on a miniature chair.  Vicky's mother  is a wonderful herbalist who also sells & makes clothing for this day.

January 6th  also marks the official end of the Christmas season & the decorations can be taken down. 
 Check out our post season clearance sale on our Christmas & Holiday Decorations


 May the 3 Kings bring you everything you desire!