Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bicentennial, Man

Colombia turned 200 on Tuesday, meaning that Bicentennial celebrations were ubiquitous throughout the country. As a music guy, I was delighted to hear that 1,000 different concerts throughout the country were being held at the same time in honor of the celebration. Federico showed his patriotism by getting the names of Colombia's founding fathers buzzed into his hair:
We then headed off to the nearby city of Rio Negro to catch a dance performance. I had previously known Rio Negro for only Medellín's international airport, only passing through the city. I was pleasantly surprised to see elements of a folksy town about Rio Negro. While not as charming as nearby Marinilla or Rio Claro, having the celebration in a nice-looking town square certainly did it for me. Federico's girlfriend is part of a dance group in called, "The Folklore Ballerinas of Antioquia" and they were good. 
They performed dances from each of Colombia's different regions, showcasing the amount of great cultural diversity that exists here. My favorite was the 'Montanero' dance from this region, where it looks like the dancers are doing a spastic version of the "Funky Chicken." (Federico later informed me that yes, they are supposed to imitate chickens and no, they were not taking themselves seriously). Fede was up to more tomfoolery as on our way back he pointed out the "Norte America" letters that sit above a Medellín hill, Hollywood-style. "It's because we like the USA so much," he joked. We had another performance obligation that was really cool, an a capella show at a local church. It turned into a reunion of many Medellín friends I hadn't seen for a while. We grabbed a few tables at Punta Arena on la 70 after the show and laughed the night away.

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