Monday, August 4, 2008

¡Fiesta! Bolivian Day

SATURDAY NIGHT started at 4pm at Jorge's house in Bothell. I would guess there were more than 100 people there, gathered to celebrate Bolivia's independence from Spain. Most of them were of South American roots, but there were a few tagalongs like me there, too. We all had fun.

It was a potluck, and all kinds of delicious foods filled the outdoor table: macarones, sopa de maní (peanut soup), stewed pork, and other hot dishes. We drank beer and visited, until the program started. Yes--there was a program! We listened to a poem in Spanish called "If Simón Bolivar lived in these times," heard from some terrific musicians who really put their heart into it, and watched some of the traditional Bolivian dances. Some of their dress was quite bold, even sequinned (think: Liberace) while others were more what one would imagine: modest and hand-embroidered. At intermission, the dancers broke for a quick swig of coctél de naranja (OJ mixed with singani) from a shared tutuma.

As night fell, people were still coming through the front door. All ages, kids and grandmas and everybody in between. Latinos seem to enjoy making their parties a family affair, everybody sharing, and the more the merrier, no matter what time they arrive. Offering food, offering their seat, offering to dance.

The gringa left the party on the early side (hey, I had climbed Mt Si that same day!). As I left I could hear the whistling of the Andean quena and enthusiastic clapping. I'm told that the party carried on until the last guests left at 6am...14 hours after the red, green and yellow balloons out front beckoned the first guests.

1 comment:

  1. As a Bolivian I have to admit that we never thought on having so many people at the party, it's amazing how well worked the Word-of-mouth campaign in this case, we only had to say "invite your friends and Bolivians you may know" and we ended up with around a 100 people! who drove from places as distant as Kent and Tacoma, only to have the chance to meet new friends and share the nostalgia we were all feeling (and the salteñas who arrived at 9:30pm, mmmm, so good)Viva Bolivia!


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