Monday, September 21, 2009

Chile's Sept 18th/19th Parada Militar/Military Parade. In words and pictures

I believe that it is safe to say that the 18th of September and all of the associated brouhaha (with tip of the hat to the Beastie Boys and bonus points to you if you know what song I'm talking about) is finally over. Which makes sense given that it's the 21st of the month already. But when the fiestas patrias mega day of the 18th falls on a Friday, se alargan las fiestas (the party gets drawn out).

Traditionally, the 18th is the day you spend with family, playing games, and with the famous trompo (spinning top which you pull a string to make go), and drinking whatever it is you drink, and the 19th is more of a freeforall, with more family, friends, or ven a trot down to Parque O'Higgins for the Military Parade, or parada militar.

For those of you that don't know, and were thinking of makng fun of the last name O'Higgins, and wondering how it would be pronounced in Chile, don't because he's a national hero (General Libertador Bernardo O'Higgins), and o-jiyins, where j is that sound like in Chanukkah). Parque O'Higgins itself is not a lush, beautiful place filled with turtledoves and sweet smells. It's an urban park with a place to race-skate, a lagoon in which to go pedal boating, and giant parade grounds that's paved and turns into a flea market on the weekends, and lots of spots to have picnics in while you fight off the stray dogs and make sure to leave your trash behind. At least that's my experience of the park. Quinta Normal is another park that's slightly closer to me, somewhat smaller, and maybe a bit less trash-filled, but it didn't have the parada militar, so off we went to Parque O'Higgins, along with several tens of thousands of our closest friends. And by we, of course I also mean Margaret from Cachando Chile, because if I'm on a on a photo safari, there's a great chance that it's because we've made a plan to go somewhere. And so we had. And so we went.

There were pretty things:

flowery finery 2, parque o'higgins

looking up

and groundbreaking things:

ladies first
this is, I believe, the largest group of women to march in the parade. Predictably, one of the comments I got on flickr was "nice legs." Which just goes to show you how far we've come.

Michelle Bachelet (presidenta de la República de Chile!)
Here's Michele Bachelet, the first female president of Chile, and she's saying hi to you right there.



more adornment

odd things:


prohibited behaviors:

swimming prohibited, diving in headfirst apparently ok.
This one on flickr I have titled swimming prohibited, diving in headfirst apparently ok

things that terrify me:

scary stuff 2

things that terrify me even more:

the scariest stuff

and a sweet girl who couldn't decide if she should smile or not when she passed me by on this spiffy pink bike that would make my niece want to come to Chile if she saw it, just so she could ride it, too. But she'd wear a pink helmet as well, of course.

niña, pedaleando

We saw tons more stuff, of course, and it's impossible to condense a day into just a few pictures, and I didn't even show you the kites, or the trees or the kite-eating trees or the mountains or the flags, or the families or the crowds. But don't worry, you can catch them all here in the flickr album I've created just for this occasion.


Mandi said...

Great photos! We had a big conversation about the number of women marching in the parade, which was amazing to see but kind of made my feet hurt just thinking of those poor things marching in heels for three hours! Maybe next year they'll get flats - that would truly be progress.

Eileen said...

If it were me, I'd want orthopedically correct walking shoes. Like rockports or my fancy rogue shoes from Oregon or Keens. But then, I never really was one to bow to authority (or fashion) anyway! And thanks on the photo props. I must tell you that the Bachelet photo I got I managed because I was hanging from a fence with one leg wrapped around and one elbow hooked through. I certainly could not have done that in heels!

Katie said...

Now that's what I call a successful photo safari! Nice work, Eileen.

Eileen said...

awww, thanks katie, you konw just what to say. I wanted to commnt on the blended empanada thing the other day, but words escaped me (first time for everything, I suppose!). Will try again, soon!

ps, what's the weather like in necochea in the summer? I'd love to check out a nice beachy town in my neighboring country say Marchish. You don't have to host, just point me in the direction of good coffee if I come through town!

Anonymous said...

Wow, the picture of the kid marching behind the soldiers blew me away. Powerful stuff.

Katie said...

Eileen, I'm not sure what to think about my post if you of all people were left speechless after reading it!

The weather here in Necochea is quite nice during the summer, although by March things will have started to cool off (highs in the 70s). You'd probably have better beach weather in February. It's generally not too humid, but it does tend to be on the breezy side. If you do plan to visit Necochea, please let me know and I'll be happy to give you the grand tour. :)

Emily said...

LOVE love love the flower photo. The colors are amazing! And the composition just makes me happy.

I've never been to the parada militar, although every year I sort of think maybe I should, just once. We had it on the tv in the background all afternoon, and I think that's just about enough marching (and playing the same. damn. song. for what seems like hours as the entire group marches) for me.

Sara said...

Once again your pictures are great because they are so realistic and capture movement. Did you ever take a photography course or is it just a habit?

Keep me posted on the group post thing! I'm already writing it in my head!

everthenomad said...

Hey Eileen,

I'd love to chat with you offline. Would you please email me?


Mari Correa Vivar said...

Excelentes fotos!!!......

Margaret said...

Wow, Eileen, I just realized that even though I went through your entire Flickr album on this when you first posted it, I had not, in fact, gone back to leave comments!
I really enjoyed this day.... what did we spend, about 5 hours on this little project??
I love your shots... mine aren't up yet, but many are similar (seeing as we were standing side by side half the time), but just so everyone knows... you were much better at scaling spear-pointed fences and dangling by one hand while shooting with the other than I will ever be!
I love the way you've cropped the boy with the balloon, for example, and you got the girl on the pink bicycle at just the right moment- love that smile!
So, when and where are we off to next?