Oct 17, 2009

JCS Dia de la Raza

"Day of the Races" is basically a celebration of various cultures. There is a parade of nations, singing, dancing, performances of all kinds, etc. Students are selected to represent various countries and dress in traditional attire for their country.

Last year, Allie and Tate represented the U.S. and a note was sent home saying something like, "Please have your child wear colors for the country they are representing." So, I ran down to the local tienda and found a t-shirt from old navy that had a cat with a crown waving an American Flag with the words "American Princess," and paired it with a denim mini skirt/leggings for Allie and for Tate found a blue/white baseball type t-shirt with red/white board shorts. I thought I had done pretty well. But when the parade started, I realized why Allie had been telling me that she needed a poofy dress so that she could flap her skirt (which was not possible with her form fitted denim mini). This was because all of the little ladies had beautiful dresses which seemed perfect representations for their countries. I felt like that when the parade started, it was like that dream that you have where you are walking down the street naked, ya know? Somehow, the part about having a really stellar costume got lost in translation in the note that was sent home, and my little Americans looked VERY casual and underdressed! But hey, there is not a costume shop here - no "Statue of Liberty" getups or colonial costumes hiding in the local shops.

So, this year, when I got the note saying that Allie was going to represent the U.S. in the parade, I set out to create a miniature First Lady.
Red Velvet Christmas dress: check.
Star spangled hair bow: check.
Red and White striped hair tie used as a sash: check.
Large blue "pearl" necklace: check.
Navy bandana flower pen: check.

And then the little sister and brother desperately wanted to be patriotic as well. So with a cut up stars and striped bandana and a stick, we waved our American flags proudly!

Little Taino Indians.
Gracie's class sang "Jesus loves the little children." She is next to her pal, Marcela.
Danny, who is actually American, in true Dominican fashion escorts not 1 BUT 2 little ladies for the Dominican Republic. Very machissimo!

Allie and Marcos, who is the most American looking Dominican that I have ever seen, getting ready to walk out for their part in the parade. And guess what song they used to play while they walked out? Star spangled banner? Nope! America the beautiful? Nope. The Cotton Eyed Joe!!!! Get out! My camera was shaking I was laughing so hard. I had nothing to do with that song selection, but it made me VERY HAPPY (sorry Dan Speciale from Delaware who was slightly offended by the song selection so I heard). Hillbilly up the U.S! I don't have a problem with that!

Love those faces!
Gracie and Marcela, who looked like a live doll (she was one of Danny's little ladies for the D.R.).

Reasons why this Dia de la Raza was my favorite:
-New friend and fellow Texan, Holly Neil - who I met for the first time on this day.
-Some of the girls did a line dance to the Cotton Eyed Joe, and despite the fact that their arms weren't locked and that they weren't moving around in a circle and screaming cuss words, it made me pretty darn happy!
-The high school students danced to a mix that was infused with hip hop, merengue, salsa AND Michael Jackson music and dance moves! I wanted to break out my sequined glove! Good times!
-My "first lady" had a great time and loved it!

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