Where I live it’s as easy as pie; if you live north of the big rivers you’re a Protestant and if you’re from the south you must be a Catholic. Even if you’re not religious at all there is no escape to this. It’s in the school you go to, your grandparents eating fish on Friday, shopping on Sunday, holidays…
My father, the northerner, told me back when I was a kid that protestant funerals are probably the most boring thing on earth since the invention of golf. Not that I ever thought a funeral was exactly a barrel of monkeys. I guess you can’t ever put the ‘fun’ in funeral, can you?
A while ago a northern guy I know was genuinely shocked when he went to a southern, thus catholic, funeral. They drank beer, gin and what not afterwards! You can blame the catholic church for a lot of things but their followers sure know how to party. Shit, they even know how to make a party out of ol’ papa death. And just so you know, these parties don’t involve little kids, the stoning of homosexuals or the spreading of STD’s.
I’m talking about carnaval. I’m sure my teacher taught me in elementary (catholic) school but it has something to do with lent. Or Easter, fuck if I know. It’s basically a five day holiday that involves very little Christ and very little sober thinking. Here’s what you do. You dress up and drink, drink, drink and drink some more. When you wake up, you continue drinking. And so forth.
The local marching bands play the songs of our people, everybody is equal and everyone is part of an ‘us’. The ‘us’ meaning the southerners. It’s a celebration of alcohol, identity and loose sexual ethics. Our dialect is for once celebrated, not frowned upon. Our traditions are for once envied, not ridiculed. Altough ‘the songs of our people’ are bordeline retarded tunes belched out by drunk hillbillies but hell, I like it.
My message however is not restricted for my town, region or country. You can travel abroad and come back a pretentious prick. You can study in a different city and come back with an accent that is not yours. You can live abroad and adopt your new country. You can do all these things but how hard you try, you can never ever escape where you come from. It’s not nationalism or chauvinism, just the way you are wether you like it or not.
Well, I like it and I’m fixin’ to get drunk for the sake of the motherland!