Saturday, November 27, 2010

Religion is everywhere and obvious

When I visited India in 2004, I was surprised at just how much religious iconography suffused everyday life, and I thought that I wouldn't see that amount outside India. However, Catholic iconography is replete throughout Mexico City. It shows up as the several churches scattered and constructed liberally throughout the city. The older part of the city is choc-a-bloc with them, and they are also found hiding an side streets or blending into the frontages, their only outward sign of sancrosancty being their signage.

Of course, the iconography is found other places as well, mostly in the form of shrines to Mary of Guadeloupe, something like the patron ('matron'?) saint of, if not only Mexico City, the country. There are shrines in train stations and along the tracks as well as makeshift shrines found in other places throughout the city.

I don't know if florists would survive as prodigiously as they do without all these shrines and churches. I remember thinking the same thing while in India, looking at all the garlanded statues, and I found myself thinking the same thing as I saw more and more the iconography of saints in Mexico City.

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