P o p p i n g
Word of the Year
Give it up for Selfie! The Oxford Dictionary´s Word of the Year for 2013. Perhaps no better reflection of our social media-infused, vanity obsessed, 21st century lives than adding a new word to the Oxford Dictionary entirely dedicated to getting out a camera and taking a (normally rather ridiculous) photo of yourself in order to post it online and share with your friends and anyone else who might be interested (usually no one). The word´s actually been around since 2002 and its supposed first appearance was on an Australian internet forum where a poster used the term to refer to a photo he´d taken of himself because he got so drunk he´d fallen down the stairs and cut his lip open and wanted to share a picture of his war wounds with his friends. Variations include helfie (a selfie of just your hair…), welfie (a workout selfie… and you thought it couldn´t get any worse!) and, XelaWho´s favourite: belfie, a selfie of one´s posterior.
F lo p p i n g
Remembering Violence Against Women in Guatemala
On a more somber note: the 25th of November marked the International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women, a day that resonates deeply for many people in Guatemala due to the shocking levels of violence that so many women across the country still suffer from on a regular basis, with approximately 700 women suffering from violent deaths each year (an average of 2 a day) and a continued impunity rate of 97% in registered cases. Fortunately, the work of many women in Xela, and across the country, ensured that the day did not go by unnoticed. Xela´s Colectivo de Mujeres posted banners around the cemetery with the message “They silence us, they make us physically disappear, but they cannot avoid the fight of our sisters, who are our voice”, whilst Nuevos Horizontes held a vigil in Parque Central in homage to women victims of violence.
GET INVOLVED: GUATEMALAN XMAS TRADITIONS
If you´re going to be sticking around Xela for Christmas, you’re going to have to make yourself feel at home and get involved in all the festivities. Christmas cheer and all that. So here´s XelaWho´s quick guide to celebrating Christmas like a true chapin:
- Eat lots and lots of tamales. We especially recommend the chocolate ones. Yum. As with Christmas dinners back home, it is expected that you eat so many that you are unable to move from your seat for at least two hours.
- Make a nativity scene model (a Nacimiento) in your room, apartment or Spanish school. You can buy the little figurines and ornaments in the markets. Even better: make your own characters and ornaments (XelaWho bears no responsibility for models that end up looking more like a scene out of Frankenstein than the Bible).
- Buy lots of fireworks (the bigger the better) to set off at midnight on Christmas Eve with everyone else. Never used fireworks before? No problem! They let five year-olds set them off here, so we´re sure you can figure it out.
- For those who could never wait until Christmas morning to open their stockings and presents will feel right at home in Guatemala as the tradition here is to open them all shortly after midnight on Christmas Eve. So get stuck in!!