26. 2. Take me to church

🇸🇮 Na prvi pogled zgleda običajna katoliška cerkvica, lepša zaradi bele fasade v kombinaciji s kamni in okraski barve žada. Ampak Iglesia San Juan de Chamula je čisto nekaj drugega, edinstvena mešanica molitev in svetnikov, ki so jih v regijo vnesli španski osvajalci, in tradicionalnih običajev ljudstva Tzotzil, ki so ohranili svojo vero skozi obdobje španske vladavine do danes. Duhovnik pride iz San Cristobala približno enkrat na mesec, priredi mašo in krsti dojenčke. V notranjosti je prepovedano fotografiranje, zato bo moral zadostovat zgolj laičen opis te presenetljive izkušnje: namesto klopi je sredina cerkve prazna, tla so posuta z borovimi iglicami in so prostor obredov. Ob straneh in pred oltarjem so razporejeni svetniki v svojih kapelicah iz lesa in stekla, pred njimi pa mize s stotinami prižganih sveč. Tradicionalnega oltarja ni, samo še več svetnikov in sveč. Na tleh si posamezniki ali majhne skupinice naredijo prostor med iglicami, prižgejo desetine sveč in molijo ter se pogovarjajo s svetniki. Videla sva tudi tradicionalen obred s šamanom, ki iz človeka nase zvabi zle duhove ob pitju lokalnega šnopca Pox (izgovori se poš). Vmes z živo kuro drgne človeka, potem z njo kroži nad prižganimi svečami in ji v enem trenutku neopazno zavije vrat – s tem žrtvovanjem naj bi šli zli duhovi, ki povzročajo bolezen, na žival, ki jo nato sežgejo ali zakopljejo. Šaman na koncu ob pomoči Coca Cole riga, da še iz sebe prežene duhove. Po tem opisu se verjetno sliši bolj dramatično, kot je v resnici. Ob najinem obisku je bilo kar nekaj skupin in posameznikov v svojih molitvah in ritualih, ljudje so prihajali in odhajali, vmes se kakšen turist sprehodi po cerkvi, ki je odprta vse dneve in noči. Izredno zanimiva in edinstvena izkušnja, majhen vpogled v običaje in življenja zanimivih ljudstev Majevskih korenin.

Svečke za vse naše, ki jih ni več

🇬🇧 On the outside it looks like an ordinary church, with white walls and ornaments the color of Jade. But the Iglesia San Juan de Chamula is like no other we’ve ever seen or heard of. Inside, worshipers engage in unique rituals that merge Catholic saints with native traditions, moonshine, prayers, and animal sacrifice. It is forbidden to take pictures, so you’ll have to imagine it: the walls are lined with statues of saints and there are no benches – fresh pine needles cover the otherwise empty floor from front to back. At the times of our visit there were individuals and groups scattered around the church, they sweep clear some space on the floor, stick the candles to the tiles and let them burn into puddles of wax. We witnessed a traditional ritual where a shaman helps people that are sick or are having other life issues, by scrubbing (and sacrificing) a live chicken on the person during a cleansing ceremony to pull out the evil spirits, while drinking the local liquor Pox (pronounced posh) and Coca Cola, to get rid of evil spirits by burping. It was an interesting and unique experience, a glimpse into the lives and rituals of indigenous Maya people.

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