Monday, 25 May 2009

Maybe I just don't get it.

I know that I'm a gringa, and here in my adpoted country, we have different customs, holidays and traditions. I can really get behind alot of them (hello, pozole!) and some of them, well, I think I'm missing the whole point.

Let's talk about pinatas. Saturday was Braden's 3rd birthday party. I went with his mom, and my partner in crime, Nancy, from, to go and order the cake, the pinata, etc. a few days prior to the event. Now, Nancy chose one of the coolest lion pinatas I've ever seen, and it had to be, because she made me to to THREE different pinata stores to find it. Yes, three. I live on a small island, where you can't always find fresh milk, but apparently anyone can find a pinata a mile away from their house.

Now, this lion pinata was BIG, and Nancy had no where to hide it from a active 3 year old, so lion came to live with us for a few days. I had to put the thing on the dining room table, since that's essentially the only place we've been able to convince the cat to NEVER go, (which is ironic, since we actually eat at the thing about 4 times a year, but I digress..)

So here's where you pinata affictionados lose me. It's your kid's birthday. You have a theme for it, in this case, lions. So you go and buy your child's favorite character and then encourage them to beat the crap out of it with a stick? Seriously, if that's not years of therapy, I don't know what is.

Then, the pinatas almost never break. Seriously, all of my firend's kids are under 5 years old, meaning they're not that strong, and they have a three minute attention span, tops. There's always the excitement at the beginning, when the kids all have their first turn, and we all sing the silly song loudly, and nothing happens, because the people that make these things make them super, super thick. Can't they make special, easy to break ones for the young and the elderly?

So what generally happens is the adults stop paying attention, and only sing when it's actually their kid, and the children start wandering off to discover other shiny objects. Then some well meaning adult steps up, with a determined look in their eye. In all the years I've lived here, I have never seen a child break a pinata, it's always the desperate parent, who realizes they're losing the audience. (In one notable occasion, I actually saw a granmother take a kitchen knife to a particularly durable pinata).

I won't even get into the whole concept of arming children with sticks. Someone once told me they wen't to a party and the host used a broom handle made out of metal, and one of the kids got a little swing happy and broke someone's arm.

How about the moron who pulls the rope to make the pinata move around? First of all, it's always the wise-guy of the group, since no one else wants the job. Secondly, when you're swinging, and just want to get this whole pinata/stick thing over with, the last thing you want is some yahoo, jerking the pinata around making it harder!

So finally, the whole pinata thing comes to it's happy end, the thing breaks and candy and other edible stuff falls to the ground?? Not one of my friends would let their kid eat off the floor (that I know of..) but if it comes out of a pinata it's ok. And, generally speaking, the stuff they fill those things with is horrble. Waxy chocolate, peanuts, oranges and even toothpicks. You've gotta be kidding me here!

Again, maybe I just don't get it! Maybe I'm just missing the joy. I know Fabs has never really been able to embrace the whole concept of Groundhog Day.

Here's the pinata in the store, in happier days, prior to it's unwarranted beating.


cozzie laura said...

Fab husband and I were discussing this, and he tells me that when he was young, pinatas were made out of barro, or clay, but they stopped since the pot shards were injuring children.

Lisa..... said...

Smart move. Concusions are better than shards of pottery in the eye, eh?

Sarah said...

I got my son a pinata one year for his birthday. This thing had bright colorful dangley things that would make the trap door open. No beating it to a pulp to get the candy out, no broken noses, no dads getting hit in the crotch with a bat....good times!

cozzie laura said...

Sarah, I've heard of those, ironically enough, not available here. The whole attempted bashing makes for good entertainment, however, i have yet to top the grandma going psycho with the kitchen knife on hello kitty!

Gladys said...

When in Cozzymel...hit a pinata. ;)

dolci228 said...

I remember my brother have a pinata at his 5th birthday party; he was born in January and my parents made all the kids bundle up and go outside.

Somehow, one of the kids knocked another one across the face with the broomstick. (I being much older, wiser and female had already told them this would happen).

I never understood the allure of it other than all the candy falling from the sky.

Ms. Moon said...

Have you ever seen the movie "Parenthood"? There is a great pinata scene in it in which Steve Martin ends up using a chain saw (I think) on a pinata at his child's birthday party.