Archive for January, 2009

Jasy Jatere…Paraguayan Mythology

Paraguay is a very rich country in many ways…one aspect that I most like about its vast culture is its mythology, many people in the country side still believe the myths to be real and they swear they are…unlike other mythology in Guarani mythology the characters are almost real or credible, with not super extra weird super powers but with some unique powers or characteristics that makes them so credible and part of guarani culture, specially Paraguayan idiosyncrasy…

One of my favorites is the Jasy Jatere, the one we were all afraid of during siesta time in Paraguay…moms use technique to scare us about the Jasy Jatere to make sure that we will stay home and not go out by ourselves while adults took their nap…they wanted us to be afraid of the Jasy Jatere, instead that just made us more curious and were always expectant wanting to take a peek on him…of course we never had the change but I still remember what was it alike to believe in something that I never saw and were convinced of its existence…I still remember how I felt growing up in Paraguay in those quiet days that all you had was a quiet siesta and unbridle passion for life. 

Jasy Jatere (also spelled Jasy Jaterei) is the name of an important figure in Guaraní mythology. One of the seven cursed children of Tau and Kerana, Jasy Jatere is one of the most important legends among the Guaraní speaking cultures of South America, especially in Paraguay.

Jasy Jatere, which means literally "a little piece of the moon", is unique among his brothers in that he does not have a monstrous appearance. He is usually described as being a small man or perhaps a child, with light blonde hair and sometimes blue eyes. He is fair in appearance, sometimes described as even beautiful or enchanting, and carries with him a magical wand or staff, although what clothing he wears, if any at all, does not seem to be an important part of the legend. Like most of his brothers he dwells in the wild, he is considered to be the protector of the yerba mate plant. Sometimes he is also viewed as a protector of hidden treasures.

In Guarani (Latin American) mythology, Jasy Jatere is protector of the yerba mate plant. He is also lord of the siesta.

Jasy Jatere is also considered to be the lord of the siesta, the traditional mid-day nap taken in many Latin American cultures. According to one widespread version of the myth, Jasy Jatere leaves the forest and wanders the villages looking for children who are not napping during their siesta. Although he is generally invisible, it is said that he shows himself to the children he finds not napping, and that any who look upon his staff fall into a trance. He may even lure them into the forest with a distinct whistle.

What happens to such entranced children differs depending upon which version of the story is told. Many Guaraní myths have multiple versions because there existed no written version of the language, and all myths have survived as word of mouth tales only. In the fairer version of the tale, Jasy Jatere is considered a friend of such disobedient children, taking them into hidden places in the forest to play and feeding them wild honey and fruit. At the end of the siesta, when all are weary from the play, Jasy Jatere gives them a magical kiss which transports them back to their beds with no memory of the experience.

Most versions of the story are less fair. Commonly, Jasy Jatere takes entranced children back to a cave where he puts out their eyes and imprisons them for an untold amount of time, sustaining them with wild fruits and berries until they become feral like animals. Still more gruesome tales say that the children are brought back to his brother Ao Ao, a cannibalistic creature who feeds upon their flesh. These versions of the myth are told in a similar vein to the Bogeyman, designed to frighten children into being obedient and taking a nap during their siesta. Paraguayan parents are known to warn their children not to wander off alone during siesta to prevent being kidnapped by Jasy Jatere.

It is said that Jasy Jatere’s power stems from the magical staff that he carries, and if one is able to take it from him, he breaks down and cries like a little child. In this state, one may ask him for the treasures that he is protecting in return for the staff, not unlike a captured leprechaun who must reward his captor with a pot of gold.

Souce: Wikipedia.

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“Vos”…not “tu” in Paraguay

Most South American countries use “tu” when refering to “you” second person singular…well this is not the case for Paraguay ,Argentina, Uruguay and part of Central America…

In Paraguay we use VOS when referring to Second person singular (YOU)…Some people from other countries in South America or even Spain give me that look when I talked to them using “vos” they know what it means but it is always distinctive and unusual to hear someone talking using the vos form, which i find cute =) …for me its easier to just say “vos” because I’m used to it but many would certainly wonder where is she from?

I would suggest people learn both forms, both are important, specially if interested in Paraguayan or Argentinean Spanish. A reader of mine Alex he teaches about Paraguay at the university in New Mexico and send me a video about this subject that he prepared.

Enjoy and thanks again Alex =) Good job!

 

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Check Orbitz for flights to Paraguay

I’m starting to check again ticket prices to Paraguay for june and found a big difference of prices between sites, i got definitely better deal on www.orbitz.com than with any other website…for domestic destinations i like to use www.travelocity.com but it seems that for international flights Qrbitz has better deals.

Just in case you are looking for a ticket to Py go ahead and check Qrbitz before you buy for some where else maybe you get a better deal too.

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How to Prepare Terere

A reader of Muna’s blog just sent me the following videos, the first video he made and is awesome because he explains step by step how to make terere! it is really interesting.

The second video is a commercial of a Yerba Mate Campesino that shows and talks a bit about Paraguayans idiosyncrasy and our particular way of doing things.

Thanks Alex for sharing this awesome videos.

 

 

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Hora Paraguaya – Paraguayan time

Every time I’m back for a visit in Paraguay I have to get used again to the Paraguayan time, but it doesn’t take long for me to go back to my old traditions and arrive like a good Paraguayan at least 1 hour late…if i make it at all ;)

Well the thing is that the time is never the time in Paraguay, and if you invite people to attend to a party at 8 they will expect you at 9 or 9.30hs. it is part of our expectations…obviously with job or doctor appointment is different (i guess and i hope) but with meeting and parties always expect a delay of your guests.

This are changing for the better though but people still have problems to get to a place on time…what people usually do…the timing calculations is…if you are invited at 8 to be in a place, people exit their houses at 8 and arrive late…but late is relative, because no body actually expects you at 8, once i got to a party in time…not even the host was home, the lights were off, not even the food was there, it looked like a place where no party would go on…I guess people invite earlier expecting their guests will have a 1 or 1.30 hour delay…everything is calculated! =)

Another big and important thing is that sometimes Paraguayan are just too nice and friendly and they invited you or suggest to do something that they really don’t mean…so make sure that the even is a real event and if so they should confirm that to you…Actually once I invited some friends for a “merienda” no one showed up…because I didn’t call to confirm days before and even hours before…they thought that i was just saying but not actually doing it…I was mad, because i prepared everything, i bought sweets from a bakery but obviously I fast started to remember how they are there and it was pointless being mad…I re scheduled with a lot of following up an reconfirmation call and finally had my super “merienda” which was great.

Suggestion: If you invited someone, please call them to reconfirm 1 day before and then same day again if you can…otherwise you will end up eating all your snacks yourself.

This is not a matter of responsibility or reliability…this is a matter of use and habit and I would say a cultural thing that has been build up from time to time…no hurry, be happy…0 stress as they say in Py ;)

I’m sure you had similar experiences with Paraguayan time, care to share?

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Brenda’s Blog about Paraguay

I met Brenda and her husband in june 2008 in Luque at Rita’s house, she is an ex pat living in Paraguay and a reader of my blog, she is also a great blogger, I would like to share her blog with you, I love her way of observing things and her sense of humor, her blog is very interesting, full of situations that are so familiar to me but haven’t come across them lately since I’m tooooooooo far…

Thanks Brenda for your awesome blog!

Brenda’s Blog

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Learn Spanish or any language

I find this site very interesting, I’m learning mandarin here, you could start learning spanish this new 2009

Check the site out, you surely will like it, its like facebook but for learning languages:

www.livemocha.com

Let me know if this works for you =)

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My sponsored Child from Paso Yobai Paraguay

When I came home today i found a large envelope from planusa, I was expecting it and was so excited to open it and finally see Clara’s picture.

She is a doll a lovely 4 years old kid, so adorable, I was so happy that I immediately put her picture on my fridge, now we added another member to our family, welcome little Clara.

The kit was professional prepared with a lot of information about the foundation, about Clara’s details,  date of birth and names of all family members, how to send communications with your child, you can even send small gift like stickers, light books, postcards, photos, they have an US address and the forward everything to your child, the kit was well organized in a folder with everything you need to know about your sponsored child…another thing I loved is that you can actually visit her…so in June or July when I’m in Paraguay I will meet little Clara.

Clara and her family live in Paso Yobai a community in Guaira Department about 3 hours from Villarica, it seems that this foundation doesn’t just want to improve kids life but also improve life of the entire community, improving life conditions for everybody that live there.

Plan US was founded in 1937 and it seems to be a very well organized foundation, I kind of trust them…I hope I did the right choice…but if I don’t try I will never know, right?

In case any of you want to sponsor a child from Py or other countries here is the foundation website: www.planusa.org

Here are some pictures of Clara, the sponsorship kit and the Paso Yobai info i want to share with you, please click to enlarge.

 Paso yobai1Clara Paso yobai2

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Paraguay!!

Love this video! Enjoy =)

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Spanish course for foreigners in Paraguay

Talking to my mom yesterday she told me that she started a Spanish course for non Spanish speakers in Asuncion (she is German) and I was surprised to learn that she found a place where they learn Spanish to foreigners, she found it very interesting, her class mates are of different nationalities and all interesting people that for different reasons ended up living in Paraguay…

And now for the first time in 30 years she is learning Spanish (she speaks it very well) but now she is learning grammar and proper Spanish as we learned in school…for her that is all new, interesting and tough!!

She found that course in Centro Cultural Paraguayo Japones, they don’t have a real website but they do have a blog website where you still can find information about it many courses and non just language courses, I love that place, i studied there 3  years of theater and even acted in a play…was a very fun time of my life. That is a place where you or your children can spend all day or afternoons learning fun stuff and making friends with interesting people with your same interests.

For language courses I copy pasted bellow the schedule and prices Click to enlarge 

Castellano means spanish, so look where it says castellano para extranjeros, btw, prices are very good!

For more info click here:   http://www.centroparaguayojapones.blogspot.com/[Volante+cursos+2009+1.jpg]

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