Monday, February 9, 2015

Cemeterio de la Recoleta

The very first tourist attraction I visited here in BA was, I kid you not, one of the world's most beautiful cemeteries.

It may sound dark, chilling, and even inappropriate to visit a place where the dead lay to rest, but Cemeterio de la Recoleta is no ordinary graveyard—some of the wealthiest and most famous figures of Buenos Aires have been buried here. It contains massive rows of stunning, ornate mausoleums that tower over you, each belonging to one family with multiple generations buried among them. The mausoleums and tombs are elaborately constructed with sculptures, mosaics, and paintings celebrating the colorful and rich lives of the deceased. At the same time, these impressive structures continue to demonstrate the prominent status of the dead by generations of families' regular upkeep and maintenance of the mausoleums. Still, there are others that are unkempt, broken in pieces, and fallen in complete despair. 

The cemetery speaks volumes about the history behind Argentina as well as the country's cultural values about respecting lost loved ones.

It's the first day of classes tomorrow, so my "winter" break has officially come to a close. It's summer here in the southern hemisphere, and while local Argentines kick back and relax, I'll be back on that academic grind. I'm half excited to finally learn again, especially in terms of a Latin academic context, but also half reluctant about starting work (you mean being in Buenos Aires isn't 100% vacation time?)


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