Friday, December 29, 2006
Nacimientos, Or, As They Called Them In My Family, Manger Scenes
Nacimientos are a very popular part of Christmas here in Panamá. When I was in the U.S. there were many discussions about whether it was proper (or even legal) to display a nacimiento on public property. It doesn't seem to be a problem here. Also, people love to display nacimientos in front of their homes. I've seen Santa Clause and his reindeer standing next to the Holy Family in Bethlehem. At the Machitazo (a large department store) in Caledonia there is an enormous nacimiento. We have been collecting pieces for the nacimiento for years. In the past a parishioner, Sybil Phillips, would assemble the nacimiento with some of the kids. We have also had a teacher from Instituto Episcopal San Cristóbal, the parish school, come and set-up the nacimiento. Sybil passed away last year, and no one from the school came to assemble the display, so members of the ECW did it this year. Well, we had so many pieces, and they didn't know which ones to use, so they used all of them! As a result, we have some interesting problems with perspective. As you can see, the Holy Family towers over Bethlehem, which puts me in mind of some of the stories in non-canonical gospels.
Here en la Rectoría, we have two nacimientos. The one made of bamboo and straw comes from Korea and has been in my family for some forty years. I'm really surprised it hasn't fallen apart, but Mona knows how to care for such a fragile display. Our second nacimiento is from Panamá and is made of stone. I think that it is very pretty. I've included a photo of Rosamari from Hogar de Niñas standing next to the nacimiento at the Hogar.
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