Sunday, May 5, 2013

Cinco de Mayo in Second Life

The history of every country begins in the heart of a man or woman.

 Willa Cather

               Spring fever must be in the air because I’ve blogging a lot lately about spring events in Second Life (SL).  I suspect this long Real Life (RL) winter which still seems to be hanging around is making look for satisfaction inworld.  After my recent stories about an art exhibition opening and a fashion week, I’m ready to tackle another rite of spring, namely, Cinco de Mayo. 
          Cinco de Mayo is a major holiday among the Mexican-American community in the United States and the State of Puebla in Mexico where the battle which the holiday commemorates took place in 1862. 
          Naturally, SL can’t resist an opportunity for a party arising from a holiday.  (Sometimes I think SL even celebrates the rare occasion when nowhere in RL is anyone celebrating anything!)  This goes especially for my good SL friend, Perryn Peterson, who took the opportunity this year to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. 
                Perryn’s set up a Cinco de Mayo celebration that runs from May 4 to 12, 2013.  He can’t do anything without a kickoff party.  (It’s the little things in life that make it worth living after all.)   I’m invited and I go.  (I give Perryn a lot of credit, I have RL relations who only invite me to their parties when they want the other guests to leave.  And, no, despite what Significant Other may say, my mother is not one of them.  My father, on the other hand…) 
           I arrive at the landing zone and am greeted by a small Mexican village.  Mike Olbracht has worked his usual magic in terraforming Mieville to look like the geography associated with a particular holiday. 
          Walking through the streets, small homes and shops reveal their furnishings and purposes.  (It’s never this easy in RL.)  One thing I notice as I stroll along is the uniqueness of the scene.  There is none of that bland international style (loose use of the term) of hamburger joints, coffee shops, and whatever that is encountered these days all over the world.  Someday, if we’re not careful, only virtual worlds like SL will be left to remind us of what the world used to be like.  I encounter another friend, Saraid Dalglish,  owner  and operator of the Mad Hattery hat shop inworld and probably the best hat designer and scripter in SL.  (Watch this blog for a story about her and her work in the not too distant future.)  She is attired in a colorful local costume and her merchant’s stand has a full array of sombreros on display. 
          I make my way to Perryn’s Cantina (Funny, I could have sworn this was an Irish pub back on St. Patrick’s Day.)   As I enter, I find Perryn there.  I almost miss him as he has decided to come as a cactus.  (Cultural diversity can be taken to whole new levels in SL.)  Prof. Grey has elected to come as La Cucaracha complete with six shooters and sombrero.  Another guest, Mideon McMahon, is a mustachioed spider.  (I must have misread the invitation, I came in my usual steampunk attire.)
          Other guests begin to arrive and soon the party is in full swing as all of Perryn’s parties ultimately do.  Many of the women are attired in colorful Mexican dresses reflecting on the many designers who are in Perryn’s circle of friends.  Others are dressed in everything from jeans to formal wear.  One guest seems to be made out as a Aztec warrior.  (If not, I apologize in advance.)  All the other guests were in human form except for the fox and parrot.  DJ Rab supplies the music as he does at many of Perryn’s functions. 
          Parties in SL, especially with close groups of friends within communities, I find are very much like good parties in RL.  Everyone knows everyone.  Newcomers are made to feel welcome and are included.  (Even me.)  Guests come and go.  Greetings are shouted back and forth.  Gossip is exchanged.  Friends catch up on things that have happened since they last met.  The only things missing are good food and drink.  (Although, they are on display, Perryn is a good host after all, and I can’t say what people may be consuming back in RL.)  From this perspective, this is a good, no, very good party. 
          I take my leave and walk out into the night onto the streets of a small Mexican town somewhere in SL.  It’s been a good evening.  Friends, dancing, music, and a connection to a happy time in RL are the formula for a good time in SL just as they are in RL. 
          If you want to visit Perryn’s Cinco de Mayo celebration, I encourage you to get there before it closes on May 12th.  Enjoy the events that have been scheduled and mingle with the other visitors.  Frequent the merchants and support them by buying their wares.  Also, contributions to the upkeep of the sim would be appreciated by Perryn and his team.  Also, Perryn told me a short while ago that events like Cinco de Mayo may not be repeated every year due to the effort in getting them ready.  So, don’t pass it up thinking you can see it next year.  You might not be able to! 
I’d like to thank Perryn and his friends for inviting me to their party and making me feel at home.  I had a great time and I wish them every success in their endeavor. 
 As always, I’m grateful to all for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives.
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     If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
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Photo No. 1  Cinco de Mayo Poster

Photo No. 2  Party Really Takes Off

Photo No. 6  Countryside

Photo No. 8  Private Yard

Photo No. 9  Street Scene

Photo No. 10   Landing Zone

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