The story of how the Minangkabau culture merged with Islam to create a female friendly society - strangely has the Dutch colonialists to thank for! On our journey through West Sumatra the big question was always: How did the Muslim religion and the matrilineal culture of Minangkabau, where women inherit property and keep the family … Continue reading The unlikely marriage of Islam and matriarchy!
Continuing our quest for matriarchy we head to West Sumatra in Indonesia, where the Muslim society of Minangkabau dispels all prejudice you normally associate with Islam. To begin with, though, I feel a little overwhelmed, because 86% of Indonesia's 250 million population follow the Islamic faith, making it the most populous Muslim country in the … Continue reading Does a Muslim matriarchy really exist?
I have to admit creating an eBook from our matriarchal travels has been a lot more work than I first thought. Here are a few things I've learnt: The First Thing: I don't know whether it's like this for everyone, but when you start writing you suddenly start to embellish everything with little exaggerations or … Continue reading Five silly things I’ve learnt making my first eBook?
Apart from dominant women and alcoholism, Juchitan on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec is also fast becoming known as the queer capitol of Mexico! For three glitzy days of the year, the ‘Vela de las Auténticas Intrépidas Buscadoras del Peligro’ (Fiesta of the True Fearless Danger Seekers), or big gay pride fiesta, attracts not only gays, … Continue reading A legitimate gay communion!
The closest I came to witnessing the physical strength of the Isthmus women was a brawl at a local cantina (bar) on our first visit to Tehuantepec. Katerina had left early because it seemed to be too much of man’s world in the bar. The moment she walks out the door, however, this big woman … Continue reading Fighting women of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec – Mexico
After the first street wedding fiesta in my previous blog post, we head off jerkily on the motocaro to our next fiesta with our hosts Jorge and Juquila... This is a public fiesta to celebrate the sixteenth century Spanish Carmelite nun St. Teresita, and is staged in a large basketball court opposite the Palacio Municipal (town hall) in … Continue reading Mexican matriarchal fiestas, continued…
My girlfriend and I are invited on an evening of non-stop fiestas by Jorge and Juquila (not their real names). Guests arrive and unfold the chairs as they are needed, women at the top and men at the bottom next to a large brass band. Although the men wear smart cowboy outfits, they are completely … Continue reading Street wedding fiesta of southern Mexico