Pastels are a Christmas staple borrowed from our Venezuelan neighbours. It’s a process that only a troop of dedicated persons can entertain and endure. Our kids think it’s an important part of the Christmas celebrations which cannot be dismissed. No home made pastels? Are you mad?
They are 3 and 4 years old and making corn balls, the treks to Paramin to get the treasured banana leaves, the ritual ‘quailing’ of said leaves, cutting strips of twine to wrap the pastels, oily hands, eating un-cooked corn balls, stealing the olives, Granny makes her ponche de creme, eyes are crying as the onions are cut, the leaves are being wiped, simply fun in their eyes, but as far as the adults are concerned, it’s cheap labour. Another tradition in the making. “When are we making pastels – ok then we can’t go to the beach”. Another important date on their calendar.
Tradition adds to a journey – it brings stability to life – it encourages learning, it’s the root of bonding. It is part of who you are.
May your journey be filled with tiny traditions – may you forever be close to your roots.