We wrote last week about Memphis in May International Festival and this year’s honored country, Colombia. We were lucky that our friend and talented photographer Mike Evans shared his perspectives about the country where he now lives. We got emails asking for us to give them a link to Mr. Evans’ photographs, so we’re posting some here.
We hope you’ll go back to last week’s post and scroll down to the bottom half where his written commentary describes a friendly, colorful, and embracing country, and thanks to Memphis in May, we get acquainted with fascinating countries like this on a yearly basis. An excerpt from Mr. Evans: “Colombians are the most resilient people I’ve ever known. They take everything in stride and move on rather effortlessly after tragedies that would cripple people from other societies. Family members look after each other in good times and bad. I’m part of a Colombian family, who have embraced me as one of their own. It’s quite common for entire extended families to show up during holidays. Imagine a dozen people piled onto a bed gossiping on Christmas Eve and you’ll start to get a picture of Colombian life.
“In a way, living in Colombia has been like reliving a long-dead American era. This is a people-oriented society, in which peoples’ needs are addressed. Colombia arguably has the best health care in Latin America and the constitution guarantees health care to everyone, even foreign residents like me. It’s a very social society, where people always have time for each other. Businesses—even banks and stores in malls—close for two hours midday to allow employees to go home for lunch. And Colombia has such a ridiculously high number of national holidays that most people don’t know what they’re celebrating on their days off. During major soccer matches, towns and cities practically shut down, and if the right team wins, the streets come alive with revelers.
“Like most Latin American cultures, Colombia respects the arts and artists. When famous Colombian artist Fernando Botero comes home for a visit, he’s greeted like royalty. And when Gabriel García Márquez died in 2014, Colombia’s president went on life television to announce three days of official mourning. Colombia’s history and art museums rival anything you’d find in major U.S. cities and have low admission prices—typically $1 to $3—so everyone can benefit…”
Read more here.
Here is some of his transfixing images of Colombia:
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