Identity, Tradition & Folklore in Bolivia: The Challa Ceremony honoring Pachamama and blessing a new home.

Recently, our family was invited to a friend’s house warming. The original couple has moved to Bolivia over a decade ago, and are strengthening their roots with this beautiful country, in more ways than one.

They’re a loving, caring family, who has elected Bolivia as their home, and the home for their children.

As part of the ‘open house’ celebrations, the guests could appreciate a Saya Celebration, in honor of the new house, a new home for years to come. Sharing here are a few snapshots of this folkloric celebration, and wishing our friends and their family many years of happiness at their new home!♥

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Learning a bit more about the Bolivian culture – part of my ‘unofficial duties’ as an expat and a mother… The harmonious relationship between the Indian population and the Mother Nature is very present in the handycraft industry, the musical folklore, and the religion. The worship dedicated to the natural divinities influences the daily life of the Indian community on the altiplano. Bolivians have a great respect and veneration of Pachamama, the goddess of the Earth. In her honor, offerings (challa) of small object with symbolic value are deposited or burned in the medium of incantations and prayers. There are lots of rituals dedicated to Pachamama, as for example, the construction of a new house must be preceded by a small blessing ceremony; another common ritual is before swallowing a glass of beer or liquor, one must honor Pachamama, while pouring a few drops on the ground.
A few months ago, family was invited to a friend’s house warming. The original couple has moved to Bolivia over a decade ago, and are strengthening their roots with this beautiful country, in more ways than one… They’re a loving, caring family, who has elected Bolivia as their home, and the home for their children.

As part of the ‘open house’ celebrations, the guests could appreciate a Challa Celebration, in honor of the new house, a new home for years to come. Sharing here are a few snapshots of this folkloric celebration, and wishing our friends and their family many years of happiness at their new home! ♥

Guests and their family members were invited to participate in the ceremony.

Author: 3rdCultureChildren

Welcome! Here I am, 'releasing' my thoughts on traveling, parenting, raising TCKs, teaching, writing, working... and who knows what else! I’m a WIFE, 'geeky-stuff' SCIENTIST, TEACHER, AUTHOR, (aspiring) AMATEUR photographer, MOM of 3, TRAVELER by choice and by marriage, and of course, a HOUSEHOLD QUEEN!!

17 thoughts on “Identity, Tradition & Folklore in Bolivia: The Challa Ceremony honoring Pachamama and blessing a new home.”

    1. Thank you, Marcia! It’s common to have these types of ceremonies/blessings all over Latin America… It’s quite an interesting event… powerful, and yet, very peaceful… Thanks for taking the time to check it out and share your comments! Much appreciated. 😮

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  1. I learn something new everyday you put up a new post. Started to appreciate flowers, kids, and even have a new found respect for beans thanks to you! 🙂 This ceremony is cool as it involves everyone and what a great way to start off in a new home…. Bolivia sounds awesome ma’am. Must do my research 😉

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    1. Hey.. why not! Glad you’ve been learning along the way… That’s pretty much what this blog is about… a lot of things… mixed up/… because that’s the way we live our lives… moving, learning, adjusting… finding… departing… arriving… talking… I’m a big talker!!!! 😮 Thanks for taking the time to check it out and share your comments! Much appreciated! 😮

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    1. It does make me really happy that it’s been appreciated! For different reasons: it’s from our friends (their house), it represents an important part of the Bolivian cultural and religious belief, and, because the post is reaching a broader audience… so, without knowing, I’m sharing a bit of our lives with others who now have the opportunity to learn about this wonderful country we’re calling ‘home’… I’m very thankful and pleased! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts about the ceremony, Peggy! 😮

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read the blogpost, Sue Ann! Glad you enjoyed it And you’re right: one an learn a lot about the Bolivian cultural & religious traditions… it’s only necessary to have an open mind… and open heart! 😮

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    1. We’re very grateful indeed, Gilly! We’ve already have a good group of friends here in La Paz… It does help the adjustment… People are so kind, so resourceful… always offering a helping hand… We’re very fortunate to be part of different cultural, social events – and we’re grateful for that! Thanks for taking the time to check it out and share your thoughts! Much appreciated! 😮

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    1. Thank, Terri! As I had stated [to Gilly, earlier], we’re very fortunate to already have a good group of acquaintances and friends here in La Paz… 100 days at post, and we only have great memories and stories to share… We’re grateful for all these opportunities life and work have granted us. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment! 😮 Much appreciated!

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