A Mex­i­can tra­di­tion: Cel­e­brat­ing the first period

von Mari Silvia
Vulvani, Erste Periode feiern, Mari Silvia Marín Pineda, La Teca de Oro, Tradition für die erste Periode, erste Periode in Mexiko, mexikanische Perioden-Tradition, Menarca, Menarche & Traditionen, Ritual für die erste Periode, celebrating the first period, first menstrual period ritual, period celebration, first period party, period party, first period ritual, first period in mexico, mexican period ritual, Photo Credits: Mari Silvia Marín Pineda: https://www.facebook.com/tecadeoro/, Vulvani

In dif­fer­ent coun­tries, the first men­stru­a­tion is per­ceived and even cel­e­brated dif­fer­ently. You may be won­der­ing: cel­e­brat­ing the first period? That’s exactly what Mari and her grandma did. Mari Sil­via Marín Pineda tells you about her first period in this guest arti­cle to bring you closer to a beau­ti­ful tra­di­tion from Mexico.

I am an artis­ti­cally tal­ented woman from Juchitán, Oax­aca. A coun­try with a nar­row ter­ri­to­r­ial belt. There where the Zapotec souls vibrate won­der­fully as suc­ces­sors of the Mayas. I was born in the fall of 1976, the day after All Saints’ Day, “when the soul of the Xandú said good­bye,” said my abuelita (Span­ish for great-grandmother).

Cur­rently, I live in Mete­pec, Mex­ico. I owe my pil­grim­age to love. I got mar­ried, and like the Adeli­tas, I came to rev­o­lu­tion­ize in a place dif­fer­ent from my tiny home. And now here I am, writ­ing a short story of female nature, my first men­strual period, which gave me two daugh­ters: Natalia, 11 years old, and Renata, 7 years old. I was blessed: By the ances­try that I carry in my spirit. By the inher­i­tances with­out a will. But much more valu­able than the mines of King Solomon.

Erste Periode feiern, Mari Silvia Marín Pineda, La Teca de Oro, Tradition für die erste Periode, erste Periode in Mexiko, mexikanische Perioden-Tradition, Menarca, Menarche & Traditionen, Ritual für die erste Periode, celebrating the first period, first menstrual period ritual, period celebration, first period party, period party, first period ritual, first period in mexico, mexican period ritual, Photo Credits: Mari Silvia Marín Pineda: https://www.facebook.com/tecadeoro/, Vulvani
Erste Periode feiern, Mari Silvia Marín Pineda, La Teca de Oro, Tradition für die erste Periode, erste Periode in Mexiko, mexikanische Perioden-Tradition, Menarca, Menarche & Traditionen, Ritual für die erste Periode, celebrating the first period, first menstrual period ritual, period celebration, first period party, period party, first period ritual, first period in mexico, mexican period ritual, Photo Credits: Mari Silvia Marín Pineda: https://www.facebook.com/tecadeoro/, Vulvani

Photo Cred­its: Mari Sil­via

The first point of con­tact with my menstruation

I knew absolutely noth­ing about peri­ods. One day at school, my class­mates asked me about my “present” (Span­ish “regalo”, close to “regla” for men­stru­a­tion). I thought they meant my ruler (Span­ish “regla”). Of course, the entire class burst out laugh­ing. I was still very clue­less at the time. I was only 10 years old, unlike my class­mates, some of whom were already 13 or 14 years old.

My mother fig­ure: my Abuelita

Hav­ing been raised by my Abuelita as a mother fig­ure, I came to her that after­noon. The ques­tion burned on my tongue, “Abuelita, what is a period?”

My Abuelita was a very old woman; that’s what we called adults. Not to dis­crim­i­nate against her but with respect for the wis­dom, she brought as a grand­mother at 81 years old. She was not at all sur­prised by such a ques­tion. She silently put down her cof­fee, sat down, looked at me, and said, “Now that the cof­fee is ready, I’m going to tell you all about men­stru­a­tion. Cel­e­brat­ing your first period will fol­low next.” She was a Zapotec woman, and with all the calm­ness in the world, she said, “seven guenda guará stiu” (your ill­ness will come).

She told me that it was blood com­ing from my womb space. It was a warn­ing that I could become a mother. Every woman on earth would have this encounter in life to cre­ate life her­self. I should not be afraid. When the time was right, when God gave me life, she would be by my side and accom­pany me. I was not scared at that time. Because I was still a lit­tle girl: Naughty and spir­ited, who liked to play with boys and girls alike.

Erste Periode feiern, Mari Silvia Marín Pineda, La Teca de Oro, Tradition für die erste Periode, erste Periode in Mexiko, mexikanische Perioden-Tradition, Menarca, Menarche & Traditionen, Ritual für die erste Periode, celebrating the first period, first menstrual period ritual, period celebration, first period party, period party, first period ritual, first period in mexico, mexican period ritual, Photo Credits: Mari Silvia Marín Pineda: https://www.facebook.com/tecadeoro/, Vulvani
Erste Periode feiern, Mari Silvia Marín Pineda, La Teca de Oro, Tradition für die erste Periode, erste Periode in Mexiko, mexikanische Perioden-Tradition, Menarca, Menarche & Traditionen, Ritual für die erste Periode, celebrating the first period, first menstrual period ritual, period celebration, first period party, period party, first period ritual, first period in mexico, mexican period ritual, Photo Credits: Mari Silvia Marín Pineda: https://www.facebook.com/tecadeoro/, Vulvani

Photo Cred­its: Mari Silvia

How did my first period go?

On Jan­u­ary 11, 1989, at 12 years and 2 months, it came – LA MENARCA, my first men­stru­a­tion. It was a win­ter night, after play­ing out­side all day with my friends. Before I went to sleep, I changed in front of my sis­ter, who was 6 years older than me. She was lying in bed read­ing when she said, “You got your period.” I looked in my under­pants and dis­cov­ered this big red spot. I went into a stu­por. Not that I didn’t know how to move, but because I didn’t know what to do.

I sud­denly had the urge to call my abuelita. Thank God, I was lucky enough to have her accom­pany me in my life. My sis­ter got up from the bed and gave me a pad. I quickly went to the bath­room to place it in my under­pants. Of course, I had to go back to the room to ask my sis­ter for help. After all, I didn’t know how to put on a pad.

After I was able to place the pad, I fled into the arms of my abuelita and said, “ma’biete guendaguará stine” (I got my men­stru­a­tion as a gift). She then hugged me and said, “Your body has now become a woman, but your heart is still child­like. I have to take care of you now more than ever.”

Erste Periode feiern, Mari Silvia Marín Pineda, La Teca de Oro, Tradition für die erste Periode, erste Periode in Mexiko, mexikanische Perioden-Tradition, Menarca, Menarche & Traditionen, Ritual für die erste Periode, celebrating the first period, first menstrual period ritual, period celebration, first period party, period party, first period ritual, first period in mexico, mexican period ritual, Photo Credits: Mari Silvia Marín Pineda: https://www.facebook.com/tecadeoro/, Vulvani

Photo Cred­its: Mari Silvia

Cel­e­brat­ing the first period: I felt safe

You are now won­der­ing how I felt at that moment. I just felt safe in the arms of my old Abuelita. Cel­e­brat­ing my first period was about to hap­pen. She lit a can­dle, said a prayer and a com­men­da­tion to God and the saints. My silence was part of the rit­ual to let her pray, and I let her inter­cede for my happiness.

The next day there were no more pads, so my abuelita took a cot­ton cloth and started mak­ing strips out of it. She arranged them in a rec­tan­gle and left me about a dozen. She told me that they were not to be thrown away but washed and put in the sun to dry. Com­pletely with­out chlo­rine and only with soap. This wash­ing of my cloths or fab­rics went on for sev­eral years, maybe three more years. This is also a noble way not to pol­lute the envi­ron­ment and to treat nature with love.

A Tra­di­tion in Mex­ico: Cel­e­brat­ing my first period

On Jan­u­ary 12, the 2nd day of my first period, Inés Felipe pre­pared a big bath­tub out­side in the sun for me. This was how my menarca started, and we were going to cel­e­brate my first period. The bath­tub was enriched with jas­mine flow­ers, leaves from the cor­d­on­cillo plant, orange blos­soms, rose petals from Castile, basil, rose­mary and, a bit of anise. To fin­ish, she added some Eaux de Cologne “San­borns”. Sim­ply because it smelled delicious.

The fra­grant bath and the warm­ing anointing

After mix­ing every­thing, she asked me into the bath­tub. So I bathed in the sun, sur­rounded by these fan­tas­tic smells. She stood next to the bath­tub and wet­ted my head with a “jícara”, a unique bowl. Mean­while, she was whis­per­ing thanks for my life and my future. I spent about 15 min­utes in the bath­tub. Cel­e­brat­ing and lov­ing the first period: it is a spe­cial feeling.

After­ward, she wrapped me in a towel and took me into the house. She put me in a bed and took a ther­mal oint­ment called “vaquita”. She then began to rub my body with a gen­tle mas­sage. Start­ing with the head, then the neck, the arms, my belly – the oint­ment warmed my abdomen. She said that as a child I had sat in cold as well as warm places. That caused my organs to become cold or warm. With this bath and oint­ment, my body will attain the ideal warmth and avoid unnec­es­sary dis­com­fort. She con­tin­ued to anoint me, down to my feet, and when she was fin­ished, she cov­ered me.

I stayed in bed like this all day. She gave me chicken broth and corn grits to eat, noth­ing irri­tat­ing or sour. I had the same food for the next three days when I had my period. I was not allowed to bathe for the remain­ing days of my period, only wash­ing my face and armpits and con­stantly chang­ing my pads. When my period was over, I resumed liv­ing nor­mally but very care­fully to avoid sud­den tem­per­a­ture changes.

Erste Periode feiern, Mari Silvia Marín Pineda, La Teca de Oro, Tradition für die erste Periode, erste Periode in Mexiko, mexikanische Perioden-Tradition, Menarca, Menarche & Traditionen, Ritual für die erste Periode, celebrating the first period, first menstrual period ritual, period celebration, first period party, period party, first period ritual, first period in mexico, mexican period ritual, Photo Credits: Mari Silvia Marín Pineda: https://www.facebook.com/tecadeoro/, Vulvani

Photo Cred­its: Mari Silvia

Cel­e­brat­ing the first period with an anointing

As she anointed me, she prayed in a low voice to the higher power for my life. Noth­ing struc­tured, but the women of my cul­ture did it this way. They prayed softly as they anointed you. They envelop you with their soft­ness, and you just lay still. My silence is part of the first-period ritual.

I didn’t remem­ber if the girls in my class were also cel­e­brat­ing their first period. But I never for­get that a wise woman raised me. One of the old ones who had a par­tic­u­lar love lan­guage, and I knew it with­out asking.

My life after the first menstruation

So my life went along, in har­mony with my nature, with­out pain or dis­tur­bance. A cycle of 45 days for the first few years and when I was in my adult­hood, 28 days. I never com­plained when my period came. On the con­trary, it was syn­ony­mous with every­thing going well inside me: I had har­mo­nious preg­nan­cies – healthy and full of love. Now I have two girls; Natalia is about to have her first men­stru­a­tion. I talked to her about my menarca and told her that my abuelita cel­e­brated my first period with me. My daugh­ter is happy to be part of this ritual.

There is no fear, no taboo and no rejec­tion of some­thing nat­ural. I have lived it this way from the begin­ning with the immense secu­rity that my abuelita gave me. That has marked me for life, and I believe beyond my life through my descendants.

Erste Periode feiern, Mari Silvia Marín Pineda, La Teca de Oro, Tradition für die erste Periode, erste Periode in Mexiko, Mexikanische Perioden-Tradition, Menarca, Menarche & Traditionen, Ritual für die erste Periode, celebrating the first period, first menstrual period ritual, period celebration, first period party, period party, first period ritual, first period in mexico, mexican period ritual, Photo Credits: Mari Silvia Marín Pineda: https://www.facebook.com/tecadeoro/, Vulvani
Erste Periode feiern, Mari Silvia Marín Pineda, La Teca de Oro, Tradition für die erste Periode, erste Periode in Mexiko, mexikanische Perioden-Tradition, Menarca, Menarche & Traditionen, Ritual für die erste Periode, celebrating the first period, first menstrual period ritual, period celebration, first period party, period party, first period ritual, first period in mexico, mexican period ritual, Photo Credits: Mari Silvia Marín Pineda: https://www.facebook.com/tecadeoro/, Vulvani

Photo Cred­its: Mari Silvia

Let’s cel­e­brate the first period

I share this life story of my tribe and the rit­ual of my first period with all my heart. So that these rit­u­als are not lost, and we can all cel­e­brate our first period. But most of all, to honor this great woman, my abuelita. With­out speak­ing Span­ish or hav­ing a pri­mary edu­ca­tion, she left an incred­i­ble legacy worth sharing.

My Abuelita died in the spring of 2000, born in Juchitàn, Oax­aca, on April 20, 1905, and bore fruit through her only son, grand­chil­dren, and great-grandchildren.

As long as I live, she will be in my suns and espe­cially my moons.

Mari Sil­via Marín Pineda

La Teca de Oro.

Veröffentlicht am 14. July 2021
Mari Silvia Marín Pineda ist die Gründerin von ‘La Teca de Oro’, einer Marke für traditionelle mexikanische Kleidung. Sie lebt in Metepec, Mexiko und gibt die wunderschönen Traditionen zu ersten Periode, gelernt von ihrer Oma, an ihre Kinder weiter. | Facebook | Instagram

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