You probably didn’t know this, but I graduated high school a semester early, and moved to Guadalajara, Mexico. It wasn’t technically a study abroad program, but I had studied Spanish in high school and wanted to become fluent and my parents were awesome and let me go.
One thing I remember from being there may seem like a small thing, but I just found it so interesting. The way people have relationships down there, at the time, was just different than the way we do relationships here in the States (at least it was for my friends at the time).
In the traditional sense, the male has to court the female by going to her house and getting to know her parents. I’m sure this wasn’t everyone in Mexico, but it seemed like the norm in the part of Guadalajara I was in at the time.
The relationships were formal, romantic, and very involved. Anniversaries were a big deal, everything was a big deal. I remember my host sister’s boyfriend filled her car with red balloons and surprised her on one of their early month anniversaries. Everything was just so elaborate.
One of my host brothers had a custom necklace made for his girlfriend. His dad was a jeweler so it wasn’t that crazy but it was their symbol. And that’s one of the things I found the most interesting — every couple would create a symbol together that represented them. They would write it on notes, and use it wherever they could, and in this case, even have a piece of custom jewelry made of it.
I thought it was such a cool and creative thing for a couple to do together. It’s special and unique to them. I don’t remember the types of things they would put in them or the meanings behind them (that was probably kept personal to them or I just don’t remember) but it was just a really intimate thing they did together and shared throughout their relationship.
I played around with sketching a few concepts for me and my Mr. on my iPad, just for fun. They get much more elaborate and use more than just initials, but I just thought it was fun to sketch a few things up. They sort of look like abstract art pieces to me. Maybe I should paint some of them…