Saturday, December 2, 2023

Piñata maker takes a swing at globally feared virus

A piñata-maker in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, has used his art form to inject a little humor into a global news story that has caused more anxiety than laughter.

For 600 pesos, party organizers in the busy border town can purchase a piñata in the shape of the coronavirus that causes the disease known as Covid-19. Health officials have said that a widespread outbreak of the coronavirus in Mexico is inevitable within the next few weeks.

The big green ball features the crown-like spikes that give the virus its name, as well as an actual crown, a caricature of a Chinese face and several bats to identify it as the microbe that has become a global pandemic.

“We have been following the news of this disease that is going around the world,” said Dalton Ávalos Ramírez, the artisan who created the piñata. “When we learned that it arrived in Mexico, we wanted to give it our own personal humorous touch, and the response from the people has been good.”

Ávalos said that he put the piñata up for sale earlier this week and has so far sold five of them, mostly for children’s parties. He had promoted the design on social media, and it went — suitably enough — viral within minutes.

“What we tried to do is represent this virus. We chose a face with slanted eyes, the bats because we heard that it came from that animal. … We aren’t trying to offend anyone. It’s just funny a way of looking at current problems.”

The store has also treated other current events with its papier-mache stylings, though the piñata of President López Obrador holding a model of the presidential plane hasn’t sold so well.

The current feminist movement in Mexico, which has led to a number of marches and protests, did not escape the humor of Ávalos. He has designed a piñata of a topless female protester painted with the phrases “My body, my choice” and “Down with the patriarchy.”

Although he priced them around 1,200 pesos (US $53), Ávalos said those two aren’t up for sale due to some negative comments they have elicited from customers.

“We didn’t want to sell them because many people have gotten offended. That’s not our intention. As artists, we just want to express what’s happening in the country,” he said.

Source: El Mañana (sp)

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