“The Tamale is neither created nor destroyed, it is only given away” Costa Rican Traditions

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Anyone who has had the joy of spending the end of the year in Costa Rica knows that the end of the year is more enjoyed in the country of Pura Vida! And anyone who has spent the end of the year in Costa Rica has definitely tried a variety of tamales and unique tamales recipes. The thing is that tamales are made in family nuclei, generally the most coveted are those made by the matriarch of the family.

During the last days of the year it is common for families to visit each other and after each visit it is usual for visitors to leave with a few tamale pineapples. One of the usual concerns of those who make tamales is to “make enough for everyone.” Because the tamales will be given away, given away, and shared by countless people. And having a serving of tamales does not make the household immune to receiving more tamales from other friends or family.

Giving away and sharing pineapple tamales, a Costa Rican tradition. It is common that once the tamales are made, a group is reserved for family consumption and another to share. This is a gesture of kindness towards loved ones, neighbors and other family members, which also allows you to compare different flavors and uses of ingredients between different recipes.

“From the perspective of intangible cultural heritage, it is sharing knowledge; the knowledge linked to these traditions and a line of values. When we give a tamale we share a familiar flavor that has been inherited, because not everyone tastes the same, each family has its own recipe; So, in this act, we are offering something particular and intimate to the family, ”Morales said.

“More than giving a tamale, we give the flavor of a family recipe and we link with a tradition that has been maintained from generation to generation. It is not only preparing them and keeping the recipe, it is also maintaining the tradition of sharing them with those we estimate or consider to be in need. “

Part 1, 2 and 3 Taken from an interviews with the Antropologist Dayana Morales.


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