Look – Frida Ruiz Mendoza

'The dress is stands for my heritage.'

Text and photo Lieke Muijsert

You can see great-looking people on Wageningen campus. In this feature, we put one of them in the spotlight. This time Frida Ruiz Mendoza, a teacher in the Geoinformation Science and Remote Sensing group. She wore a traditional costume from her home country Mexico during a cultural fair on campus in March

‘I am wearing a handmade dress from the Mexican region Puebla, which is usually worn on Independence Day. The skirt has hand-sewn patterns made of beads and sequins, which makes the dress quite heavy. On the skirt there’s a picture of an eagle standing on a cactus, eating a snake. This is the symbol on our flag as well. The story goes that indigeneous people from northern Mexico were looking for a place to settle. There was a prophecy that said that they should choose a spot where they saw an eagle on a cactus, eating a snake. And that is where Mexico City is now.

This dress has the Mexican colours but every state has its own traditional dress. There are many different traditional dresses because of the great cultural diversity in Mexico. What I like in particular is that every dress is very colourful. They can have different shapes, colors and patterns and you can normally buy them in downtown stores but I commissioned this one especially to bring it here. Now that I am a teacher, as a more permanent part of this community, I would like to show a bit of my culture during cultural events at Wageningen University. This is not an everyday dress but I would wear it even in Wageningen on Mexican Independence Day when I am at home and I make a special Mexican dinner for my friends.

The dress is connected to where I was born. It stands for my heritage in a sense.’

Also read:

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to write a comment.