You may have heard about an outlandish crazy party called burning man where they run around naked, do drugs, and burn massive amounts or artwork. If you have heard this you may be right but it is so much more than just a party. Burning Man is an annual experiment in a temporary community dedicated to radical self-expression and radical self-reliance and it can be anything you want it to be as long as it is an experience. Burners are the most functional and dysfunctional people I have ever met.
They can be dysfunctional because they can do whatever they want, but they do it in such a way that it all flows seamlessly. Every time you go to burning man it should be an experience. It’s not a fly by the seat of your pants kind of place. you have to take controll over your burn and have some idea what your getting yourself in to. It comes off sounding like a beautiful hippy wonderland but this is a barron wasteland full of high alcholine dust called playa that will dry you up like a prune. durring the day Temperatures by day have been known to exceed 100 degrees. and Predawn temperatures can approach freezing.
Winds are often 20-30 mph under normal conditions, and winds from 40-70 mph can be felt during a storm. one thing that is sure about the elements at burning man is that they are unpredictable. One universal rule is that you should have one gallon of water per person per day and the festival is 9 days long. And if you are still interested you will probably want to start saving up now because round trip you will probably spend upwards of a $1000 and that if you go with the bare minimum because you are expected to bring everything you will need throughout the whole event.
Once you get to burning man you may experience some symptoms of culture shock because everything is so much different. Gender roles are almost non existent. it is more common for men to dress in what regular society would consider women’s cloths that it is for you to find them in stereotypical mens cloths. Also it is extremely different because everyone will greet you warmly, most of the time with a hug. and you can be sure that you can talk to anybody. One example of how Burning man can be an experience is the temple.
It is a structure built for remembering loved ones who have been lost. you can leave a letter or a box of things you remember them for and at the end of the week it is burned so that you can let go and move on and stop grieving. Back in 2011 my uncle who i was very close with passed away and my father and me made a box full of little things that reminded us of my uncle and we gave it to the temple to be burned and so we could some release of our grief. Burning man is supposed to have a profound impact on your life once you have experienced it.
Even though burners like to say that burning man has no rules there are some specific guidelines that are set for your safety. At the beginning of the festival you have to sign a waiver that basically says if i die at burning man it is my fault and no one can sew. This is simply because it is such a harsh place and you can do anything you want as long as you are being respectful and not harming anyone else. so that means if you want to skydive on the third day of tripping assid, more power to ya, just know that you are liable for any unfortunate outcomes. ow i don’t want you to get the impression that this is a common occurrence, not many people get the opportunity to skydive while at the burn.
But there is a lot of drug use, because there is no Police like laws at the burn. With that being said there are a group of non confrontational safety personnel commonly referred to as the ranger who are there to resolve any unorthodox behavior like domestic disputes the rangers will take care of that. they are also in charge of keeping a perimeter around the burning art so no one gets hurt.
One specific guideline that is set in place is commonly referred to as radical self relience. his means that you are responsible for providing everything you are going to need throughout the event. But to counteract that you have the idea of radical communal effort, this mean if you need something you can depend on the community to help you out so that everyone works together. this helps everything flow better in its own level of chaos. Burning man is the only place where you are allowed to be exactly the most perfect version of yourself and do what makes you happy and it is essential that everyone is accepting of who you decide to be.
Mutual respect means i appreciate that you are comfortable being you and you are comfortable with me being me and that it is beautiful. this is essential so that people don’t feel suppressed when they chose to show their true selves. Radical self expression is the idea that there is absolutely no reason to not let your freak flag fly when you are at the burn, run around naked covered in purple paint, wear a sarong, a flashy feathered headdress, anything you want.
A common way to make it easier to be who you want is through having a burner name. any people live an alternate life in the burner community and don’t want that identity to be linked to them in their outside lives so they have an alternate name so they can have the freedom to express themselves. Burning man is a harsh place but the experience is unparalleled to anything else in existence. In every aspect of it there is dysfunction such as in the way people are allowed to do whatever they want but there is order in the chaos. and it in one of the most functional societies in the world.