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Dia de Muertos

Dia de Muertos

Hola amigos,

Ooops, sorry I haven’t posted in forever. Mi vida mexicana has been exciting and a little busy, so I kind of forgot about this blog. In about a month, I will be back in the windy city for my final semester at Loyola. It’s all kind of hitting me now and I’m getting sad about leaving Mexico. When I came here 3 months ago, I was happy to be having a new adventure, meeting new friends, going places, ect but I was also counting down the months and days until I was back in my city. Now I’m having that nervous feeling about going back and trying to make the most of every week here because I’m not sure when I will have this chance again.

For Dia de Muertos, I knew I had to find something to do or see because it is such an interesting holiday and tradition in Mexico. I remember learning about it when I was in 4th grade and first started learning Spanish and I thought it was the coolest thing ever that families would go to their loved ones’ graves and eat and drink all night. So I decided to plan an excursion and gather some friends to experience this cultural celebration. I heard from a teacher that Panteon Civil de Dolores was worth seeing, and it wasn’t very far from school, so we decided to check it out. It’s one of the biggest, if not the biggest, cemeteries in Mexico and everybody famous is buried there (Rivera and Orozco for example). There were ofrendas (altars) made by every university in the DF and then we walked the paths to see the graves. The graves were so beautiful, decorated with flowers and candles and trinkets and there were a few families sitting around the graves laughing and drinking and eating. It was a really interesting feeling, since in the US we’re used to being solemn around graves but this was very open, joyful but also respectful.

Mexicans view death not as something scary, but something inevitable and part of life. So instead of being scared or sad about death, ofrendas are made to welcome back loved ones by putting their favorites things to eat and drink on the altars. Families visit the graves and bring food, sing songs, tell stories and drink to celebrate the lives of these family members. For me, I like this idea that we can celebrate our loved one’s lives and the memories we have with them by making ofrendas and visiting their graves and living our lives, like how they would want.

This was definitely one of my favorite experiences in Mexico because it was MEXICO. This celebration is an example of the true mix that is Mexico: the indigenous rituals and Catholic traditions, which is one of the things that fascinates me about this country and people.

Pues, nos vemos pronto!

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