Students to honor Day of the Dead
In celebration of the memory of those who have passed away, the Council of Ethnic Organizations and the Latin Greek Council will collaborate to introduce a live campus ceremony, Dia de los Muertos, or The Day of the Dead, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Friday at Lynn Eusan Park.
Since it is an annual festivity, there are students like CEO Marketing Director and electrical engineer sophomore Ever Javier, who recollects past family gatherings and shares his take on what is familiar in the Latin culture.
“The name ‘the Day of the Dead’ might give you the feeling that its something kind of gloomy, kind of sad,” Javier said. “But not at all. The day is more of a celebration to remember those who have passed away.”
Coordinators of the Day of the Dead celebration hope that students attend the event not only to observe those who are no longer with us, but also to relish the entertainment provided.
“We’re going to have mariachi music in the park for people to enjoy, and face painting as well. They’re going to be playing ‘la loteria,’ which is pretty much like a Mexican bingo game,” Javier said. “I think it’s going to be a performance by Sabor Latino, an on-campus organization that focuses on Latino dances like salsa and merengue, in addition to the (mariachi) music.”
If participants aren’t completely satisfied by the musical performances and games, CEO Cultural Programming Director and kinesiology junior Jimmy Mai promises more that is sure to excite students’ taste buds.
“We’ll be serving tamales, and we’re looking into other food options as well, such as pan dulce, which is a sweet bread … We’re looking into drinks as well, traditional drinks like horchata,” Mai said.
The festival of Dia de los Muertos is not exclusive. “It’s just a new experience for anybody to go out and see how they do it,” Mai said. “You don’t have to be Mexican to celebrate this — you can be like anyone from any background and do this as well.”
Students are also invited to bring pictures and items in remembrance of the deceased and in celebration of the lives they lived.
“If you want to, you could even bring out some memorabilia or something that reminds you of those who have passed away,” Mai said. “And people will have altars and decorations there that will be similar to what they (would) traditionally do, if you were celebrating the Day of the Dead.”
Those expecting to attend the occasion are encouraged by Javier to take a break from their “day-to-day routine,” allowing themselves to enjoy the occasion and the surrounding highlights.
“The most important thing is we’re bringing a place to honor the people that passed away, because it’s kind of easy to forget about people that passed away,” Javier said.
The Day of the Dead is a traditional celebration for anyone who has passed away and a way for students to gain cultural knowledge while expanding their knowledge of Dia de los Muertos.
“I’m looking forward to having the students come out and just see exactly what it is,” Mai said. “Come on out, check it out, see what’s going on, enjoy the food, enjoy the music and learn about the culture and see how they do things differently from you. It’ll be a good time.”