My First Día de los Muertos

Wednesday, 2 November 2022

Growing up we never celebrated Día de los Muertos. In fact, I grew up thinking it was a bad thing. Mainly because it's celebrated around Halloween and that holiday has become known for scary things like ghosts and zombies. But the more I delve into it, the more I realise that it's a celebration of a life once lived by the ones who are mainly responsible for why YOU are here today- tu familia.  

When Coco came out my grandmothers (both maternal and paternal) had just passed. I remember my eyes flooding with tears when Miguel grabs his little guitar and sings to his Grandma Coco, "Recuerdame'; even thinking about it now is making me teary. 

The older I get the stronger the desire is to want to connect to my culture. It's funny, I'm more Mexican than I am American and yet, I feel like I follow more American traditions than I do Mexican. Which brings to celebrating this tradition. 

For weeks my friend Loida had been sharing stunning photos of Catrinas. And having become friends with another Mexican-American, who's more Mexican than me, I felt brave enough to ask my extremely talented artist friend, Hang Nguyen, to paint my face in honour of the celebrations. I was ecstatic she said yes, which you can see below. 

While I haven't made an altar, ofrendas, or participated in any of the other festivities, thinking of the loved ones I've lost in the past years has definitely made me feel closer to my family and ancestors. I definitely think I will be continuing to learn and adapt even more of this tradition next year. 

If I had an alter, I'd remember the following people: 

(whom I met)
Grandpa Lupe
Grandma Mimi
Grandma Tere
Grandma Emma
Tia Laura 
Tio Nestor

(whom died before I was born)
Grandpa Fidel
Grandpa Elias


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