Dia de los Muertos


Happy Dia de los Muertos, to those who celebrate it.

I never felt compelled to celebrate it until today, but no, I don’t have a shrine or anything. That’s mostly because I didn’t even know it was today until this morning (I know, yet another thing to put in my “I’m a bad Mexican” files).  My immediate family has never celebrated it, and I’m an atheist (though my family is Catholic), so it’s never been a tradition for me.

But it is something I’d like to start doing in the future as I renegotiate my Latina identity.  Perhaps it’s because, as of this year, all of my grandparents are now dead.  I liked hearing my paternal grandparents tell me stories about their lives growing up, and I do have 20+ pages of my grandmother’s oral history recorded.  I never knew my maternal grandfather because he died before my first birthday.  I could never truly communicate with my maternal grandmother because she only spoke Spanish, and my Spanish is fragmented.  I could understand a lot of what she was saying, but I couldn’t speak back to her.  When she descended into dementia as she got older, a lot of her history was lost.

Only now am I truly starting to regret not having learned all I could learn about them and their experiences.

(Photographer unknown (Felipe Tofani, maybe?).  You can see more of these gorgeous photos at Pristina.org.)


About Melissa

I love donuts. Chocolate iced, hold the sprinkles.
This entry was posted in history, holidays, identity and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Dia de los Muertos

  1. slb says:

    omg, mel. THERE’S your book!

  2. Mommyaulait says:

    Hello! I came across your post & had to leave a quick note. Glad to hear you have discovered this wonderful holiday. As an Atheist this day seems so much more like a celebration of my dearly departed than any church or funeral home gathering. Cheers to you & your new holiday.

  3. the photographer in a guy called john rees, his work is awesome



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