Thursday, November 02, 2006

Día de los muertos

Some of you probably know that in Latin America, November 2 is the Day of the Dead. People visit the graves of their loved ones, bringing flowers and small gifts of the favorite foods and drinks of the deceased. Not at all morbid, it is a very quiet day meant to honor our forebears, a day intended to remind us that so long as we remember them, the dead are still with us.

One November 2nd while I was living in Durango, I was visiting the house of a friend whose mother had dimmed the lights in the dining room, set the table as for a meal--not just the best dishes but the food as well--and had placed a photograph of her dead husband in the center of the table. She sat at the table and knitted, and while doing so she recounted aloud to her husband the events of the previous year in the lives of the family members. The feeling was one of such intimacy that I found myself feeling as though the husband had simply stepped out of the room for a bit and his wife just hadn't realized it.

Over at her blog Stella Errans, Mexico City native Diana Villarreal has posted some beautiful pictures of ofrendas exhibited at UNAM, the city's enormous national university. Her text is in Spanish, but as you'll see the theme for these exhibits is the day as interpreted through the lenses of other cultures.

1 comment:

R. Sherman said...

It's good that some remember the spiritual connection we have with people: parents, spouses, friends. In our lives, we have a tendency to forget those things.