La muerte, donde esta la muerte?
I’m gonna start this post and finish it. Lately, everytime i think about giving an update on here i start, then think “oh, i should upload all of those pictures from onto my computer so i can post some of those” and then i get distracted by something else and never get back around to writing an update. My apologies for all of the news that you didn’t know you were missing out on, it was wonderful and life changing.
there’s more to read, just click below
Speaking of finishing things that I’ve started, There are only five weeks left in the semester here and, as time moves faster and faster, I’m feeling both a sense of great accomplishment as well as impending anxiety about the end of it all. This certainly isn’t the first time that I’ve ventured away from home for extended amounts of time but it’s definitely been the most impressionable. It’s coming up on a month since pop passed away and that of course has affected this experience greatly. Not half a day goes by without me thinking of him. I see him in my smile and mannerisms and wonder what he would think about all of the things I’ve been seeing. I imagine he would smile and look off into the distance stoically just like i do.
(the view from my rooftop)
This last monday and tuesday was Dia de los Muertos and I think I got a pretty good dose of it. From the extensive history and cultural lessons given to us in class to the local flare and variety of celebrations to my neighbor’s tribute to Michael Jackson.
On monday (the first day of dia de muertos) we went to a small town in Puebla called Huaquechula. I fell in love with the name when someone told me i should go there and i fell in love with the town when i got there. The crammed mini-bus ride there was well worth it. One of the first things we saw after walking around the well decorated zocalo was a group performing some aztec dances in the lawn outside of the convent-turned-museum right near the center of town. The dances had a similar feel to an American Indian pow-wow if you’ve ever seen one of those, but the dress was a little different, and a bit darker. We toured the convent for a while and then made our way to visit some ofrendas after getting a quick bite to eat. Turns out we shouldn’t have boughten food because part of the tradition of dia de muertos is the offering of food you people who come to visit the ofrend (altar made in tribute to recently deceased loved ones). It’s a powerful feeling to be welcomed in to someones home so warmly to help commemorate the passing of their kin and then to be offered food on top of that….so genuinely kind.
On Tuesday celebrations were still going on, this is the day where the families make the trek to the cemetary to escort the souls of the dead back to their realm. I’ve never seen so many people in a cemetary and I’ve never experienced such a festive atmosphere in one either, but both were very welcome. I’m really coming around to the way death is looked apon here, which makes a lot of sense to me. It’s a shame that the process of someone dying in american culture is looked upon as something like a burden. There’s always so much worry about the formal procedures and things to organize that the fact that you are celebrating someone’s life is often missed. Here it’s different. Of course there is the sense of mourning that you get from looking at the family’s faces as you tour the offering they’ve made for their deceased, but the overall feeling is one of joy and solidarity. With that, I’ll leave you with some last pictures of what i saw in the cemetary. enjoy!