Capturing the afterlife: Day of the Dead

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By: Austin Hoverder

 On the spookiest day of the year — Halloween — the Missouri Western Spanish Club held their largest annual event, the Day of the Dead celebrations. 

Missouri Westerns Spanish Club President, Elizabeth Combs said that the Day of the Dead is a holiday celebrated throughout Mexico on the second and third of November.

“The living will paint half of their face so they have ‘parte de muerto,’ or part of the dead, to show that the dead still live within us,” Combs said. “Back home, my significant other is Mexican, so I get to celebrate the holiday with his family and it gives me a day full of culture and lets me remember the ones I have lost.”

The event started with a presentation led by the Spanish department professors followed by food, music and culture. The room was full of bright colors, pictures, candles, as well as lots of good smelling food. The tradition for the day of the dead is for the family and friends of the deceased to bring their favorite things while they were alive. Favorite foods, candles, items are all a large part of what is left on a typical ofrenda or alter made for that person.

According to Combs, a Spanish and international studies double major, the Day of the Dead is a happy memoriam to remember passed loved ones. Regardless of their majors, all students could enjoy this event, such as senior theater major Rae Segbawu. 

“I’m learning Spanish and we go to several educational events throughout the year,” Segbawu said. “It is important to learn about other cultures and take the importance from them into your own life.”

Another student who participated in the event was junior Chandra Traxler.

“I came to this event for a class and I was interested to know more history and Latino culture,” Traxler said. “I was also interested to see how they celebrate death compared to my typical culture.”

For students who are looking to broaden their cultural values, Spanish Club is a prime opportunity. There are many events coming up, such as flamenco dancing and a live Mariachi band. Students can also participate by attending weekly meetings on Thursdays from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. in Eder 211.