Dia de los Muertos Celebrated Through Multicultural Club

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Simone Bell

Mrs. Murphy explains different elements of Dia de los Muertos before students create their own sugar skulls.

Simone Bell and Ryann O'Neal

Día de los Muertos was celebrated by Multicultural Club on October 24, 2019, under the leadership of Senora Murphy and Madame Laroche. The purpose was to educate students about Dias De Los Muertos through a fun presentation, side activities, and a movie.

“It’ll be nice to show what other people celebrate during Halloween,” said eighth grader Cyncere Payton, “and show other people’s holidays and what they celebrate.”

Días De Los Muertos is a Mexican holiday that celebrates the lives of loved ones that are now deceased. The holiday is celebrated in many countries including Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil, Spain, and the United States. The holiday is celebrated from October 31st to November 2nd. The tradition is not only celebrated with decorations, but also with creations of altars for the deceased loved ones.

“I like to celebrate [Dia de los Muertos] because they do things that celebrate their family members that are deceased in a good way,” said Payton.

Students who had signed up for Multicultural Club  learned about the important event from a PowerPoint presentation, a coloring activity of a sugar skull with markers, and part of Disney’s movie “Coco” that includes the celebration. 

“I think the favorite part was we had the sugar skulls, the calaveras de azúcar, the masks [that] people wear.”  said Spanish teacher Senora Murphy. “They were able to color them in and give it their own artistic spin.”

As the holiday becomes more popular, stores are now trying to make a profit off of the tradition. Sellers decide to put toys, decorations, and other things on the shelves in stores. Many oppose this, wanting the Mexican culture without the commercialism.

“ I feel like they’re being selfish to the Spanish culture because they’re not thinking about how they feel about it. They’re just taking all their money basically, like they’re not telling anyone what the meaning of it is,” said eighth grade club participant Kyanah McDonald.

An example of a company looking to still offer products but also offer education on the holiday is Mattel Incorporated, who designed a new Barbie Doll for Dias De Los Muertos. They are looking for different ways to encourage girls and family to learn more and celebrate different cultures and other parts of the world. They made Días De Los Muertos Barbie to honor this holiday for the people that celebrate it and get people who don’t know about Dias De Los Muertos to be interested with this tradition to the rich meaning.

“ I think that the barbie doll for this is actually good because it even tells kids that are younger than me the story of The Day of the Dead, said McDonald. “It also shows people that are older because it’s something that a lot of children [will like] and it can teach them better,” McDonald said.

If students are interested in joining Multicultural Club, they’ll have to sign up before the club’s meeting. Please see Ms.Murphy or Madame Laroche in B102 or B104 to sign up. There are only 30 spots available, and they tend to fill quickly.

“It’s a really simple way of learning of other cultures like hearing about other people celebrate things or their traditions and different foods and everything. It’s actually really fun,” said Mcdonald.