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Celebrating life and death

Live altar to be displayed in SCC for Day of the Dead

The Office of Global Diversity and Inclusive Excellence will present ‘Coco,’ as an outdoor movie event on the Dining Hall Lawn, Tuesday at 7 p.m. in preparation for the Day of the Dead.
The Office of Global Diversity and Inclusive Excellence will present ‘Coco,’ as an outdoor movie event on the Dining Hall Lawn, Tuesday at 7 p.m. in preparation for the Day of the Dead.

 

Hispanic Heritage month is over, but that doesn’t mean the celebration stops. Events are scheduled to celebrate Día de los Muertos, Monday through Thursday.

National Hispanic Heritage month typically lasts from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, but these dates miss one of the most important Hispanic traditions and a widely celebrated Mexican holiday — Día de los Muertos, also known as “Day of the Dead.”

As an extension of the month-long celebration, The Office of Global Diversity and Inclusive Excellence is adding a Día de los Muertos celebration, Tuesday and Wednesday.

“The second event we are having, they are sort of connected — Day of the Dead and the outdoor movie event,” Imelda Wicks, executive director of diversity, inclusive excellence and training, said. “The feature movie is going to be ‘Coco.’ The theme for Day of the Dead is going to be ‘Coco,’ too. Day of the Dead is all about honoring our loved ones.”

Wicks said she is looking forward to watching the film with the students at the outdoor event.

“We are encouraging everyone to come out and watch this movie,” she said. “It talks about celebrating life. It also talks about life after we die and in the Latino culture, Day of the Dead is a very popular and festive event. The reason for that is because in the Latino culture they talk about dying and not being afraid of it, but, rather, living your life to its full capacity and still being connected after you die.”

The event will include food and drinks provided by various student organizations on campus. The event is free and open to students, faculty and staff. ‘Coco’ will premiere Oct. 30 at the Dining Hall Lawn from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Viewers are encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chair.

“After the movie, we are skipping over Halloween, and going to celebrate Day of the Dead,” Wicks said. “We are going to have a live altar on display. The display will be up from Monday to Thursday in the Setzer Student Center for anybody who wants to pass by and look at the altar.

“But, the actual (Día de los Muertos) event will be on Nov. 1. We are going to have, in Spanish, what we call, ‘Botanas’ which are snacks. Then we will have an area designated for arts and crafts where students, faculty and staff can bring in a picture of a loved one who has died, a pet, person or anyone, and they can decorate their own frame and we will add that to the altar.”

The Office of Global Diversity and Inclusive Excellence celebrated Hispanic Heritage month by focusing on Hispanic excellence in academia, and hosted a reception to honor the accomplishments of the Latino students on campus, Sept. 14.

“Seventeen percent of our student population is Hispanic,” Wicks said. “Eleven percent of our workforce, faculty and staff are Hispanic as well. We have a large Hispanic population at Lamar University, so we definitely wanted to do something for Hispanic Heritage Month and focus on academic excellence. We invited students and their family members to come over and highlight the positive contribution of the Hispanic/Latino population to Lamar University.”

Día de los Muertos is a holiday celebrated on Nov. 1. In Latino culture the day is spent commemorating lost loved ones through festivals and celebrations and remembering them with food, drinks and activities that the dead enjoyed in life. Some of the most familiar symbols of Día de los Muertos include skeletons and skulls that can be found in sweets, masks and dolls.

For more information, email the Office of Global Diversity and Inclusive Excellence at globaldiversity@lamar.edu or call 880-1732.

Story by Cassandra Jenkins, UP editor

Category: News