by Elena Biglan and Karen Wang
The Eiteljorg Museum in downtown Indianapolis is hosting a celebration of the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead on Saturday, October 27 from 10 AM to 5 PM. Admission to the museum is free and all are welcome to attend.
Activities include music performances, presentations from Hispanic artists, a Catrina parade, shopping at a mercado (Mexican marketplace), and viewing of alters, including one assembled by Señora Peredo’s AP Spanish Language and Culture students at UHS.
Here are some of Señora Muñiz-Peredo’s thoughts on the event:
- How did you begin a connection with the Eiteljorg Museum?
Many years ago The Indianapolis Art Center in Broad Ripple used to host a Day of the Dead event and I was invited to participate with my students from Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and I did for a few years until they discontinued that event. Then I found out that the Eiteljorg Museum took up that event and I met Eduardo Luna from “Nopal Cultural;” he is one of the key people in charge of this event as we know it today. This will be my second year collaborating with the museum to have an altar (a display) at the museum. My students are the ones that decide on the person that should be honored. This year they chose the American painter, Bob Ross.
- Why does this holiday have special meaning for Spanish students?
Celebrations are always a fun way to get to know about someone else’s culture. Lately, the Hispanic culture has been on the eye of many Americans, not always for positive reasons. However, movies like “The Book of Life” and the latest “Coco,” represent Mexican cultural ideas and traditions in a positive, engaging and culturally-accurate way. In the same manner, I believe that the Eiteljorg museum is trying to attempt the same thing by not only celebrating a beautiful tradition coming from the Hispanic culture but also educating others about it.
- If there was one thing you want students to know about the holiday what would it be?
I suppose the most important thing to know about the celebration of the Day of the Dead is that it really is a celebration about life and it has nothing to do with Halloween. In general, you can say that Mexicans respect death, but do not fear it. It is better put in the words of Mexican writer Octavio Paz when he says:
“To the inhabitant of New York, Paris or London death is a word that is never uttered because it burns the lips. The Mexican on the other hand, frequents it, mocks it, caresses it, sleeps with it, entertains it, it is one of his favorite playthings and his most enduring love. It is true that in his attitude there is perhaps the same fear that others also have, but at least he does not hide this fear nor does he hide death; he contemplates it face to face.”
This is a great opportunity to learn more about Mexican culture and enjoy good food, music, and art. Don’t miss out!
Eiteljorg Museum Address:
500 W Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46206
For more information, please visit https://www.eiteljorg.org/about/media/2018/10/12/eiteljorg-celebrates-d%C3%ADa-de-los-muertos-with-free-admission.
Image courtesy of the Eiteljorg Museum