Day of the Dead Events
Displays and film screenings offer a chance to learn more about Hispanic and Latino culture.
Submitted by Assistant Professor of Spanish Gerardo Cummings:
Considered a holiday in Mexico—and other parts of the world that share the same culture—the “Day of the Dead” has long been confused with the Mexican version of “Halloween.” While it is true that the American version of ‘All Hallows Eve’ (a.k.a. “Halloween”) is slowly making inroads in the Mexican and other Hispanic/Latino cultures, “Day of the Dead” celebrates not only those that have passed through our lives, but also celebrates life itself. Day of the Dead was recently called “the most holy and the most human of all our holidays” by the Huffington Post because it is, in the end, a holiday of remembrance and of memory. Just as the United States of America has the Memorial Day holiday as a way of remembering the men and women who have fought for this country’s freedom in multiple wars, Day of the Dead is also about remembering those that were/are or have been the most meaningful thing in your life. That means family (mother, father, etc.), friends, spouse, and even pets.
The Day of the Dead is an important holiday, even in the USA, with institutions such as the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., or the Indianapolis Art Center in Indianapolis, Indiana, dedicating yearly events—and even websites—to this important event. The influence of this holiday in American culture is best exemplified by a new ‘character’ added to the highly popular Monster High line of toys: Skelitas Calaveras.
Wells College is proud to celebrate Day of the Dead in our own humble way: with displays in the Louis Jefferson Long Library and Cleveland Hall that celebrate not only this important holiday, but the “Hispanic-take” on Halloween via horror films and the cultural representation of “la muerte.” Besides the displays, there will be two films shown on Wednesday October 30, 2013:
Cleveland Hall 208, 1:30PM: JUAN OF THE DEAD, a dark-comedy in the vein of Shaun of the Dead, is one of Cuba’s recent examples of Latin America’s thriving horror film industry. It satirizes the Cuban revolution while giving Zombie fans everything—and more—of what they want. 91 minutes, in Spanish with English subtitles.
Wednesday October 30: Stratton 209: 8PM: DRACULA (Spanish version). Shot simultaneously with the Bela Lugosi classic over a 22 day period, the Spanish version has been hailed by critics as “superior” to the Todd Browning directed Dracula. 104 minutes, in Spanish with English subtitles.
All films will be followed by a Q & A.
Instrumental in the effort of making the displays possible, were Elsie Torres, Lisa Hoff and Elizabeth Juarez-Cummings. The collaborative efforts between the Louis Jefferson Long Library and the Spanish area are evident in this year’s Day of the Dead celebrations. For any information, please contact Dr. Gerardo Cummings at email@example.com.