2011 DAY OF THE DEAD CELEBRATION AT MSU, NOV. 1-4
The Michigan State University Museum, the Residential College in the Arts and the Humanities, the LBGT Resource Center and the Consulate of Mexico in Detroit are hosting a Day of the Dead celebration from Nov. 1-4 at Michigan State University.
MSU History Professor Juan Javier Pescador has worked with the MSU Museum over the last four years to create and install "ofrendas," or offerings, in honor of Day of the Dead, each year with a new theme. Pescador also works with his classes in Mexican American and sports history in the Day of the Dead activities.
At the Museum there will be an ofrenda-installation, opening Nov. 1 at 6 p.m., dedicated to the victims of homophobia, prejudice and hate crimes, along with a program of diverse cultural activities (Aztec traditional dance, film, performance, presentations). Following the opening, a procession is planned to march to the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, with a performance, lecture and reception in the RCAH Theatre (Snyder Hall). The MSU Museum ofrenda will be displayed through Nov. 4.
About Day of the Dead:
For generations the Day of the Dead has been a unique and sacred festivity for people of Mexican descent on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border. El día de los Muertos, an ancient Mexican celebration in which families reconnect with departed ancestors, provides a special opportunity to remember and celebrate the life and legacy of those who have moved ahead into the sacred lands of Mictlan. The realm of the "fleshless" or the dead (Mictlán in Nahuatl, Xibalbá in Maya), according to Ancient Mexican traditions, is conceived to be in a fluid relationship with the world of the "flesh" or the living. "The fleshless ones" are considered to be a living presence in this world while the "living ones" contemplate death as the natural progression of life and renewal.
In the United States Mexican communities have turned the Day of the Dead into a public celebration of Mexican/Chicano cultures, a venue to create art reflecting on collective experiences, an opportunity to bring the community together and a way to raise awareness of the issues affecting the lives of people in current times. In that spirit Michigan State University is presenting an exhilarating program of cultural, educational and artistic events centered on the Day of the Dead, and dedicated on this occasion to raise awareness on homophobia, sexual orientation prejudice and hate crimes in the United States.