I was around before Day of the Dead festivities became a marketing strategy that lots of American corporations have signed on to. Even Mexico has latched on to this new version of DOD, doing a yearly parade based off of a movie scene. It’s a bit hard to remember that time when Día de Muertos was a very simple act of thinking about your dead and hopefully visiting them at their graves. I think Self Help Graphics were the first to bring public attention to this yearly ritual in the US, doing it with some really cool and thoughtful events out of their old space in ELA on Brooklyn and Gage.
But that horse has now left the barn. Now DOD has become a calendar event divorced from traditions and largely based on sugar skull motif designs, a Disney movie, and tons of cheap plastic products that you can find at your local retailer. A bunch of institutions that you wouldn’t associate with this ancient funeral practice want to create their own version of this meaningful custom. Why? I have opinions but I will keep them to myself. ¿Que se la va ser? Because of that, I thought I would share this very simple video of a family from Culiacan, Sinaloa practicing the old and simple traditions that I know of in regards to Día de Muertos. (I follow them on youtube for food recipes!) No face paint, no sugar skulls, not even the beautiful Papel Picado that I love that is more common down South. Just the act of visiting your dead and paying your respects, that’s all.
And that’s enough.