During my four years at Stanstead College, I’ve learned many things, not only academic related but also culturally and socially. I’ve learned that life is to be lived and not to be stressed about. I’ve learned that a friend could be literally anyone. I’ve learned that there’s more than an angry monster in teachers but actually a great friend. I’ve learned that if lights out is in 2 minutes it means you can go hang out, have a shower and hide your phone and laptop. I’ve learned to value the little things in life and not complain about little things like not liking food every single meal. I’ve learned that a school can become your home and the people in it your family. I’ve learned that if you take a moment to learn someone’s past, you’ll see everyone has so much to offer and a story to be told.
Everyone has a culture to show. Even if they are from your own country, we are all different, and one of the most beautiful things in Stanstead is the variety of cultures, this great mix from many countries, continents, cities, towns and families.
Today I want to show you a little piece of my culture. Yesterday November 2, was the day that we celebrated the famous Day of the Dead in Mexico. Yes, I said “celebrate” and “dead” together. But what is it that makes “Día de Muertos” such a great and beautiful tradition instead of a creepy and bizarre party for dead people?
This is not a celebration of someone dying but of their lives, of the path they’ve paved and the importance they had to us.
When you lose someone close to you, you feel like your heart has broke and a big piece fell off it. Well, that piece can symbolize the importance that the person had for you, and the hole you feel inside is their part in your life that now seems to be gone.
In the past couple of years, I’ve lost two of my grandparents, two of my great life teachers. And it was a couple days before school started a couple months ago, that my grandma, the one I was the closest to, passed away. All I could think about was how I would honour her life, for she meant so much to me. And that’s how I decided to make an altar for her and my grandpa.
The biggest symbol in Día de Muertos is the altar which is the way you invite your loved ones to visit you on this lovely night. It is believed that their souls come out to visit you, not in a creepy way, but to make you feel their love, make you feel like you’re with them once again.
Día de muertos is about honouring the person’s life, but not only people, even your pets. Honouring the joy they made you feel, and proving to them that you’ll miss them a lot.
Día de muertos is a big part of my culture and I wanted to share with you this little part of me, of my culture, of my people. If you wish to know more about it don’t be afraid to ask, you’ll see the magic of this tradition is really powerful. And just like this, take the time to learn about others, for they might show you much more than your eyes can see.