WEB EXCLUSIVE The People of Color Student Union club met in the Reception Room during lunch today to set up and decorate a Day of the Dead altar. This altar will be brought to the Main Hall on Friday for the community to contribute offerings to until Nov. 3.
“We all got together and bonded over the creation of the altar,” sophomore and co-club head Malinalli Cervantes said. “We made carnation flowers out of tissue paper to symbolize life.”
Carnation flowers are just one of the decorations used to adorn altars, as candles, photographs and sugar skulls also serve as symbolic offerings to loved ones who have passed away.
“Personal objects and things that are dear to the people who have died are brought to make the spirits feel like they’re part of the living community,” Spanish teacher Pascal Parra said. “They’re coming back to visit and we want to make their visit as comfortable and festive as possible.”
The Mexican holiday, which has Aztec roots, is celebrated around the world, hence its relation to diversity and honoring customs of different cultures.
“We should celebrate everyone’s ethnicity and every diverse holiday,” freshman Ronnie Asfaw said. “When we celebrate Day of the Dead, we’re getting one step closer to becoming a more inclusive environment here.”
POCSU is working to spread understanding and awareness of cultural customs that have importance to the community and apply them to and celebrate them at school, as well as in the further community.
“POCSU is all about including people of color and people of color come with their own cultures,” Cervantes said. “Day of the Dead is a big part of certain cultures, so we thought it would be really important to integrate it into our school community to emphasize the importance of cultures across the world.”