Dia de los muertos celebration through the eyes of students

As a good number of Americans were celebrating Halloween last week, the time of year was being looked at in a different light by many students. A week-long Dia De Los Muertos campus gave student a diverse look at international holidays.

“Not a lot of people get a chance to see this side of what many Americans call ‘the Mexican version of Halloween.’ And it’s really nothing like that. It’s more family oriented—more of a celebration,” said Kimber Medellin, freshman chemistry major.

Throughout the week of Oct. 29 students may have seen altars set up on the Student Union Building’s Brava Stage. These altars were in place as remembrance of fallen loved ones.

These altars were displayed as part of the Dia de Los Muertos celebration. This event was held by the Multicultural Student Services (MSS) Biligual Education Student Organization, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Organizacion de Estudiantes Latino-Americanos, Sigma Lambda Beta and Alpha Pi Sigma. It was also coordinated with help from Guillermo Munoz, Osciel Salazar and Tracy Sedano of the MSS.

It was the goal of these groups to educate the Boise State community about this Latin American holiday.

According to Dondi Iannucci, freshman international business major, as the week went on, the celebration appeared to grow, along with the commemorative altars.

“Each time I walked past the Brava Stage, the altar seemed to get bigger,” Iannucci said. “And for some reason, there were skulls involved. And I know skulls are important when pertaining to the Day of the Dead.”

Salvador Barba, freshman business major, said he was able to shed light on the holiday’s significance of skulls.

“Where most people would think strictly of death when looking at a skull, it has a different connotation in Mexican culture. The skull is a memorialization of those lost. They are typically decorated with vibrant colored flowers to attract spirits of the dead,” Barba said.

Other students expressed their happiness to be able to experience the “best of both worlds” because of this event.

“I like Halloween but it’s nice to know that there are so many organizations here that have taken interest in something different, because it’s not just a part of ‘their’ background; it’s a part of ‘my’ background. And it’s things like these that make me feel like there’s an ‘our’ background,” Medellin said.

About the author  ⁄ Matt Shelar

Matt Shelar

I'm Matt from Delaware who came to Boise for change. But so far I've gotten more than change out of Boise. I've gotten a few dollar bills.