By Anusha Trivedi
One of Notre Dame’s clubs, Latinas Unidas, led our learning community in a celebration of Día De Los Muertos on Tuesday, November 2. During lunch, the group gathered in Pardini Park to perform Folklórico, a traditional Mexican dance, after briefly explaining the significance of Día De Los Muertos. Día De Los Muertos, which means “Day of the Dead,” is a holiday originating in Mexico but that is celebrated all over Latin America. It is meant to honor loved ones or important figures who have passed away. It is celebrated on the 1st and 2nd of November and, during the holiday, it is believed that the souls of the dead return to feast with their family.
The performers had been practicing this dance on Fridays in the Student Learning Center after school for a month and a half. Instead of having auditions, Latinas Unidas invited anyone to join to learn the dances. They performed dances from the regions of Jalisco, Colima, and Norte, and wore Mexican blouses with colorful ruffled skirts. After the choreographed performance, the Latinas Unidas members then invited Notre Dame students to join in for a different festive dance called Caballo Dorado, which is an upbeat song.
On Día De Los Muertos, people also make altars in their homes to honor their ancestors and lead them back to their homes. Latinas Unidas put together an altar in Manley Hall and invited the Notre Dame community to leave a photo of a departed loved one on it to be blessed. These altars are usually decorated with candles, papel picado, pictures, marigolds, food, and calaveras (sugar skulls).
Malyna Trujillo ‘23, an officer of Latinas Unidas, said that their goal for the event was “to showcase [their] hard-working dancers and celebrate Día De Los Muertos with the whole school, teaching everyone what it means and how it's celebrated. [She] was happy that [their] new dancers were able to perform for the first time!”