Skyline celebrates culture

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The film El Día de los Muertos will be shown on campus prior to a discussion panel on Nov. 1 at 12 p.m. in the Main Theatre

The film is about Day of the Dead, a Mexican and Latino oral tradition in which people pay homage to loved ones who have passed away.

“All of us, obviously, grieve the passing of loved ones,” said Skyline Spanish professor Luciana Castro. She says the movie portrays a positive celebration that the uninformed can reflect upon and use in their personal lives.

The panel of speakers will include all staff members of Skyline who are of Mexican or Latin descent, and they will talk about how this celebration has impacted their lives.

The speakers are Associate Professor Alma Cervantes, Associate Professor/Tutorial Coordinator Felix Perez, EOPS Services Coordinator Pablo Gonzalez, English Professor Hilda Fernandez and counselor Jacqueline Escobar.

Attendees are encouraged to ask any questions they have about Day of the Dead after the panel has spoken.

After the panel they are then welcome to enjoy the complementary churros and hot chocolate while viewing the altars that will be on display in the lobby of the Main Theatre.

The film is free and open to the public. Tickets will be handed out at the door at the end of the event for all students who need to present proof of attendance to their instructors.

“I think that this event is going to benefit the people who go there because it is a fun, colorful, and interesting way to look at life and also to look at people who have passed away in a very positive and fun way,” said Castro. “That is the message that I would like to leave here at Skyline for the students.”

According to Castro, Day of the Dead is a very traditional Latino celebration that dates back to the Aztecs and has origins in Catholicism. People make altars that are decorated with flowers, pictures, food, and candles to celebrate the lives of family and friends who have passed away. Their lives are celebrated and respected in the same way that they were when they were alive. It’s a celebration of the person’s habits, hobbies, and personality.

Associate professor/tutorial coordinator Félix Pérez talks about his experiences with Day of the Dead and the impact it has made on his life: “It really started to hit home when we had members of the family that passed away,” says Perez in reference to his wife’s experience with Day of the Dead in Mexico.

“We would have an altar that we would put up in our house, and it was pretty simple. She started to share with me [that] in her home town they’d start to decorate the places where the people are buried with flowers and then eat food there. Some would even spend the whole night out there with music.”

According to Perez, the event is being run by clubs and faculty at Skyline College.

“When you think about El Día de los Muertos in Mexico, it’s a big thing,” said Perez. “This is like a day to honor your ancestors.”