Day of the Dead, between sorrowful intimacy and jovial familiarity


Ana Cecilia Terrazas

One of the best anthropologists in the world, the Mexican Claudio Lomnitz, says that “unlike contemporary Europeans and Americans, whose denial of death permeates their cultures, the Mexican people show and cultivate a jovial familiarity, an intimacy that has become cornerstone of its national identity. This in Idea of ​​death in Mexicoessential book of 2005, edited by the Fondo de Cultura Económica.

Here are some ways to not be abstracted from the dates and engage with the topic from different angles:


In a paradoxical turn, from the animated film Coconutfrom Pixar, distributed by Disney in 2017, as well as that of James Bond Specter 2015, Mexico City found massive, tourist formulas to celebrate the Day of the Dead season in other ways beyond its own traditions, in syncretism with the stereotypes of those films and taking up some customs. Thus, the capital has organized since the end of October parades of alebrijes, catrinas, allegorical cars, placement and exhibition of mega-offerings; count of legends and catrinas in Xochimilco, plus a score of acts throughout the metropolis. It is about commemorating the dead, rescuing a tradition and taking advantage of the marketing that had been generated worldwide with the films. This generates a lot of movement on the street and obviously also in shops.


Those who specialize in legal procedures and risk management say – this is also endorsed by hyper-responsible, orderly and systematic people – that long before even having the slightest indication that one is going to die, one must free loved ones from potential problems. around us. This means leaving a catalog of decisions and actions taken in advance so that they do not fall into the wrong interpretation or cause painful lawsuits. Among the things that should be left ready are: the funeral package and life insurance in case there are economic dependents; a will –which can be modified as many times as you want–; a certificate of advance directive and organ donation in her case; all deed and property documents in order and at hand; a list of everything that would be our digital heritage, so as not to leave in suspense a whole range of entries in applications, platforms, subscriptions and companies; our bills paid; our procedures up to date. Oh, and we should tell the person or people we trust the most where it is located or how to access it all.


Religious people or people involved in spirituality also suggest, in case death reaches us without warning – as it usually does – not to have moral debts and live fully as anchored as possible to the present. They also recommend apologizing if we have hurt someone; restore damage caused as much as possible and not go to the grave with lawsuits or anger, but having told our loved ones how much we love them.


The vast majority of people know this, even if they cannot or have not had the opportunity to exercise it: life is one and it goes by very quickly, so you must do or try to do everything you want and what you well aspire to without postpone it because you never know how long you will live. That is, you have to throw yourself into joy, into challenges and to be on the side of life.

Why does this column immerse itself so much in the soft tone to talk about the Day of the Dead in this way? Well, because the other option, for obvious reasons, due to its seriousness and importance, is built by the hundreds of disappeared people whose family and friends they have to search for; for hundreds of women who are victims of trafficking –that is, dead in life– or who are murdered due to machismo: jealousy, anger, just because, for having a feminicidal culture; by a growing number of homicides due to organized and disorganized crime, which seems unstoppable and is increasing in a more cynical, more open, public and unpunished manner.

As violent and persistent death has hijacked our daily lives, this Splashdown He decided to touch her from the jovial familiarity so as not to delve into her sorrowful intimacy.


Day of the Dead, between sorrowful intimacy and jovial familiarity – El Sur Acapulco suracapulco I Noticias Acapulco Guerrero