860456_ 214FA-SPAN-1411-THS1(Beginning Spanish I)_ 214FA_SPAN1411.THS1_ForeignLanguageWritingAssignment Dr. Richarte
Course # 1411
27 October 2014
El dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead)
While many families of different cultures often share common characteristics and customs, the history and culture of the Hispanic family is significantly different from the typical American family. For example, it is common for multiple generations of a Hispanic family to live under one roof, while in American culture; it is typically just the parents and the children. In addition, when a female of Hispanic descent reaches the age of 15, she is considered an adult and a formal celebration called a quinceanera is held in her honor. On birthdays for Hispanic children, the parents hang up piñatas in the trees and challenge their children try to break it open with a stick blindfolded. Holidays and traditions also can be very diverse. A typical American family observes Christmas, while a Jewish family observes Hanukah. An American family would celebrate Halloween, while a Hispanic family might celebrate El dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead), an elaborate celebration that honors loved ones they have lost to death. Because Texas has a large number of Hispanic families, many with close ties to Mexico, understanding how they celebrate The Day of the Dead will help diverse communities come closer together as a union. Celebrating “The Day of the Dead” might seem morbid or scary, but it’s actually a happy event for Hispanic families. It is said that “the souls of the departed return to earth to visit with and to provide council or give advice to family and loved ones” (Tafoya-Bazarra). During The Day of the Dead, people clean the cemeteries, “set up altars in their homes,” (Tafoya-Bazarra) and even sleep overnight next to the graves of their departed family members. Relatives also bring special foods into the altars, such as pan de muertos, the bread of the dead “baked...
Cited: Hernandez, Aracely. "Dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead)." 1988 (updated by 2011).
History of Halloween. n.d. 20 October 2014
Tafoya-Bazarra, Helen. The Day of the Dead- November 2nd. New Mexico: University of New Mexico, n.d.
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