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Clarke Celebrates Dia de los Muertos

posted on October 26, 2009

The Spanish program of the Clarke College Language and Literature Department, with the support of the college’s student life office, will celebrate Día de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) from October 29-November 2 with a variety of events on the Clarke campus. Admission to all events is free and the public is encouraged to attend. Activities planned during Clarke’s celebration include the following:

On Thursday, Oct. 29, there will be a showing of the documentary “La Muerte Viva” at 6 p.m. in the Gallagher Lounge located inside Clarke’s Kehl Center. This film portrays the vibrant images of Día de los Muertos and addresses some of the social issues surrounding this approach to celebrating death and grieving.

On Friday, Oct. 30, inside the Wahlert Atrium, interested individuals can take part in making skull earrings and wristbands from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. and decoration of sugar skulls from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The decorating of skulls is a prominent tradition during Día de los Muertos celebrations.

On Monday, Nov. 2, Clarke will host a lecture about the Day of the Dead around a communal altar in Clarke’s Student Activity Center at 4 p.m. Participants in this activity will join Clarke students in Spanish courses in bringing forth “ofrendas” to the altar. Ofrendas are offerings set up to remember and honor ancestors.

Día de los Muertos is a celebration and remembrance of those who have died. It is believed that the souls of the dead visit their loved ones from October 31-November 2. Altars are typically set up in remembrance and include a variety of decorations and food.

“Part of the Clarke College experience is pushing ourselves out of our norms and gaining new perspectives on life and in this case death,” said Evelyn Nadeau, Ph.D., associate professor of Spanish. “This is a great opportunity for Clarke College and the community to come together and learn more about the diversity and richness of our changing society.”

For more information, contact the Clarke College Marketing and Communication Office at (563) 588-6318.

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