Questions | Yonkers | Latino Communities
Mexican Culture in Yonkers
Sprucing: Decorating, making neat and clean.
Sumptuous: Delicious, lavish.
Profusely: In great numbers.
Amulets: Something carried or warn as a charm or a religious symbol.
Commemoration: Memorial, celebration to keep in memory.
Fatalism: Believe that all will share the same fate (i.e., death), submission to fate.
"Generalizing broadly, the day's activities consist of visits by families to the graves of their close kin. At the gravesites family members engage in sprucing up the gravesite, decorating it with flowers, setting out and enjoying a picnic, and interacting socially with other family and community members who gather at the cemetery. Families remember the departed by telling stories about them. The meals prepared for these picnics are sumptuous, usually featuring meat dishes in spicy sauces, a special egg-batter bread, cookies, chocolate, and sugary confections in a variety of animal or skull shapes. Gravesites or family altars are profusely decorated with flowers (primarily large, bright flowers such as marigolds and chrysanthemums), and adorned with religious amulets and (in smaller villages) with offerings of food, cigarettes and alcoholic beverages. Because of this warm social environment, the colorful setting, and the abundance of food, drink and good company this commemoration of the dead has pleasant overtones for most observers, in spite of the open fatalism exhibited by all participants, whose festive interaction with living and dead in an important social ritual is a way of recognizing the cycle of life and death that is human existence."
Document 3: Excerpt from Salvador, Ricardo J. "What Do Mexicans Celebrate on the Day of the Dead?," Online article. http://myspot.mona.uwi.edu/liteng/ .
Document 3 Short-Answer Questions
- What are three things families do during Day of the Dead celebration?
- What does this important social ritual recognize?