On Thursday 1 November Halcyon London International School celebrated the Mexican tradition “El Dia de Los Muertos”, otherwise known as “The Day of the Dead”. El Dia de Los Muertos is a tradition where the main focus is to gather all the family and friends to pray and remember those who have passed away. Mexican families often create an altar or ofrenda and put down marigold flowers to guide the spirits of the dead with their bright colours and strong smell. The day of the dead and Halloween are often confused but are two different holidays. The celebration is actually on the 2nd November and in 2008, UNESCO recognized the importance of Día de Los Muertos by adding the holiday to its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity due to its importance it has been brought to life in popular culture with the Disney film Coco.
The event included interactive activities such as face painting, a dress-up photo booth, Spanish karaoke and digital quizzes via Kahoot about the celebration. Money was raised through a bake sale for a London-based charity called Children of Latin America, dedicated to support the education and health of poorest and most disadvantaged children in the various countries of Latin America by identifying and supporting specific small-scale projects. Special thanks to the Spanish teachers, Ms Rosado and Ms Gonzalez, students and parents for organising the event.
We interviewed a few people attending the event, including a student and a teacher. Jacob from Grade 8 thinks that the Day of the Dead is a cool and unique celebration, and he particularly enjoyed the Spanish music and Kahoot activity. Ms Gonzalez, one of Halcyons Spanish teachers, mentioned that the festival reinforces positivity; focusing on the joy and happiness of the people. We asked why she thought it is necessary for the Halcyon community to experience events as such, and she mentioned that, as an international school, it is beneficial to be aware of different cultures. Ms Gonzalez loved to see everyone discovering new traditions together.
As an International Baccalaureate student, we learn from an early age that perspective and learning how to see things differently is important. In our opinion, it is important that we can all come together as an international school and share new traditions and cultures, this way students and teachers can become more open-minded and caring, as well as gain knowledge. Personally, we enjoyed the event a lot and hope to see more like it in the future!
Ines and Isabel, Grade 11