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About the dead nothing than merchandising

25326182162cea3b756aa86464c1a1f1 - About the dead nothing than merchandising

Also with us, is moving the Mexican, fairly carnival-like variant of all saints. ‘El dia de los muertos’ (day of the dead), reached us, just as Halloween before, via the USA. What it means: a feast of lucrative merchandising. Only the pumpkins are replaced by skulls of papier-mâché.

It is a wonderful celebration and it has existed for three thousand years. The Aztecs have invented, the Spaniards had not wiped out when she was Mexico conquered. They have moved to the same …

It is a wonderful celebration and it has existed for three thousand years. The Aztecs have invented, the Spaniards had not wiped out when she was Mexico conquered. They have moved to the same time as the catholic holiday commemorating the dead: at the end of October, beginning of november.

The Mexicans commemorate their dead for centuries, on a much less sad than we are. They are going on a picnic in the cemetery, the graves of their loved ones to clean and decorate them. They drink and they dance and they laugh all. They make jokes about the dead, writing spirited verses in which they the small edges of their loved ones to emphasize. Then they go back home, on the road, a trail of petals behind so that the spirits of the dead and bring them home. To wait at home spirits a beautifully decorated shrine, where gifts for them are displayed, beverage and their favorite dishes. Welcome home, dearest dead.

On 2 november, the last day of the three-day celebration, dancing people in the streets, decked out in skelettenpakken or the 19th-century praaljurken, the face artfully painted as a skull. They are wearing skulls of papier-mâché in the hand. They eat for three days sweets: calaveras, small schedeltjes of candy. Admit: it is something different than a pot of chrysanthemums on a mosgroene slab. While we are dead, as much as possible from our house to ban and lament for the deceased, to invite the Mexicans to the dead, to the home coming celebrations. Caramba.

Laughing with the dead

El dia de los muertos , is a long not a purely Mexican affair. Through the Spanish conqueror, was the feast its way to other Central American countries, in South America (even Brazil), and also to the Philippines (a long-time Spanish wingewest that from the Latin American colonies was governed). And since the northward migration wave was El dia de los muertos is also on the rise in the U.S., where the party the Mexicans helps the cultural identity of their own to keep. And political identity: there is always some extra attention to compatriots who lost their lives during their attempts of the USA to achieve.

There are aspects in common with the American celebration of Halloween (the dressing up), but there are as well differences. Halloween plays on our fear of the dead, El dia de los muertos laughs death in the face and celebrates life. That the Mexican feast yet widespread hit in the US, has probably also to do with cultural tolerance, but above all with commerce: five years ago, already had Walmart calaveras in the shelves. There was the first murder and fire about screamed (‘Cultural appropriation!’), in the meantime, however , El dia de los muertos there, completely established.

The proof of this is the Pixar film Coco from last year, which is completely against the background of the Mexican dodenfeest playing. Also, Disney (owner of Pixar) was initially to wipe out the cultural appropriation-pan: In 2013 already tried the group the exclusive rights on the term ” Dia de los muertos’ by which as a mark to register, with the eye on the merchandising from the film would result. There was some Mexican cultuurprominenten as much as stennis about kicked that Disney the attempt abandoned, and the Mexican personalities involved in the creation of the film.

Cursing in the church

Perhaps thanks to the success of Coco , the Mexican dodenfeest now also Europe. Sometimes even reluctantly. The BBC programme Strictly come dancing (the original Dancing with the stars and the Stars on the dance floor) picked up this week with a Halloween special. Which was also a dance that was inspired by Dia de los muertos. On social media increased the accusations of cultural appropriation.

But the advance is unstoppable. Also with us you can find the verkleedpakken and the skulls of papier-mâché all in the specialized shops return, also in us is there on his Mexican party. Wednesday you can in the Antwerp Waagnatie to the ‘Cocô Locô festival of the dead”, according to the organizers a ” Halloween-festival inspired by the Mexican Dia de los muertos’. Swearing in the church, those two terms so interchangeably, reeling, but no cock that endeavour will crows. Here we come to see and to be seen, and by professional make-upartiesten to turn it into a living corpse.

The band with the Bond

We can mourn for the dull commercialization of what was in origin a beautiful and meaningful celebration, in 2008, was even declared a Unesco world heritage site. But the Mexicans themselves are happy to participate in that marketing. The parades in honor of El dia de los muertos lure many foreign tourists, you see them popping up in places where they never were held.

So in the bond movie Spectre 2015 with a famous scene in which James Bond, in Mexico city, a rogue world-changing through a crowd to such a parade is to watch. A remarkable detail: in Mexico city, had until then never seen such a Dia de los muertosparade took place. Since then, however, last Saturday was the third held, and which attracted thousands of tourists to the city. ‘We could not otherwise’, said the director of the tourism department of the city two years ago to the BBC. ‘That scene in Spectre has expectations created that we just had to meet. We knew that people at the end of October, to our city would come and ask where they had been for the parade.’

If they hear, the dead turned in their winkelrek.

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