Spanish field trip includes Day of the Dead traditions

Trinity College School’s languages and culture department, with the support of the Senior School academic office, organized a cultural field trip for all three levels of Spanish classes to Lula Lounge on Friday, March 1st. Lula Lounge is well known for its live music, entertainment and food, and is located in the heart of Toronto.

The Music and Arts Centre of Lula Lounge hosted a workshop on the Day of the Dead, with Mexican guitarist Jorge Lopez and Venezuelan multi-instrumentalist Yuri Pedraza. These musicians led students through a participatory exploration of Mexico’s festive Day of the Dead traditions.

Cultures across the globe have adopted multiple ways to honour the dead. Many of them see death as a sad event. However, modern Mexican people believe that the souls of loved ones can revisit us once a year, specifically on November 1st and 2nd. Día de los Muertos, as Mexican people call the celebration, is a colourful holiday to honour those who have died. Trying to understand this celebration as an outsider may take time, but for the Spanish students at TCS, Día de los Muertos has become a more familiar tradition due to our annual celebration on-campus each year.

Focusing on music and traditions, the first part of our immersion trip at Lula Lounge consisted of an interaction with these two fantastic musicians. Students were singing and dancing along with some of the songs. This experience fostered an understanding of intercultural awareness and engaged students in an important interactive cultural experience.

The second part of the day consisted of ordering food in Spanish. At each table, the servers interacted with students in Spanish, encouraging them to practice their listening and speaking skills. Students took this interaction very seriously, and many students interacted confidently with the wait staff. This was a great opportunity for students to practice their Spanish language skills with their classmates and the people at the lounge.

This cultural experience brought enjoyment to students from all ages and grades. Students from Grade 9 to Grade 12 were active participants in this field trip, and this has become one day that they will never forget.

- By Profesora María Velásquez-Labrecque, languages and culture department