Day of the Dead includes celebration of TCS headmasters past

The department of languages and culture at Trinity College School hosted its annual “Day of the Dead” celebration on November 1st. The Day of the Dead or “Día de los muertos” is a Mexican and Central America celebration of extreme importance for families. These cultures believe that on November 1st and 2nd, the spirits of the dead return home to commune with their relatives during this time.

Unrelated to Halloween traditions, the roots of the celebration are the result of an intertwining of Pre-Colombian Indian Cult of the Dead and 16th century Spanish Catholic influences brought to Mexico at the time of the conquest. For Mexicans, and many people in Central America, this is a joyful event because they believe that the souls of the people who have passed away come for a two-day visit.

At TCS, the Level 3 Spanish students displayed altars in the Cirne Commons from October 31st to November 1st. Some of these altars were of personal significance for students as they were about their TCS houses. Names such as Dr. Graham Orchard, Dr. Charles Bethune, Mr. Philip Ketchum and Mr. Angus Scott, all past headmasters, were honoured. In addition, important Hispanic figures were also honoured; Francisco Goya, Eva Peron, Che Guevara, Julio Cortazar, Diego Velázquez and Frida Kahlo were part of the display. In addition to the students' altars, delicious Hispanic food was served at Osler Hall. All TCS members were delighted at lunch with frijoles, carnitas and paella.

Finally, on November 1st, TCS had the visit of a Mariachi band and a professional Mexican folkloric dancer who performed at Osler Hall during lunch, interpreting some of the most famous Mexican songs. After this successful concert, all the Spanish classes and the Hispanic students gathered at the Cirne Commons for more personal interaction with the band. Students learned about the different instruments, rhythms and songs Mariachi bands play. It was amazing to see students dancing La Macarena and singing in both Spanish and English.

This brought the end of another extraordinary Día de los muertos celebration at TCS. The department of languages and culture wants to thank all the people involved who made this possible: the academic office, music department, culinary services, IT help desk, communications office, property department and, finally, the Hispanic students.

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