Dear White People/Queridos Gringos: You Want Our Culture But You Don’t Want Us – Stop Colonizing The Day Of The Dead

This….we need to reclaim our own rites and rituals for our dead, and if we participate in day of the dead ceremonies (which I have), to do so with respect as travelers, guests, bearing a burden of grief that our own cultural devastation has ill prepared us to harvest.

Aya de Leon

IMG_9297Dear White People (or should I say Queridos Gringos/Gabachos),

Let me begin by saying it is completely natural that you would find yourself attracted to The Day of The Dead. This indigenous holiday from Mexico celebrates the loving connection between the living and our departed loved ones that is so deeply missing in Western culture. Who wouldn’t feel moved by intricately and lovingly built altars, beautifully painted skull faces, waterfalls of marigold flowers, fragrant sweet breads and delicious meals for those whom we miss sharing our earthly lives. I understand. Many cultures from around the world celebrate these things, and many of them at this time of year. As a woman whose Latin@ heritage is Puerto Rican, I have grown up in California, seeing this ritual all my life and feeling the ancestral kinship to this reverent, prayerful honoring of the departed.

Let me continue by saying that it is…

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Posted on November 1, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Beautifully written. But wow the comments are vile.


  2. Which is exactly what I did. I did my own ceremony for the ancestors. No scripts, no books, no stealing from others……from the heart and soul! Too much time and energy is being spent on bitching at each other. There is by far more conflict and division amongst us all then we need. In my opinion it’s all a set of facets in a huge crystal structure anyway. Respect is a mutual function and the vile comments indicative of where we are collectively. Hail the ancestors!


  3. I loved that the author acknowledged what has happened to most white culture but the comments were horrible.


  4. I could not agree more on the extent of the vile trash in the commentary. Her post was extraordinary. This is why I am uncomfortable with Christians “stealing” Pesach and the Feast. NONONONONO! Her advice to them into looking back into what people did in the various cultures of Europe was spot on. We are not one great big watered-down megaculture. I really dislike the 19th century view of the melting pot which only produces mediocrity.


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