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Celebrating the lives of loved ones

Alpha Psi Lambda and Sigma Lambda Gamma collaborated for three days of events for the Day of the Dead, which is celebrated from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2. P Photo by Angeline Schmelzer.

Losing a loved one is never easy, but Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrates the lives of those who have passed.

Alpha Psi Lambda and Sigma Lambda Gamma collaborated for three days of events for the Day of the Dead, which is celebrated from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2. This is the first year the groups hosted a three-day event.

“Day of the Dead, usually, is more celebrating and honoring those who have passed,” said Eric Mendoza, current internal vice president for Alpha Psi Lambda. “Usually, when we think of death, it’s not just sorrows and mourning.”

Mendoza, a junior entrepreneurship, management and leadership and philosophy triple major, said they also dance and praise those who have passed, as if they were still here.

Some attendees dressed up in celebration for a Day of the Dead festival at the Garrett Center on Nov. 2. photo by Angeline Schmelzer.

Abigail Fuentes, the vice president of program development for Sigma Lambda Gamma, said it was nice to have the opportunity to collaborate with other multicultural Greek organizations on campus.

“Not only just celebrating the lives of the people that we loved and lost, but also celebrating the people that are here with us now and we can continue making memories with,” Fuentes, a senior family and consumer sciences major, said.

On Oct. 31, Alpha Psi Lambda hosted a community altar creation event for the first time for attendees to remember loved ones. The altar stayed up in the Cullom-Davis Library until the end of the holiday.

Sigma Lambda Gamma hosted a shrine activity for participants to print out pictures of loved ones and make candle jars to celebrate those they loved and lost.

To end the three days, the organizations hosted a festival in the Garrett Center with sugar skull and cookie decorating, the making of traditional marigold flowers with tissue paper, or cempazuchitl, and cutting designs into tissue paper, or Papel Picado.

Traditional Mexican hot chocolate and soup bread were also served.

Fuentes said the activities promoted interaction between those in attendance, allowing them to make new friends or create closer bonds with those they already know.

“The whole idea of creating that community and creating that family feeling,” Fuentes said.

Fuentes said Bradley’s minority community has slowly grown and that having these events are a big deal for the Latinx community.

“Little by little, the Latinx community has especially grown, so it’s nice for us to be able to feel like we have these safe spaces where we can connect to our roots from home,” Fuentes said.

Mendoza said having the events over a few days instead of just the one allows students to participate in any of the three days they can. He hopes to continue having events and keeping the altar up over the course of the three days.

“It’s more to expand Bradley’s culture awareness and providing more events for the community and allowing them to participate in and be part of another culture and experience those different cultures,” Mendoza said.

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