Anonymous asked in Society & CultureOther - Society & Culture · 1 month ago

How can I throw a Dia de los Muertos party without cultural appropriation?

The details:

I am not Mexican. Though I'm born and raised in Southern California and am very familiar with the culture itself, it is not a part of my heritage. I have a deep respect for it, and would like to throw a party in its honor. I'll be making traditional recipes, I'm researching traditional decorations, and I'm inviting a few Latinx friends to come and talk about some of the history of Dia de los Muertos! 

A few caveats are that I'd like it to be October 31st--now I know Dia de los Muertos is not "Mexican Halloween", but October 31st is a saturday and is the easiest day to get together. Also, my friends want to do sugar skull makeup and are not Mexican, and I have no idea how to express that that seems insensitive.... I've never done this before, and I know some people will say I care too much, but I just want to celebrate this holiday and be respectful of the culture that it belongs to. Please help :)

6 Answers

  • Peter
    Lv 4
    1 month ago

    Cultural appropriation is claiming something as your own.  You are not claiming it, you are just celebrating it.  "All Saints' Day" or "All Hallow's Day" is a Catholic religious day of observation, not a Mexican Holiday.  The night before is "All Hallow's Eve" or "Halloween".

    "In the Western Christian practice, the liturgical celebration begins at Vespers on the evening of 31 October, All Hallows' Eve (All Saints' Eve), and ends at the close of 1 November. It is thus the day before All Souls' Day, which commemorates the faithful departed. In many traditions, All Saints' Day is part of the season of Allhallowtide, which includes the three days from 31 October to 2 November inclusive and in some denominations, such as Anglicanism, extends to Remembrance Sunday.[11][12] In places where All Saints' Day is observed as a public holiday but All Souls' Day is not, cemetery and grave rituals such as offerings of flowers, candles and prayers or blessings for the graves of loved ones often take place on All Saints Day.[13]"

  • 1 month ago

    Until Americans stop celebrating St. Patrick's Day, you can celebrate any occasion you want. 

    The whole concept of cultural appropriation is nonsense anyway. It makes no sense to say we cannot enjoy the culture of other countries or races. We should be free to make the most of all other cultures, all traditions, so we can share.

    By the way I hate American Halloween with the begging from door to door and the glorification of gore, violent death and horror. I find it repugnant. 

    The Mexican way is a positive day of respect for those who are no longer with us. Much better. In the Philippines people go to the graveyard that night for a picnic to connect with long lost relatives. Enjoy. 

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Why not throw an "e pluribus unum" party instead?

    Like the word LatinX, Mexican culture is completely artificial. None of that stuff comes from the European Latins so you're already in the realm of inappropriate.

    Get a few Pinatas and lots of Taco bell. Maybe have a hat on hand in case they want to dance around it. I'd stay away from Gritos though, the Indios may think your doing mating calls. But I guess that all depends on how you want the night to end.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    "Mexican culture" is a hodgepodge of Native American, Spanish, German and Chinese culture.

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  • 1 month ago

    You know, I totally don't get cultural appropriation.  In my day imitation was the finest form of flattery.  In fact it still is among some cultures.  Take St. Patrick's Day.  I'd say more than half the celebrants on that day are not bona fide Irish, some aren't even white.  Yet no one gets up tight about that appropriation of the Irish celebration.

  • 1 month ago

    Many Mexicans celebrate Christmas. Is that cultural appropriation? How about using chopsticks at a Chinese restaurant? Is that cultural appropriation? The first stringed instrument was called a Lyre and it was made in Mesopotamia. Guitars derived from the Lyre. Are Spanish classical guitarists or Black Jazz guitarists therefor guilty of cultural appropriation? Dia de los Muertos derives from ancient Aztec rituals. The Mexicans are not Aztecs, so are they guilty of cultural appropriation? I think if you examine all the accusations of cultural appropriation you'll discover that every culture uses rituals, imagery and devices that come from an earlier time and and a different culture.  So if EVERYONE is guilty of cultural appropriation, then NO ONE IS.

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