Dia De Los Muertos at RMU?

Taylor Himmelberger , Staff Writer

This past Friday Res Life hosted a celebration that brought a different culture into perspective at Robert Morris University. Written in chalk on the sidewalk from the Gazebo down to Salem Hall, was “Dia De Los Muertos, this way!” with small sugar skull paper cut-outs leading to the event.

This event was organized by Res Life Area Coordinator, Elizabeth Holt, and was the first time Res Life coordinated an event of its kind on campus. Holt said that it started with 10 lbs. of sugar and a mold of a skull, which she had had for a while but needed a reason to use.

All of those who were in attendance were able to decorate those sugar skulls and cookies.

Celebrated on Nov. 1 in Mexico, the tradition of the “Day of the Dead” originated over 4,000 years ago.  Family members would picked a day to visit the grave sites of their loved ones and clean them off because Mexican cemeteries do not have grounds keepers. The families would spend a whole day cleaning the area and planting flowers around the graves, then have dinner in the cemetery with their deceased. The day is to be celebrated as a beautiful memory of the life that they had lived, not to mourn the loss.

It is common for there to be an altar with pictures of the dead and items that they liked decorating the alter at the site. At the celebration in Salem, there was an altar for Robert Morris himself.

Dia De Los Muertos is important to the Mexican culture, but RMU students embraced it just like any other holiday.

“It is so interesting to know another cultures way of respecting their ancestors and how they celebrate their lives every year,” said freshman Ali Tomasic.  “It’s neat that we get to do this and experience it in a mini-way.”