A special bread, some flowers and photographs of those who have already left, make our family reunion one of the best traditions we celebrate at home.
Life can change a lot from one generation to another, but the feeling of belonging and family unity is fundamental to preserve, maintain and encourage the identity roots in the next generation: the family as the seed of future families. And in this vein, family and popular traditions can be one of the best means to achieve it.
The celebration of the day of the dead
I remember when I was a child we used to meet at my cousins’ house on the night of the Day of the Dead (November 2 in Mexico) to share the traditional bread of the dead, hot chocolate and tamales. The best of the night came when each one of them read aloud the «Calaverita» that they had written for the occasion: a small text with a simple and funny rhyme (versified, in octosyllables) that, in general, refers to a person or character as if dead or about to die. We all laughed celebrating the creativity, the grace and the occurrences of our family members. It was a very unique and undoubtedly awaited night!
Establish new family traditions
It is obvious that today the things of my childhood are no longer such: I came to live far from my place of origin, I have no other close relatives in this place and even several of those who met at those dinners have already died. Here, where I live now, it is not easy to find bread or traditional flowers (marigolds); But every year, my husband and I have made sure to offer our daughters a special family night: we make orange paper flowers, we prepare a special bread when we cannot get what is traditionally consumed on that date by no other means and, without fail, we write «Calaveritas», with which we have fun and laugh. It is a night in which we talk to our daughters about those relatives that they could no longer meet, those of whom they could no longer enjoy their way of being and peculiarities; we see photographs and sometimes it is also impossible not to cry when sharing stories from the past: humorous, even painful anecdotes and childhood memories.
Over the years we have realized that these stories are already well known and memorized, that the lives of our deceased are known by our daughters and that we talk about them as if we had all had the opportunity to coincide at the same time and In the same place.
Technology can bring the family together
On this special Day of the Dead night we also talk about the things that may be in the future: when we, the old men of the present, are no longer here and how much we would like them to continue meeting to celebrate, remember and keep the community together. family. In this regard, technology has helped us reconnect with relatives who are dispersed and reread the traditional and fun “Calaveritas” to each other.
And, as I said at the beginning, the feeling of belonging and family unity is essential to preserve, maintain and encourage identity roots in the next generation.