Mexico ~ Day of the Death 1a

La Muerte Tiene Permiso

HIGHLIGHT on Culture: As part of those efforts to bring closer the two countries, the Embassy proudly presents the exhibition “La Muerte Tiene Permiso” collection of selected lithography by renowned early-twentieth century Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada, from November 1st to the 11th, 2016 at Dia.lo.gue Art Space at Jl. Kemang Selatan No. 99A, Jakarta.

The Embassy of Mexico organizes each year a series of cultural events, as means to deepen cultural exchanges and to foster a better understanding between Mexico and Indonesia ~ as the Ambassador of Mexico to Indonesia, H.E. Federico Salas explained during the cultural events.

The cultural program includes exhibitions, artist performances, participations in local and international festivals, and other activities, covering art, culture, gastronomy, literature, cinema, and education.

Jose Guadalupe Posada Aguilar was an exceptional story teller who portrayed human comedy, and the Mexican tragicomedy of a century that was ending and another being born. Posada captured stories of silence, marginality, tragedy, pain, laughter, sarcasm, misery, crying, pleasure, life, death, white, black, love, the Mexican. Posada is considered as one of Mexico’s most emblematic artists of the twentieth century.

Mexico ~ Day of the Death 3a

Posada is considered a precursor of the nationalist movement in the visual arts in the twentieth century. A great artist, a tireless worker, Posada died as poor as he was born in Mexico City in 1913. In 1933, twenty years after his death, he was rediscovered by the painter Jean Charlot, who edited his plates and revealed the influence of Posada on artists of later generations.

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Along with the exhibition, there will also be celebrated the Mexican Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead), an event, that traditionally takes place every November 1st and 2nd, characterized for an explosion of color and life-affirming joy, where people come together to demonstrate love and respect for deceased family members.

The celebration has its origins several hundred years ago with the Aztec, Toltec, and other Nahua people, who considered mourning the dead disrespectful. For these pre-Hispanic cultures, death was a natural phase in life’s long continuum. The dead were still members of the community, kept alive in memory and spirit ~ and during Día de Muertos, they temporarily returned to Earth.

In 2008, UNESCO recognized the importance of Día de Muertos by adding the holiday to its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Today Mexicans from all religious and ethnic backgrounds celebrate it, but at its original core, the holiday is a reaffirmation of indigenous life, which later adopted a character of syncretism with the arrival of the Spaniards and the spread of the Catholic religion in the country.

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Ofrenda – The centerpiece of the celebration is an altar, or ofrenda, built in private homes and cemeteries. These altars are meant to welcome spirits back to the realm of the living. As such, they’re loaded with offerings ~ water to quench thirst after the long journey, food, family photos, candles, salt, etc. Marigolds are the main flowers used to decorate the altar. Scattered from altar to gravesite, marigold petals guide wandering souls back to their place of rest. The smoke from copal incense, made from tree resin, transmits praise and prayers and purifies the area around the altar.

I-Now