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Sharing cultural lessons

Hubbard Spanish Club celebrates Day of the Dead

BROOKFIELD — Hubbard High School Spanish Club students spent a good part of their school day Thursday as explorers of culture through feast, dance and creative expression at Tiffany’s Banquet Center.

“The Day of the Dead is a holiday that is celebrated in Mexico as well as in Spanish Central and South America,” Spanish teacher Anna Badurick said.

Dia de los Muertos, a three-day holiday that stems from the Catholic religious celebration of All Saints and All Souls Day is aimed at remembering legacy and teaching younger generations about the pride of those that went before them.

“They spend large sums of money to build ofrendas (altars) to their deceased, decorate their homes / grave sites and prepare elaborate meals and pastries,” Badurick said.

Student officers of the Spanish Club said it was fun to create their own decor, including their own ofrenda, using both traditional and popular Spanish culture icons.

“We watched a movie about (the late Spanish pop star) Selena. She is in the middle of our altar because we talked about her. We also decorated with candles and a skull,” said Taylor Pegg, 17, president of the Spanish Club.

He said the students learned there are three ways to die in Spanish culture: physical passing, when mourners bury their loved one, and the most dreaded passing, when no loved one is left to remember. For this reason, ofrendas always contain photos of the dead person, things they enjoyed while living and sometimes, traditionally, candles and water to guide their spirits home.

Mia Langley, 15, enjoyed the dancing, learning about the culture and the traditional meal of tacos and rice, as well as the activities.

“I really liked the dancing,” she said, “and making the luminaries.”

Derek Martcardi, 18, also said making luminaries was “cool.” He had learned about it in his class and said he would participate in the festival again, if he has the opportunity.

A traditional dance, the final part of the lesson on Thursday, had the goal of teaching students a little about movement, according to Fred Astaire dance teacher Leesha Thompson.

“The goal today is to do beginner salsa and having fun with the music we listen to right now,” Thompson said.

According to Badurick, the lessons are really appreciated.

“Before they come, they ask a million questions and even the most shy kids participate and many times later in the year at dances, my students will ask to play Spanish music,” Badurick said.

eearnhart@tribtoday.com

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