Gauss-Telegraph: Flashback – Day of the Dead
The Gauss Friends wish you all a great and happy new year! Next Tuesday, January 8th, we will continue with our regular theme evenings. Fanar Ibrahim talks about one of his great experiences with the Gauss Friends in the last year.
On Tuesday, October 30th, 2018, the Gauss Haus stood under the motto “Día de los Muertos”, which is Spanish and means “Day of the Dead“ in English. This is a Mexican holiday that traditionally commemorates the deceased.
Before the party started, there was a presentation about Día de los Muertos. First, the rules of the Gauss Haus were pointed out. For example, the Gauss Haus is not a commercial facility, where self-service prevails, and is free from racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, sexism, and Islamophobia. The rules were explained in German, English and Spanish so that all students could understand them.
After that, a bit of advertising was done for some upcoming events, such as the excursion to Berlin, the music group, the reading circle and the project “S.O.S. – Studying without language barriers “. Above all, the S.O.S.-project seemed to be well received by the students, since many initially have language problems and it is helpful for them, if they know people in the respective lectures who learn with them and support them with the language.
Then we proceeded to the main part of the evening, to the „Día de los Muertos“. This was presented by a Mexican in English, who included nice anecdotes from his homeland. He said that the holiday takes place from October 31st to November 2nd and that the dead are honored. According to the Mexican belief, the dead come once a year from the afterworld and celebrate a happy reunion together with their family and friends. There is also music, dance and food. In 2008, the tradition was inscribed in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
The heart of the celebration is the altar. This can be built either at home or in a cemetery. These altars are not there for worship, but to welcome the spirits of the dead in the realm of the living and are therefore abundantly gifted. There are 12 elements on the altar: a candle for each dead, family photos, flowers, salt, incense, paper, sugar skull, “Pan de Muerto”, religious articles, various objects (such as Example toys for children) and food and drink.
Both before and after the presentation, all visitors could have their make-up done by Maria for the holiday. There were also plenty of Mexican specialties to eat, for example, a spicy tomato soup, a lentil stew, of course, tortilla chips and much more. Down in the basement, foosball could be played and there was also a salsa dance course. The dance floor was full and the dancers seemed to have a lot of fun. If you wanted, you could’ve stayed in Gauss Haus and party there, or visit other locations and Halloween parties.
Overall, it was a successful and beautiful evening. You have learned something new, have met many people from different cultures, have eaten and drunk well and all in all just had a lot of fun.
We look forward to seeing you again at the Tunisian evening!