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The Day Of The Dead Finds New Life In The USA


Aired 11/2/09

How the Mexican Dia de los Muertos is celebrated in San Diego.

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Above: "DAY OF THE DEAD IN THE USA: the migration and transformation of a cultural phenomenon," is a book about the changes in the popularity of the holiday over the years.

Maureen Cavanaugh: Halloween was celebrated conveniently on a weekend this year, so most of us had the time to get our fill of ghosts and goblins. But another and very different celebration of the afterworld is not over, in fact it's taking place today. Today is El Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. With its origins in Mexico, the day of the dead is now a fixture in America-certainly here in San Diego- with sugar skulls, pan de muerto and skeletons on view in many shops and also on altars in schools, community centers, cemeteries and homes.

Just as last week we examined the history of Halloween. Today we delve into the remarkable past of El Dia de los Muertos. The waxing and waning of its popularity and how the celebration has changed with time and cultures is a fascinating story.

Here to tell us about it is my guest: Regina Marchi....she teaches media studies and Latino studies at Rutgers University. She is also the author of the book DAY OF THE DEAD IN THE USA: the migration and transformation of a cultural phenomenon."

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