NOW! JAKARTA | Celebrating The Dead

Celebrating The Dead

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The Embassy of Mexico in Indonesia celebrated the Mexican Day of the Dead, Día de Muertos, in November at Dia.lo.gue Artspace in Kemang. On the same occasion, an exhibition displaying the artworks of the late Mexican litograph artist José Guadalupe Posada Aguilar was inaugurated.


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Celebrated every first and second day of November, Día de Muertos brings to life remembrance of deceased family members and friends, their legacy and contribution to the world. Far from being a solemn mourning period, the mood is festive and cheerful.

The centuries-year-old tradition was developed from ancient pre-Columbian cultures. For the indigenous Aztecs, Toltecs and Nahuas, it was disrespectful to mourn the dead. Rather, they believed that the living should show respect by throwing colourful and cheerful parties to honour the deceased. In their belief, the departed are still very much alive and around.

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At the same event, visitors could also see the artistic creations of the late Posada (1852-1913). The exhibition, “Death Has Permission”, showcased black-and-white pictures made on tiny pieces of paper. His creations were divided into five categories: “Death in Battle”, “Everyday Cadaverous World”, “Under the Advice of the Devil”, “Magical, Fantastic and Phenomenal Beings”, and “Nature and Mortal Accidents of Modernity”.

“You may find his works gory and violent but those are artworks,” said H.E. Federico Salas, Mexican Ambassador to Indonesia. “This event is held not only to celebrate arts but also to celebrate life, to party with the dead, to be grateful for everything, to come together with your family and friends.”

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