Sunday, 24 March 2013

Madhurima 002

TOLLYWOOD: Madhurima Latest New Photo Gallery 1
Madhurima Hot Photo Gallery: South-Indian films actress Madhurima Banerjee Hot Photos. ... Pooja Bedi Latest Hot Photogallery. Former Bollywood Actress and TV Show Host Pooja Bedi Latest Hot Photogallery, Pictures, Wallpapers.… » . ...

Soha Ali Khan Kunal Khemu

bollywood: Will Johar take RGV's punch lying down?
Johar, later, took a potshot at Varma, after Phoonk 2 bombed, tweeting, "I have not seen Phoonk or Phoonk 2. I am sure Phoonk 3 will not be made." Varma then retorted on Twitter, "I've completed scripting Phoonk 3 and I'm planning to ... Minissha Lamba · Rajnikanth back in ICU · Kunal Khemu and Soha Ali Khan · karishma kapoor and sanjay kapoor · sridevi and boney kapoor · Sanjay Dutt and Manyataa Dutt · Shilpa Shetty and Raj Kundra · Big B praises bureaucrat's first book ...

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Dia de Los Muertos celebration at Hollywood Forever cemetery

Yesterday I attended a Dia De Los Muertos celebration (I'm kicking myself because I forgot my camera!). I have always been fascinated with the Day of the Dead. Although, I am not Catholic (I am Christian) and my family never celebrated this time (I am half Mexican) it has been a day of much beauty, art and spirituality. Their is an extensive history that supports this day. Although I do not believe that the spirits of my dead relatives return to me on the day of the dead I have been able to find meaning in this celebration. The tradition celebrates the dead for the life they lived and also attempts to make the concept of death less taboo.

Being that I have recently lost a dear friend to suicide this event very much assisted me in the grieving process. I am attempting to wrap my brain around the concept of death as I have not experienced it up close and personal until now. Dia de Los Muertos is many things, but mostly it is a time of remembrance.

Below is a more detailed explanation of Dia de Los Muertos (day of the dead).

History of Dia de Los Muertos

Dia De Los Muertos is one of Mexico's traditional holidays reuniting and honoring beloved ancestors, family and friends. It is an ancient and enduring ritual when the living commune with the dead – a mystical night when the veil is lifted between their two realms and they may share a day together.
The historical roots of this celebration date back to the pre-Hispanic cultures of Meso-America of the indigenous people, especially the Nahua (Aztecs, Mayans, Toltecas, Tlaxcaltec, Chichimec, Tecpanec) and others native to Mexico more than 3,000 years. When the Spaniards conquered the country, this indigenous custom was rooted so deeply that, after five centuries of colonization, it has continued to survive and remain as celebrated as in its first days.
Throughout each period in Mexican culture, death seems to hold no terror. In Mexican art, legends, and religion, death has not been a mysterious and fearful presence but a realistic recognizable character as much a part of life as life itself. Dia De Los Muertos expresses this perspective: it is not a mournful commemoration but a happy and colorful celebration where Death takes a lively, friendly expression and is not frightening or strange. There is no place for sorrow or weeping for this could be interpreted as a discourteous to the dead relatives who are visiting gladly.
Indigenous people believed that souls did not die, that they continued living in Mictlán (Place of Death) a special place for them to finally rest. On Dia De Los Muertos, tradition holds that the dead return to earth to visit their living relatives. It is believed that although these relatives can't see them, they can surely feel them.
This night is an important feast and evocation. It is a time when family members share memorable stories that evoke the lives of their ancestors . Offerings and altars are created to welcome and commemorate the dead. Marigolds and incense are offered in abundance because it is believed their aromatic scents guide the dead to the place where the feast is being held. . A profusion of candles dispels the darkness just as the souls are being illuminated from the shadows of death. Altars are created with photos, mementos, fruit, bread, and other favorite things of the ancestors being welcomed and honored. The artifacts of these altars also provide the opportunity to teach children about those who came before them.
Dia De Los Muertos is a time of celebration on remembrance. It is also a time to come to terms with our mortality and become aware of the cycle of life and death. Rather than deny and fear death this event teaches us to accept and contemplate the meaning of mortality.

I attended the 10th annual Dia de Los Muertos celebration at Los Angeles's oldest memorial park, Hollywood Forever. The cemetary has been in existence for 109 years.

This is my first introduction to the beautiful cemetary. As a person who loves graveyards, I can see that I am going to be back to visit.

I learned that Forever Cemetery (located next to Paramount Studios) is the resting place for 100s of former actors.

Photos from this year's celebration have yet to be posted. Here are some amazing images from 2008.

This is an image of a beautiful body of water in the middle of the cemetery. It very much a Pirates of the Caribbean feel!

My friend and I wandered around the cemetery looking at the many many alters around the park. Vendors sold various types of foods and artistry.

Many of the patrons dressed up as Frida Kahlo look alikes or painted their faces to look like skeletons.

The event went well into the evening. In addition to Aztec dancers and various musical artists. We missed the mariachi singers and I was quite glad. I have an appreciation for many different styles of music but I cannot stand Mariachi! The fiesta resistance was Lila Downs!

Lila gave an vibrant performance. I was a mist many drunken dead people dancing to the music! I do enjoy dancing skeletons!

Lila played on the main stage featured above. When different lights hit, the huge calvera skull changed colors. Quite a sight.

Lila Downs performs Agua de Rosas 10/24/09 at the Dia De Los Muertos celebration at the Hollywood Forever cemetery Lila Downs - june 2009 Lila Downs at the 2008 Santa Rosa Harmony Festival singing La Cumbia de Mole What I greatly appreciate about Lila Downs is that she is very much a storyteller. She is passionate about her music and expresses this verbally as well as musically. She explains some of her songs and how tradition plays an important role in the meaning of her music. I don't understand Spanish (and as a half Mexican gal I get plenty of grief from others about this!) but music often transends language. For more information on Lila Downs visit her official website here, her myspace page here , her facebook page here, and her Twitter page here. The celebration at Hollywood Forever was my first Day of the Dead event that I have ever attended. The friend I went with usually goes to Olvero Street. Olvera Street is a colorful village that holds 27 historic buildings with a traditional Mexican style plaza area. My mother and father would take me to Olvero Street as a child, on occassion. This is actually probably the only exposure I had to Mexican culture growing up. The marketplace features shops for handcrafted Mexican wares and traditional Mexican food. All and all I'd say that yesterday was a success. I surely plan on participating in more events next year. As I walked into the cemetery park last night, I wondered how many who participated actually celebrate Day of the Dead seriously. I certainly do not celebrate in quite the traditional was as some do. Perhaps some use it as an excuse to have a party and it may be a cult followed tradition for others. I love sugar skulls, I love the artwork and the music. Of course it is a good time. However, I think that I am taking the time to examine not so much what Day of the Dead means to me and how I would define it, but what life and death really means to me. I think it will be an ongoing journey for me.
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