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Stateside with Rosalea: Dia De Los Muertos

Stateside with Rosalea

Dia De Los Muertos

All work and no play? No way, Jose!

It's Sunday, 31st October here under the cloudless skies of Fruitvale, California, where pumpkins and marigolds have met with horrifying fates. The first have been hacked with knives and the second have been torn apart by hand.

Not that there's many carved pumpkins around here, but that's a Halloween thing and tonight is Halloween. The following two days, however, are given over to the Days of the Dead. On 1 November, the souls of children come back to feast on the goodies that have been left for them and learn how they have not been forgotten; and on 2 November it's the souls of departed adults who do likewise. The altars that families make for these visitors are liberally decorated with marigolds, either whole or as a golden confetti of petals.

The celebration of Dia De Los Muertos that has taken place in Fruitvale for the past nine years is the largest family-oriented, non-alcoholic festival in the area - with an estimated 85,000 people in attendance and five stages of entertainment. But to heck with words, tomorrow I hope to have some photos to share with you of this abundance of happiness and fun. This mixture of Aztec dancers and bare-chested guitarists. This visual confusion of Halloween costume and traditional Mexican garb.

Here's a website to whet your appetite: http://www.unitycouncil.org/dia2004/

Oh, and notice down the right-hand side of it the number of media outlets that are vying for the Latino audience. In a news item about the oldest hard rock station in a nearby media market changing its format just last Friday, the San Jose Mercury News reported Clear Channel Communications Regional Vice President Ed Krampf as saying: "The fastest part of the market is Latin, and rock is having trouble. Young white kids are listening to hip-hop, and the other young segment is Hispanic. ... Sometimes you just have to move on."

So much for those old rockers trying to get the youth vote out for Senor Kerry.

-ENDS-

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