Well, it’s November 2nd and nearly the end of it (I’m on the west coast, so we do everything late). That means it’s a Hot Election Night and it’s Dia de los Muertos. No, I’m not going to twitter my reactions to the polls – that’s what cable news networks are for! In any case, I plan to get my election fill via Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, because I love them, but more so because I work in the newsroom at KBOO 90.7 FM: that means the news is always grim and I could use a good laugh. So I’m going to share a couple of fun internet finds for you:
Election night makes me nostalgic for the DC life I used to have: During the presidential election, I had just moved to DC so I voted absentee from IL (where my vote counted, anyways). The entire city was out partying (as was Chicago, I remember seeing Grant Park on tv, in a rage of envy) and it was impressive how many free drinks were going around on a weeknight. I’m not denying it was a particularly special day in history, but election time is always fun and exciting (even if the results don’t … work in your favor).
Last week I had written a post about my frustrations with bigotry in the news. So, thanks to Sepia Mutiny, I heard about this great story of a Sikh cab driver organizing rides for voters to get to the polls in New York. It’s a really a great story (I work in the newsroom at a community radio station which means the news is always grim), so go check it out! Thanks, Sepia Mutiny and rock on, Harpreet Singh Toor!
Now on to Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead: This happens Nov. 1st and 2nd of every year at the same time as the Catholic All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. Loved ones gather to celebrate those who have passed on by making altars, food, sugary sweets (in the form of skulls), and partying. Scholars trace the origins of the modern holiday to indigenous observances dating back thousands of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to a goddess called Mictecacihuatl.
Chicago typically has great events going on for Dia de los Muertos The National Museum of Mexican Art has a great Day of the Dead exhibit going on (since September 30) that you should definitely check out. Last Saturday, the Chicago Sinfionetta celebrated with a concert. The Huffington Post has a great collection of photos commemorating the holiday. And of course, I have a sample of Rana Santacruz giving a tiny desk concert at NPR Music.
Finally, I came to learn that Gallaudet University in Washington DC will be hosting the World Deaf Cinema Festival on Nov. 4-7th, hosting big names like Marlee Matlin (a Chicago-native). I realize this is an unfortunately far commute for most of us, but keep your eyes open: there could be similar cool events in the pipeline in Chicago. Chicago is home to some great organizations such as the Illinois Deaf Latino Association (and this is the same great organization that gave me my name-sign!) and they’ll be celebrating their ten year anniversary later this month!
That’s everything for tonight. Stay tuned for more this week with Diwali celebrations beginning on Friday!