Nu Alpha Kappa, in collaboration with other organizations of the Latino Greek Council, decided to show the UCLA community a little taste of the Latin@ tradition by hosting a Día de los Muertos altar. The altar was held on November 2 in order to promote cultural awareness on campus. The sacred holiday is a syncretic blend of indigenous traditions and of Catholicism: All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.
Nu Alpha Kappa’s mission seeks to unite and involve all students in a more harmonious and brotherly atmosphere through academic, social, and cultural means. This is an effort that creates interfacing among students of different backgrounds in order to improve relations amongst students and the community.
Despite attending UCLA for three years now, Oscar Mateo, a member of NAK, feels there is a lack of cultural awareness on campus. Oscar Mateo stated, “You hardly see any Latino students, so [the altar] is for us to give them [Latin@ students] […] a more familiar and comfortable setting on campus.”
The sacred Mexican holiday confronts death through celebrations, festivals, and parades. It also involves reuniting with family and friends to remember the lives of loved ones.
For many, the altar was barely visible, but for some of our Latin@s peers, the altar brought back the nostalgic memories of being back home.