A hoard of students followed to the College of American Indian Studies director Craig Stone to the burial grounds on campus located on Beach Dr. as one is entering campus from Bellflower Blvd.
Students followed Stone to the burial grounds while leaving a path of marigold flowers behind and singing traditional songs from the tribes that previously lived on the land as part of La Raza’s celebration of Dia de los Muertos on Thursday.
“We are the first university established for the reburial of American Indians,” Stone said during the event.
Dia de Los Muertos is a holiday celebrated in Mexico and Central American countries to celebrate their ancestors and the lives they left behind.
Many of those in attendance of La Raza’s event came from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds to enjoy Latinx culture in the form of music, food and art. Latinx is a gender-neutral term used to replace Latino and Latina pronouns. The term is used to be more inclusive as to disregard any gender affiliation.
“I feel like this event brings a lot of people to campus regardless of culture,” said Veronica Ortega, fourth-year Chicano studies major.
Aside from students, local artists enjoy these cultural events as it gives them a chance to showcase their work and sell it to those looking to add more art to their personal collections.
“I started showing my art through events like these. It is such a good way to network and make friends,” said Jackie Hernandez, local artist and second-year drawing and painting major.
Stefania Gallo, Long Beach native and provider for the Latinx music of Thursday night’s event, examined how Mexico celebrates this holiday compared to her nation of Columbia.
“In Columbia, Dia de los Muertos is structured religiously,” Gallo said. “Mexican Dia de los Muertos is different and it’s helped me gain a new perspective on death and rebirth.”
The Dia de Los Muertos event gave students a chance to reach out to their loved ones and show love for the ones they had lost but not forgotten.