Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dia de los Muertos

November 2nd was Dia de las Muertos - the day of the dead. Henry's Spanish teacher invited all of the 4th graders over to her home that evening to make bate-bate (chocolate) and to get their faces painted before the procession down in the mission. As you can see, most the kids were not particularly keen on the whole skeletal face-painting part. However, chocolate was consumed.

November 2 was so close to the elections that when we got down to the Mission to wait for the parade, there was a whole group of people trying to get the vote out for "No on 8" - the proposition that opposed gay marriage. You can see the sign in the background. Before too long - - the kids were all wearing "No on 8" stickers and had started their own unique chant. For 30 minutes or more the kids yelled, "No on 8! Yes on Tacos!" Don't ask me or any of them where the taco part came from - - but soon enough the whole crowd was chanting it. The lead woman of the No on 8 coalition put a call in to several other "cells" that were operating around SF and soon enough we could hear, "No on 8! Yes on Tacos" from as far away as Oakland. Amazing.

Last night I got an email from the lead woman, Lacy, who wrote, " LOVED dancing/ screaming in the streets and would really appreciate the photos if available. Also, I would like to find out where the children attend school and stop by with tacos sometime in the next week if appropriate. I can not even begin to express what that night did for all of us...the story has been told at EVERY possible opportunity, and we've even created a "facebook group" in memory. It provided the motivation and push that was needed at a very difficult and exhausting time...thanks for the lift!! "

How great is that? Unfortunately, the chant had no magical powers and the Prop passed in CA. I do not often make political statements - - but, I just have to make the following observation: What kind of people can vote simultaneously to oppose gay marriage, to oppose a requirement that children under the age of 14 notify their parents to get consent for an abortion and then passes legislation to improve the living conditions of chickens, pigs and other farm animals who's rights are being denied? Yup, that'd be California. Aren't we proud?

On a lighter note, here's some other photos of the procession and some of the characters we saw:

These are the zombies chanting for the dead. They plunk down in the street and apparently this chant encourages living people to lay down and play dead...

Here are the living people playing dead. Henry is in the green fleece towards the left of the photo. This cracked him up!

A dead musician...

And what would a procession be without the nod to Hello Kitty??? My favorite of the night!

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