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Families get chance to learn about Mexican culture

PUBLISHED: 11:43 08 November 2010

Graciela Mursell teaches children to cook at the Mexican Day of the Dead Fiesta! at Sainsbury Centre, Norwich.

Graciela Mursell teaches children to cook at the Mexican Day of the Dead Fiesta! at Sainsbury Centre, Norwich.

Archant © 2010

There were sugared skeletons, ghost stories and shrines to the dead, but it was more of a carnival atmosphere than a scary one for those taking part in a special event to mark the Mexican Day of the Dead in Norwich yesterday.

The event at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia was a chance for families to learn first hand how Mexicans celebrate the traditional festival, which normally takes place on November 2.

Children had the chance to watch a traditional Mexican folk dance and also make colourful buntings, marigold flowers and a ritual “eye of the God” to take home.

Graciela Sanchez de Mursell, from the teaching team Mexicolore, said that unlike Halloween, the day was more of a celebration of the brief return of absent relatives, than a day to frighten people and families would celebrate by setting out food for their lost loved ones and give each sugared skulls as presents to eat.

“It’s a really traditional festival which goes back thousands of years,” she said. “The idea is that we dance and we want to have a good time.”

Emily Ward, education and events officer at the Sainsbury Centre, said there had been a lot of interest in the event.

“It’s gone really well and we have had a lot of people taking part in the activities,” she said.

Above: Graciela Mursell teaches children to cook at the Mexican Day of the Dead Fiesta at Sainsbury Centre, Norwich. Left, youngsters get musical at the event. photos: andy darnell

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