Every year Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) honors the life and remembrance of those who have passed on from the physical earth and welcome them back from the spirit world. Traditionally observed in Mexico and across Latinamerica, it is a celebration that has spread around the world via ofrendas (offerings) and altars as a vessel for connection. Full of cempasúchil (marigolds), sugar skulls, candles, photos, personal belongings, and favorite foods of the deceased, altars represent an invitation for the souls of our loved ones to return between November 1-2 and serve as a reminder to embrace life.
The commercialization of Día de Muertos has taken flight over the last several years. With films like Coco and The Book of Life introducing the celebration that is rooted in indigenous practice to the masses. While this may be a point of contention with many who do not agree with the colonization of the observation, it is appreciation for life through the acknowledgment of death that enriches those who learn about Día de Muertos.
By honoring loved ones through death, they continue to live and we continue to learn about their lives and their contributions.
In honor of this year’s Día de Muertos, Doritos México has taken an inclusive approach at sharing about the tradition while showing support for the LGBTQ+ community. In an animation that has now gone viral with over 2.5 million views on YouTube, Doritos tells the story of a family who visits the resting place of a loved one on Day of the Dead. When his spirit appears to the family they also see that the spirit of another man accompanies him from the afterlife. This is a man, who he introduces to the family as his partner.
Here is the translation of the video:
A family approaches the grave of their loved one.
Grandma: Brother, how I miss you.
The spirit of Alberto appears.
Daughter: Uncle Alberto!
Alberto: Hi, family! How are you?
Primario emerges from behind Alberto.
Son: Who is that?
Alberto: This is Primario…my partner.
Alberto and Primario clasp hands.
Grandma: It’s a miracle! I thought this guy would spend eternity alone.
Everyone laughs and smiles.
End title: It’s never too late to be who you are.
Cue the waterworks.
While the video is short and simple, it sheds light on the reality that so many LGBTQ+ individuals go through life without the proper support or acknowledgment of their identity from their loved ones. A reminder to love people for who they are and celebrate them in life while we have them.
And for those who have gone too soon, honor them, in the way you feel is best. Stay connected and from their departure, learn to live.