Coco Gives Mexican Stereotypes a Cocotazo ("hit on the head")
Happy Holidays to you all. I hope you’re celebrating as many holidays as you can! Celebrating is for all of us, and the more we know about one another’s traditions, the more connected we feel!
Before we talk about Navidad, we have something else to discuss. Did you all see the movie Coco? Holy amazing movie!!
We saw Coco at our yearly foray to the movies the day after Thanksgiving! I’m so glad we spent our $30 on Coco because it’s one of the most important movies I’ve ever seen.
Pixar outdid themselves, yes. The animation was superb, but what I loved about the movie was the cultural lessons Coco provided. The characters’ stories were developed with Dia de los Muertos as a backdrop, and there was a heartwarming story of following your dreams and staying true to your heart. Also, I was so happy to find out from my friend, Maceo, of Booklandia Spanish language books subscription boxes, that Coco was also produced in Spanish!
Here’s my top 5 takeaways that children (of all ages) effortlessly learned about this important Mexican holiday and Mexico in general.
- Dia de los Muertos is a holiday during which we celebrate our ancestors (los muertos).
- The way that we honor them is by putting up their pictures on the ofrenda (altar) and by cooking their favorite foods, which could be tamales, empanadas, enchiladas and more.
- The only way that the ancestors can visit the living is by having their picture on the ofrenda. This was portrayed beautifully in the movie by showing a large bridge between the world of the dead and the world of the living. There is a charming border crossing scene in which the officers check to see whether there’s a picture up at any family members’ ofrenda. If there’s no photo up, they can’t cross over the bridge to visit.
- If no one puts up a picture of an ancestor on the ofrenda and doesn’t talk about him/her anymore, that relative will soon be forgotten.
- Honoring one’s family is one of the cornerstones of life in Mexican culture.
I hope that you will see the movie if you haven’t already! It’s a very uplifting movie and it portrays Mexican culture in a beautiful and positive light, which is much needed these days!