Thursday, August 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

The sweet lessons of sugar skulls

I signed the Little Girl up for an adult art class centered on aspects of the Mexican Day of the Dead, which is Wednesday. It’s close enough to her heritage, and I wanted to start teaching her about her ancestral Mayans.

The sweet lessons of sugar skulls

I signed the Little Girl up for an adult art class centered on aspects of the Mexican Day of the Dead, which is Wednesday.  It’s close enough to her heritage, and I wanted to start teaching her about her ancestral Mayans.

She painted three sugar skulls – egg whites and sugar mixed and hardened into skull molds – without fear or squeamishness. In her mind, she thought of loved ones who died, people and animals. Even at 7, my baby has ghosts.

She was the only child in the class of seven women. They were kind and solicitous, and praised her efforts. This was a good day, and helped provide depth to Halloween.

Now she knows it’s not just about costumes and candy, although, to be honest, she’d tell you that it certainly is mostly about that. We’ll take baby steps on the integration of cultural knowledge into her life.

It’s hard for an Italian from Brooklyn to impart someone else’s history. But that’s part of the job, right?

 

Alfred Lubrano Inquirer Columnist
About this blog
A New York City native, Lubrano has written for newspapers since 1980. He's the author of a book, "Limbo: Blue-collar roots, white-collar dreams," and was a commentator for National Public Radio for 16 years. His work has appeared in various national magazines and anthologies. He lives with his daughter in South Jersey, and has worked for the Inquirer since 1995. Reach Alfred at alubrano@phillynews.com.

Alfred Lubrano Inquirer Columnist
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com
Stay Connected