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Is Day of the Dead too Americanized?




Elaborately decorated skulls are crafted from pure sugar and given to friends as gifts. The colorful designs represent the vitality of life and individual personality.
Elaborately decorated skulls are crafted from pure sugar and given to friends as gifts. The colorful designs represent the vitality of life and individual personality.
Karen Castillo Farfán/NPR

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Prepping for Halloween? It's probably a good bet that some of you will have costumes that include colorfully painted skulls, or dancing skeletons. 

If you do - you should know those images originate from Dia De Los Muertos, the Mexican Day of the Dead, a religious and cultural holiday of family remembrance which begins on Sunday night. 

Each year there seems to more and more of this imagery around - even mainstream craft stores like Michael's stock a vast array of products.      

But some people of Mexican ancestry are wondering - has it gone too far? When does this embrace of the holiday become commercialized appropriation?

Lalo Alcaraz, Chicano writer, satirical cartoonist and creator of La Cucaracha,  the first nationally-syndicated, politically-themed Latino daily comic strip, came in to the studio to give us his take on the subject.

You can listen to the audio of the segment above, and find more about Lalo and his work here.