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November 29, 2010 / Megan Taros

Day of the Dead mends race relations for one woman

Mom and daughter with painted faces at Day of the Dead festival

A mother and her daughter show off their Day of the Dead face paint at the Mission Cultural Center during its Day of the Dead celebration on Nov. 2.

This year, I went on a new Day of the Dead adventure–exploring the Mission District with some friends and friends of theirs. A woman named Emily Steffensen–pale, blue-eyed blonde–who attended with us began talking to me about her favorite day of the year: Dia De Los Muertos. Steffensen has lived in Mexico, specifically Playa Del Carmen, a few months at a time for study abroad and has found a deep connection with the Latino culture. The celebration we attended was put on by the Marigold Project and is hosted by the Mission Cultural Center. While she and I found a few shortcomings in San Francisco’s version of the event, both of us being bigger fans of Olvera Street’s annual display, in this soundslide, she discusses her relationship with the Mexican culture and why she, despite not being the “usual suspect” for good race relations with Latinos, finds comfort and joy in it.

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