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There was a time in my not too distant past when the very prospect of kids Trick or Treating on Halloween would have had me angrily shouting about American cultural imperialism.

Maybe I’m mellowing. This past weekend the Bentleigh Shopping Centre organised a Halloween dress-up. Many participated, including my own children (though I didn’t organise it). Jeremy dressed up as a pirate. Isaac was a Dementor from Harry Potter, though the weather was warm and his all-over face mask was made of thin material through which some of his hair poked, making him a somewhat sweaty, hairy Dementor.

And earlier tonight, which is after all your actual Halloween, there was a knock at the door, and two kids dressed in costume presented themselves and proclaimed “Trick or treat!”

Did somebody tell them about my secret Freddo Frog stash or something?

Perhaps it’s just that kind of neighbourhood where the kids roam the street on Halloween. I didn’t spot their parents lurking nearby, but maybe they were crouching behind the bushes keeping an eye on things.

At least their proclamation wasn’t in an annoying or demanding tone. So I got them each a Freddo and sent them on their way.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

8 replies on “Halloween”

No trick or treaters here tonight, thank gawd.

Luckily you weren’t one of the local old pervs who would’ve been the ones their parents would have been alarmed about! gawd!

We Americans aren’t the only ones who go trick-or-treating. I spent a fantastic Halloween in Ontario a couple of years ago. We were in a small town and it seemed that everyone was out. It was quite a party atmosphere. I loved seeing the different candy there compared to here. Sour Cherry Blasters and Oh Henry bars were big, as were hickory sticks, which we call shoestring potatoes. We don’t give out bags of chips (crisps) for Halloween here. So don’t hate Halloween for being American. Think of it as Canadian if you have to. But really, it’s just fun, no matter where it came from.

Sorry Daniel (and Amy), but Halloween is US imperialism. The only reason it has taken off here is due to US TV shows and commercialism as stores try to cash in on it. And some “trick-or-treating” kids get aggressive when you don’t have candy (sorry, lollies) to give them. Although the Harry Potter influence is a good thing!!

My kids went trick-or-treating last night. I must admit I am not entirely for it, but hell, I got a fair bit of overflow of stuff they didn’t like, so it’s a winner now!! Up here in the bush, I was confident in letting them roam. I’m sorry to hear that’s a major worry in the smoke. I understand why, and it would be silly to be blase, but it’s still sad kids can’t so this sort of thing without parents looking out for predators :-((

We looked after the kids that dropped in here too, and they were all *very* polite, which was nice.

hmmm the Aussie kids don’t know what “trick or treat?” even actually means! it’s good if they actually dress up and don’t demand… but it really isnt celebrated properly over here – it’d be damn cool if it was, for a laugh.

I’m inclined to agree with the above sentiments about this celebration, but I guess we let the kids watch the telly in the first place. We gave out a few sweeties last night to the kids who came. I was wandering about later watering some plants that have been displaced by recent renovations. It involved walking with a bucket of water along the footpath beside our house. A big group of kids came past and yelled “trick or treat” at me. I said “would you like the trick”? and pointed at the bucket. They didn’t get it – but I was tempted for a moment!

I’m amazed anyone would trust any kind of food given to them by strangers.

In any case, Halloween – and specifically trick or treating – is NOT done in Australia… never has been. Sure, there might be one or two kids in an entire neighbourhood that might try it… but it has otherwise never been something we know anything of other than seeing it on TV. To that end, frankly, it’s somewhat rude to be knocking on people’s doors imposing something we don’t know or understand.

I’ve only ever once had kids knock on the door, and to be honest it put me in an awkward position that I didn’t appreciate. In the end I decided not to be rude to the kids so dug and dug and dug and dug and dug through my cupboards to find something to give them… and eventually found a jar with a handful of lollies left in it. Gave them to the kids and off they went… when I later tell my fiance I only then discover those lollies were YEARS, and I mean YEARS, old… making my awkward and uncomfortable situation now full of guilt…

I find the whole thing stupid – we either need to embrace it or not… having 0.0002% of the population involving the other 99.9998% of us in something we don’t do makes no sense.

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