Bentleigh Culture News and events

Halloween approaches

Just after I moved to my current address, I noted that some of the local kids went Trick Or Treating for Halloween. It’s been the same in subsequent years, and I fully expect the same next week.

I’ve decided that while I’m not into cultural imperialism and the adaption of American traditions to Australia, this is something I’m happy enough to support on the basis that it’s a good way to meet some of the neighbours.

In fact I’m seriously considering getting some fake pumpkins from the $2 shop and putting them up in the doorway to flag that we’re joining in. And I’m wondering if my kids want to have a go… perhaps the Dalek costume Jeremy built for my sister’s 40th birthday (theme: Best of British) might get another outing.

What’s the situation in other neighbourhoods?

  • About 24 per cent of Australians plan to celebrate Halloween this year, according to McCrindle Research. Social analysts suggest the commercialisation of the event is behind its growing popularity.The Age today

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.

9 replies on “Halloween approaches”

Nar. If a Dalek came to my door I’d shoot him with a ray gun.
I do accept your point about meeting the neighbours (albeit kids).

Great idea, and once you’ve got to know the neighbours you can invite them all to your Independence Day BBQ next 4/7 (sorry, I mean 7/4) :)

“Social analysts suggest the commercialisation of the event is behind its growing popularity. ”

But what other reason would there be?

Please don’t encourage it.

At my mother’s house in Qld, the local kids used Halloween as an excuse to paper the house. Nice. But, that aside and having just come back from the UK where it is a pretty major event, I like the idea of Halloween. Except, it just doesn’t feel natural in Spring!

I’m not personally big on Halloween to start with but I don’t have any issue with others celebrating it.

Halloween wasn’t even American to start with. They just grabbed it and ran with it. Now if Thanksgiving turned up, that would be a whole different story.

We live in Alphington, and it is a big deal here. We do join in, but I don’t like it. Bring back Guy Fawkes day!

I’ve celebrated Halloween the last few years in Australia. Not by trick or treating or anything, simply by attending some very rowdy and fun parties where everyone dresses up in something ghoulish. However, being in Toronto around Halloween has made me realise how much bigger it is in North America.

There are streets that are decorated as much as the most fully decked out Christmas Streets of Australia. 10ft poles of Pumpkins skewered on top of each other in peoples front yards; giant inflatable Frankenstein monsters attached to roofs; jack-o-laterns everywhere; shops, bars, cafes, etc decorated inside and out: and its been like this for weeks.

The parties I attended over the weekend were fun, although the costumes were far less dedicated to the “scary” and seemed to be much more about dressing up like whatever you felt like, with an emphasis on the sexy and skimpy if you were a girl. Personally I didn’t enjoy that aspect. I much prefer the scary and spooky theme that seems to dominate costumes at home.

I believe on Tuesday I’ll be joining some other Australian friends for some pumpkin carving so we have something to put out the front when the kids come trick and treating Wednesday night (assuming Sandy doesn’t leave Toronto a wet and windy wasteland Wednesday night… try saying that 10 times fast).

The description of celebrating Haloween as “cultural imperialism” is worrisome in itself, I feel.

Instead, I see the concept simply as part of multiculturalism.

If you’re turned off by American culture, while having oodles of tolerance for any other minority’s culture, then a discriminatory edge is emerging.

We either embrace all, or none.

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