Wednesday, October 21, 2015

No Halloween? No Way!!

As Halloween approaches, I have been hearing news of schools banning Halloween parades and citing cultural diversity as a reason.


Naturally, many parents have taken up the issue and there are many comments about sending immigrants back where they came from, etc etc.

With the immigration issue already looming large and leaving the nation divided, this is bound to create more bad blood. So here I am, a first generation immigrant, telling it as I see it.

I Love Halloween.

I LOVE Halloween.

And I'm not just saying it. Every year, for the past 8 years that I have been here, I too dress up and go trick or treating with my kids. I'm no lover of candy. Yup, lost my sweet tooth somewhere long ago, but I still love to create new costumes and new looks.

My kids have grown up with a healthy love for Halloween too. We have prolonged discussions about their costumes for the year. And here's the thing - I don't think it's just me. Every Halloween I give out a LOT of candy to kids who come to my door, and many of them are immigrants too.

The saying 'When in Rome...' is very true. If you have decided to make your life in a country other than the one you grew up in, you must embrace the new way of living. You don't need to change your religion or eat foods that you don't want to. You don't have to forget your own culture.

But don't restrict your children from experiences that don't harm them. And if you do feel strongly about not celebrating Halloween, please take the time to explain your reasons to your children. Teach them to accept and respect the traditions of others.

Cultural Diversity does not imply stopping your own traditions to accommodate others. It means teaching your children to respect other traditions even though you don't follow them. Even my mom, who is in her 60s, decided to jump into the Halloween fever with enthusiasm.

We figured Dad looked scary enough on his own that he wouldn't need any costume! Ha ha.

And one year, we decided to give the kids an extra reason to don their Halloween costumes - we had a Halloween themed birthday party!

I am proud that my children celebrate Halloween with the same gusto as they celebrate Holi - our very own festival of colors. Aren't Tolerance and Empathy the most important traditions we can teach our children ?

To all my readers, far and wide, I declare that I find Halloween to be one of the most fascinating holidays ever. I hate spooky. You will never convince me to watch a horror movie. I never want to enter a haunted house (even one that I know is make-believe).

But I love Halloween. This year I was ready for it early too.

Want to know what my kids will be dressing up as this year ? I will be revealing it on my Facebook page Decorating 4 Kids. So I hope you will visit me there too.

Which reminds me...I should get on with the costume making. My daughter comes back from school everyday with the same question on her lips, "Did you finish my costume today?"

Happy Halloween to one and all.

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