Just like any other old tradition, Halloween is now deteriorating. It’s not about celebrating the end of harvest season anymore. That originality and pureness had long gone when people started to feel that it’s more fun to celebrate Halloween as a costume party. That’s not entirely wrong, since [according to Wikipedia] the Gaelic culture believed that on October 31, the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead overlapped and the deceased would come back to life and caused havoc such as sickness or damaged crops. Costumes and masks were worn in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits. So there’s the relation.
More and more, with the global commercialization and all, the costumes are mainly Hollywood-related. Princess this, lady that, captain this, and superhero that. What good is a costume if you don’t wear or put on the appropriate make ups, right? Well, this is when I think it gets a little too much. Moms who go too far by make up-ing their daughters like a young adults. “Well she’s a vampire princess. We got her outfit and the tiara at Walmart. I chose the burgundy eye shadows and lipstick so it goes perfectly with her dress,” one of my coworkers bragged about her 9 year old girl. She showed us a picture of her daughter (who is really pretty even without makeups) with the outfit and continued, “She loved her look so much, she asked if I can do her make up the next day. I said, no honey, not on a school day.” Phew! At least she’s sane enough not to ‘decorate’ her daughter for school.
When I took my kids to my son’s daycare costume party, I saw a girl -I bet she’s 9 or 10- who dressed like a punk girl. Black leather-like skirt and jacket, fish net stockings, black lipstick, and purple eye shadows. To top it off, she had some pink/purple hair extensions as well. I thought she was trying to look like Avril Lavigne or something. But when I heard one of the teachers asked her who she’s supposed to be, she said, “I’m a diva.” Omygawd…
Then I got to think that I was probably not being fair and square. In Indonesia, we celebrate ‘Kartini Day’ where we celebrate the birthday of Raden Ajeng Kartini; Indonesia’s national heroine. There’s no similarity with Western-style Halloween but the dress up part. No, we don’t dress up as Barbie or Super Man. Schoolchildren in Indonesia celebrate it by wearing national/traditional costumes. And yes, some kids put on some make ups and tried to be a grown up for a day. Sad.
Back to Halloween. The only reason I like it is because I like seeing little ones dressed up in cute costumes. Age-related costumes, mind you. I don’t care so much for the candies or chocolates. The kids do, I know that. Other than the costume, it’s like the second important reason they like Halloween.
The other fun part of Halloween (or, supposedly) is the trick-or-treating. Only, it has gotten less fun now with some malls/shopping areas doing trick or treats too. Where is the fun? All you need to do is drive to the mall, take your kids in, join others, prepare your plastic sack or bag, go in line to collect the goodies from the stores. It’s so… automated. Few Halloweens ago, Davi was asked to do a trick by an old guy before she could get any candy. So she told him a knock-knock joke. My coworker told us that her 8 year old granddaughter made everybody laugh by doing a neat trick. She told them that she could do a hand stand. The trick part is, she put both of her hand under her feet (she’s squating!). My kids were kind of bummed this year too because nobody had asked them to do tricks. They’ve been learning some gymnastic moves and memorized some jokes and they were so geared up to do these tricks. After the 7th house we visited, my son whispered to me, “Mom… nobody asked me to do tricks yet.” And I told him, “That’s OK hun, they’re probably amazed on your salutation.” Dante dressed as a cowboy and [when he remembered] he would say, “Howdy! Trick or treat?” and take his hat off like a cowboy would do.
As we were walking around the neighborhood, hubby stayed home for the trick or treaters who visit. He told me that he had some rude teenagers who just grabbed the goodies in a hurry and ran off. No exciting “Trick or treat!” or polite “Thank you” anymore. Some of these rascals even complained on our selection of goodies. Those bastards.
Happy Halloween, everybody!