Halloween originally emerged to signal the beginning of “Allhallowtide”, a time in the Western Christian liturgical calendar dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints, martyrs and loved ones. Now, however, Halloween is a more secular tradition and, oddly, its celebration (or lack thereof) in Australia has become an incredibly debatable topic. On the one hand, we have the people who don’t see the harm of dressing up for the evening and making their way around the neighbourhood for an hour or two. On the other hand, oh… don’t even start.
The question: Halloween or “Hell no”-ween?
Happy Halloween! Okay, I can see you rolling your eyes, but just hear me out for a minute. Why do Australian’s have such a problem with the idea of Halloween? The main argument I’ve heard is that it’s “too American”, but I am extremely confused by this.
When did “too American” become a bad thing, or something that Australian’s weren’t into? When Taylor Swift released 1989, did we all say “Nah, can’t listen to it, she’s too American”? When Apple released the iPhone 6S, did we all say “Nah, can’t buy it, it’s too American”? Of course not! A lot of our traditions hark back to Britain and America.
I mean, if you’re happy to send a Christmas card that has pictures of snow and reindeers on it, or gorge yourself on chocolate at Easter, but not happy when you see children trick or treating on Halloween, then you’ve got a serious double-standard. I say it’s time to embrace the holiday, organise costumes, and have a bit of fun.
Paroksh, don’t even try and tell me I’m wrong.
Yes, I will roll my eyes and yes, I will scoff at you if you say that you want to go trick or treating. My opposition to the celebration of Halloween is threefold:
Firstly, I respond to the point raised regarding America. I am a staunch misanthrope of American cultural imperialism. I disagree with the idea of seeing a need to borrow tradition from outside when we’ve such rich and vibrant roots ourselves. Why do we not celebrate Aboriginal festivals rather than such a morbid, American concept?
Secondly, Halloween, as a thematic subject, is incredibly tacky. Lots of plastic and weirdly displeasing colours. Compare this to our celebrations for Melbourne Cup, which are the epitome of chic and panache. One is all the class, the other is mere crass.
Thirdly, we do not need any other reason to feed the children of our nation more junk food. The obesity crisis shows no signs of subsidence. Why stroll around the neighbourhood being fed lollies when you could dig into a tasty, fresh fruit salad and head down to the oval to kick a footy? Make good choices, children.
My dearest Maeve, I think we’ll just have to agree to disagree.