Monday, October 31, 2005

Where's Halloween?

Happy Halloween!

It’s another U.S. holiday and I’m feeling nostalgic.

Alas, no Hogwarts wizard or witch wannabes, no Draculas or Cinderellas will be ringing my doorbell for candy bars tonight. While some English-language institutes may talk about goblins and "sweets" today, Roberto and I won’t be going to any Haunted Houses or costume parties tonight. In the morning, there won’t be a single bough graced by toilet paper or a single sidewalk adorned with fluorescent wormy squiggles.

Halloween isn't celebrated in South America, and if the fearless leader to the North, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, has his way, it never will be. Today's Buenos Aires Herald quotes him saying that Halloween is just one more form of U. S. terrorism, and strongly cautioned Latin Americans against permitting such a cultural invasion.

But, hey, I’d like an invasion tonight! What could be more fun that seeing neighborhood children come to my door dressed in their fantasies--and helping fill their bags full of all those things your dentist and mother warn you against? Now I have absolutely no excuse to have a big bowl of Hershey’s miniature, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and more. Besides, the last few years I switched to regular-size bars to encourage the parade of vampires, pirates, princesses, and fairies to trek all the way up to my house at the top of the hill in my little Finger Lakes village. It was worth it to see upstate New York kids (and their moms and dads) brave the snowflakes in order to get their treats. . . and see what the most popular get-ups were and offer two bars for the few really original costumes.

My special pumpkin carving kit sits unused, rusting in the shed. Sadly, I’ve yet to see a nice big gourd for carving a Jack-o-lantern here. Besides, it’s spring, fields are turning green. No mazes of corn or straw bales in the countryside, just acres of soy and wheat. (I'm glad my daughter took me to the Halfmoon Bay Pumpkin festival in California a few weeks ago, with a stop-off for a really good maze!)

Latin America sure doesn’t need any more terrorism, whether US-based or homegrown, but I really have to disagree with Chavez. This is one holiday that Argentinians could get into—and possibly improve. This holiday is about fantasies. Parties. Chocolate. Argentines love to party. . . and they love sweets. Perhaps it’s just a matter of years before a mini-Eva Peron or Martin Fierro comes a-knocking at my door. . . and you know I'll be ready.

In fact, just in case someone happens by tonight, I'm going to the store now to stock up on chocolate bars--the big ones!

1 comment:

noel said...

Hmm.. I didn't know that Halloween isn't celebrated in South America.

Its fun actually and kids get fun too.