12/18(Tue.) Halloween in the 21st Century (Host: Georgia)

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註冊時間: 週三 11月 07, 2007 11:49 pm

12/18(Tue.) Halloween in the 21st Century (Host: Georgia)

文章 Georgia »

I still remember my first Halloween. It was my first year in the U.S., when I was barely 8 years old. My family and I lived in an apartment where all residents were students of Johns Hopkins University and their families. Kids of an Australian family became familiar with us as we lived right across the hall, just two steps away. My sister, my little brother and I used to hang out with them almost every day after school.

On the day of Halloween, they handed out candy corns, ghost-shaped lollipops and pumpkin-shaped chocolate to each kid at school, and kids who could afford Halloween costumes went to school dressed up as their favorite characters like Frankenstein, a mummy, or a superhero (back in the 80s, it was either Superman, Batman or Spiderman). I thought that was all, until when I got home with my sister, the Australian girl across the hall came knocking on our door to invite us go trick-or-treating with them. It was a very last-minute thing, so we wore the best clothes we could find, and pinned a beach towel around my brother's neck so he can be a hero that wore a cape. We fanned out in the entire neighborhood, knocked from door to door, floor to floor. We pretty much covered every inch in the building, and went home with our bags filled with all kinds of candy. That was my first experience of getting/demanding something for free. I was just a kid, and it was all fun.

As I grew older, I started to remember a few more bits and pieces of that wondrous night. Some neighbors didn't want to open the door even though we could hear them on the other side of the door. Some neighbors opened the door but politely asked us to leave them in peace since they didn't plan to give out free candies. Maybe not everyone was comfortable with the tradition. But the good thing was that no one really ever pranked their neighbors when they're not home or didn't have candies to give. At least that didn't happen on our street while I stayed there.

Nevertheless, the traditions of Halloween seem to have accelerated over decades of "evolving." When it comes to Halloween costumes, it's a competition where some people would go to great lengths to be the life of the party. And as trick or treat goes, not only empty houses or those who refuse to hand out candies get egged or TPed (toilet papered), whoever wasn't satisfied with the candies they received might also do the same-it's a battle field for adults on that night as you cannot go unprepared, snack-wise, and you have to decorate your house like the way you do Christmas, but spooky. Still a competition.

A few months ago when Americans were celebrating Halloween across the nation, some people received backlash due to their poor taste in costumes or being politically incorrect. One of them even got fired from her job at the hospital. For details of the news that went viral on the Internet, please refer to the following links.

White Missouri nurse is FIRED for posting a photo of herself and husband wearing blackface while dressed as Beyoncé and Jay-Z for Halloween
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... stume.html

Outrage after Brazilian mother dressed her son as slave for the school Halloween party - complete with fake welts across his back
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... oween.html

Iowa Teacher Under Investigation For Wearing Blackface to Halloween Party
https://www.theroot.com/iowa-teacher-un ... 1829997389

Dad apologises for dressing himself and son, 5, in Nazi Halloween outfits after costume complaint goes viral
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.thesun ... son-5/amp/

On the other side of the globe, Halloween traditions have also deeply effected pre-schools in Asia, including Taiwan. It's almost impossible to find a kindergarten in Taiwan that does't celebrate Halloween, which brings us to wonder whether it's a good idea for young children to go trick-or-treating while they are clueless as to what this holiday is all about, let alone planting false ideas in their heads that getting free candies from strangers is natural and commonplace. A few years after Halloween traditions have officially settled in most pre-schools as well as elementary schools, the retail industry saw the potential in utilizing the holiday traditions in their propaganda to increase sales and profit. So there's buy one (piece of candy) get one free, buy one get 2nd for 40% off... lots of discounts on candies, lots of joy for kids, and of course, if you get "lucky" enough, an express train ticket to diabetes land. Ah, Halloween. 'Tis the season to be jolly and high on sugar!

Questions for Discussion
Session 1
1. How much do you know about Halloween? Please share your Halloween experience or your knowledge of Halloween with your group members.
2. Compare the similarities and differences between Halloween and the Chinese Ghost Festival (a.k.a. Zhongyuan Jie). Do these two traditional holidays share the same purpose? Which one is more interesting/fun to you?
3. What do you think about trick-or-treating? On a scale of 0 to 10, 0 being completely disagree, 10 being completely agree, how much do you agree with this tradition? Why?
4. A friend of mine isn't very happy about the situation where almost every kindergarten in TW would throw Halloween parties and trick-or-treat events every year. He thinks it is strange to teach our offspring the traditions of a foreign culture while they still have a lot to learn about our own culture. We hardly see schools make a big deal about the Dragon Boat Festival or play fun activities at school for Lantern Festival, but children go trick-or-treating (sometimes with a lot of make up on) and egg hunting as they celebrate Halloween and Easter. Why do you think this is happening? Do you feel the same as my friend does? Why or why not?
5. Halloween has, without question, become one of the major western holidays we celebrate in Taiwan other than Christmas. What do you think is the reason these two holidays quickly tapped into the Asian world without too big a struggle? On the contrary, why hasn't Thanksgiving Day, one of the major holidays in Western countries, become a trend in Taiwan?

Session 2
1. Speaking of Halloween costumes, what kind of costume creeps you out the most? What was the most amazing costume you've ever seen?
2. If you were to go to a Halloween costume party, what sort of costume would you go for? Something scary? A fictional character? An idol in real life? How far would you go to make your costume seem more convincing or surprising?
3. According to the news above, the nurse and the school teacher both paid the price fro their bad judgment in choosing Halloween costumes. What do you think? Is it offensive to color your skin in order to play a character that has a different skin color than yours?
4. How about the father dressed his son as a Nazi and the mother who dressed her son in a slave costume? Do you think these costumes have outrageously crossed the line?
5. There are two sides of opinions on the Internet. Some people think we should relax and not read too much into it. The whole point of Halloween costumes is to dress up as somebody else, like role playing. Even so, some others think that a costume such as the slave is too insensitive and has very poor taste, and coloring your skin black is being racist as it mocks the skin color of African Americans. What do you think? What is an "ideal" Halloween costume? Are there any costumes that we should NEVER try to pull off?

聚會時間:當天請準時於 6:45 pm 到達 ~ 約 9:30 pm 左右結束
地址、電話:台北市濟南路三段25號 地圖 (02) 2740-2350
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走法:出忠孝新生站 3 號出口後,沿著巷子(忠孝東路三段10巷)走約 2 分鐘,到了濟南路口,左轉走約 2 分鐘即可看到。
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Gloria Lo
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文章: 357
註冊時間: 週一 2月 04, 2008 7:51 am

Re: 12/18(Tue.) Halloween in the 21st Century (Host: Georgia

文章 Gloria Lo »


Amy, Morris, Douglas, Felicidad, George (newcomer), Brian, Miller, David, Felicia, Wen-han, Michael, Liwen, Georgia(host), Devry, Steve, Luis, Tim Lo, Julian, Chris

:lol: :lol: :lol: