Let’s pretend that you’re explaining the concept of Halloween to someone from another country. Where do you begin?
Me: Halloween is the day that the kids eat all the candy!
Novice: That is every day, which combined with a lack of self control has led to much obesity in your country.
Me: Yes, but on Halloween the children get the candy from strangers because they wear costumes!
Novice: Who wears costumes? The strangers?
Me: The children. Well, adults do, too, but their costumes make them look like hookers.
Novice: Hookers? Like prostitutes?
Me: Yeah, but nurse-hookers or pirate-hookers.
Novice: Oh, they do it to be scary?
Me: No, that’s what the pumpkins are for.
Novice: Like how your Marilyn Monroe/Betty Page pumpkin turned into a Picasso/Jesus pumpkin!
Me: Yeah, scary like that.
Novice: I was taught that Halloween has roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian holiday All Saints’ Day, but is today largely a secular celebration with the exception of some activities related to el Dia de Los Muertos. This I learned in elementary school, during cultural studies, where we also learned the importance of being able to communicate in at least three languages. We then learned multiple languages because it is shortsighted to…
Me: While you were sitting in class learning, I was eating candy. Ha.