So obviously today is Halloween. Kids everywhere are excited to go trick or treating and get bags and bags of candy. All the bratty kids at my school were super excited, wore their costumes to school, and couldn't stay focused on any of their lessons. They had the cutest costumes on too. You had your witches and goblins. Princesses and superheroes. Rock stars and rappers. You know, the typical stuff. But there were some kids that were really creative and didn't go for the typical. One girl was a candy corn. Another a geisha. Another was Hannah Montanna, with a full blown blonde wig. (I swear I thought she was supposed to be Tina Turner and when I asked her just that, she looked at me like I was an idiot) And another that was the "popular girl in high school".
If there is one Western holiday that I would have loved to celebrate, as a kid, it would have been Halloween. (Muslims don't celebrate Halloween.I do believe it's obvious why we don't. But just in case it's not so obvious, we don't believe in this pagan holiday of witches and souls of the dead being resurrected. I don't think we're the only religion that feels this way though. I'm sure devout Christians and Jews are the same way. Probably Hindus and Buddhists and Catholics and other religions have similar beliefs too. I think. )
As a kid, I didn't understand why my parents were so boring and didn't let my siblings and I go trick or treating. The thought of being deprived of free candy drove me crazy. And I was super envious of all those kids that got to do what I couldn't. And in order to compensate that which we were being deprived of, my siblings and I went to the store and bought loads of candy for ourselves.
Even though we got all the candy, it still wasn't Halloween. I wanted to dress up just like everyone else. My lame attempt (every single freaking year)to fit in with my classmates during Halloween was to wear shelwar kameez to school and say that I was an Indian princess. I cringe just thinking about that..My parents didn't mind that I "dressed up" to school on that day. They probably just thought that I wanted to show the school my ethnic side. HAH!
Anyways, I used to get this same feeling for every single holiday during those days. Be it Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Easter. I wanted to participate. And again, didn't understand why we were the lame and boring family that didn't do it. I don't know if I ever asked my parents why we didn't celebrate certain holidays, or whether or not they discussed it with us. However, I do know that it's a difficult decision to make for a parent. Do you allow your children to have "fun" with their classmates during school hours, but not allow them to participate in the actual holiday, outside of school? Or do you just keep them home from school and shelter them from these different ideas and beliefs (There were two moms that actually did that today). It's a difficult decision to make especially when your kid wants to do those things that they see everyone else doing.
As a student teacher, I felt all those memories come back to me today. The kids at school were pumped and excited about Halloween, and it made me feel giddy and happy inside too (Not to mention it allowed me to experience the psychotic-ness of a "holiday" celebrated at school and parties in the classroom. It was one longggggggggg day today). But it also made me ask myself, what would I do if my kid wanted to "celebrate" or enjoy these holidays?