Saturday, 29 October 2011

Why do I have to do what others do?

Why do I have to do what others do?

            Yesterday, at the institute where I work, a colleague told me that we had to do something for celebrating ‘Halloween’. It was the director idea and this consisted of dressing up the children, going around the block, and knocking the houses’ doors to ask for sweets. Unlike me, children were really excited when they were told about it. But I was not very enthusiastic because I could not find the meaning of doing it. In fact, this is not a celebration that belongs to our culture. Children like dressing up and having fun and that is great. I like dressing up, too. However, they do not have any idea about its meaning, why people celebrate it, their believes, and all the things it implies. So, what bothers me too much is the way in which merchants want to impose ‘Halloween’. What matters is the sale, the money they can earn by making that other countries adopt this kind of celebration.
            Coming back to my students and my great outing, I have been thinking about which reaction people will have when we knock at the door asking for...sweets? Naturally, we are not used to this, so I think that if somebody knocks at my door and asks me for candies, I would just say: ‘Sorry, I haven’t got any...’



  1. I totaly agree with you! Why are we celebrating festivities from other countries???? the thing is that this is not the real problem because we can add celebrations but the worst part of this, is that we leave aside our own traditions. Children Don´t even know about our festivitites or music and they are facinated celebrating someone else´s festivities.

  2. Hello CALRA. I read your review and I can understand your upset but I would like to point out something: when we teach a language we teach part of its culture.
    Although Halloween is not a typical celebration in Argentina, we know that we can use distinctive celebrations (like Halloween, Saint Patrick's Day, etc.) to teach sociocultural aspects of Anglophone countries. Teaching a foreign language must be accompanied by the teaching of culture, traditions, history and geography of where the language is spoken. This way, we can promote a tolerant and respectful attitude towards other cultures and towards our own culture too.

  3. It's incredible to what extent imperialist culture penetrates us. But it's more incredible the way in which we let it to do so. Let's try to change it. We can (we must) start at schools. I'm convinced our children are keen on their own cultural values; the worst problem is that the mass media (TV and movies, mainly) don't show it to them, except official channels.
    I hope your director will be so enthusiastic on Nov. 11th.

    Blue Worm