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They did the mash

When I was back in the US recently, many people asked me whether Halloween/Christmas/Easter etc is observed in any form here. The answer is yes… sorta… in a way… If you’ve been a somewhat regular reader of this blog, then you might recall my Christmas entry from earlier this year.

The way I’ve taken to describing the way Western holidays unfold in China is, it’s sort of like this: Imagine a ship full of space aliens landed in the middle of America on Christmas Eve. And they looked around, made some observations, but didn’t actually try to find out why people were doing the things they were doing, wearing the things they were wearing, eating the things they were eating, etc. Then they went back to their home planet, and tried to recreate what they’d seen based on what the remembered of what they’d seen. It’s pretty much exactly like that – all surface, no depth.

Halloween of course is a fairly superficial holiday anyway, so no biggie there. I mean I know it’s got ancient pagan roots and all that and that of course there are things to “know” about it, but let’s face it, for most of us it’s pretty much kids hopped up on costumes and candy. So they do fairly well at Halloween, if they can be bothered to do it; which is to say, in the ‘local’ areas not much happens, but in the more expat-heavy zones, there are decorations and parties.

Our housing compound did organise a party and trick-or-treating for kids, but as it happened we were invited to another party coordinated by some other expat parents, so this year we didn’t get the full-on Chinese Halloween experience. Which is OK – my recent bout of food poisoning was pretty much enough of a full-on Chinese experience for this week, so I’m good.

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