So I have a pet peeve. Actually it’s more than a pet peeve but I can’t think of the word right now because I’m so annoyed and frustrated. Every year, I encounter at least half a dozen people say they don’t like Halloween or they don’t celebrate Halloween because it’s an American holiday and they don’t want American influences in their Australian culture. I’m all for preserving own’s culture but everything else about those statement irks me for a couple of reasons:
1. You don’t want American influences in your culture? Well, unfortunately, that’s not possible as a large part of everyday living is due in part to American influence, for example, the internet. But I’ll leave that one alone because that could turn into a heated debate and, honestly, I don’t care for the small-mindedness of some people.
2. Halloween is not an American holiday. Halloween originated and continues to be celebrated in the UK. UK immigrants brought it over to America. And like everything Americans do, they added their flair and abundance and exuberance to the holiday to make it their own as any intelligent culture would do when something new is introduced. And they did and continue to do so due to the sense of community the holiday brings (something that is lacking in many parts of the world).
Halloween isn’t a favorite holiday of mine (Christmas is) but I do enjoy it or, at least, I did while in America because what a sight it was to behold your neighbors out and about together. I continue to do my little “culture” preservation within my family. My boys dress up (this year as Superman and a police officer) as we go about our day. We don’t go knocking on your door because I know it’s not an Aussie thing which is fine. I would never enforce my “culture” on yours.
You don’t have to celebrate Halloween but don’t be ignorant by saying you’re not celebrating it because it’s a Yankee holiday when in fact it’s a UK thing. Say the truth, you don’t know much about Halloween and you’re not interested in celebrating it. That is not only more accurate but also more respectful.