Keeping the Halloween Tradition Alive Overseas
Holidays just aren’t the same
Some of the things I miss most from back home are holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Halloween. They’re just really aren’t any alternatives for those kind of things while living overseas. Yes there are holidays here and in other countries, it just isn’t the same.
Long time traditions and holidays tend to become less important and even disregarded as time goes on. I remember looking at the calendar on my phone thinking, “is it really Thanksgiving today?” Even as we get accustomed to local traditions and make families of our own, we tend to neglect the things that we used to do and the traditions we enjoyed when we were younger. I will never forget opening up Christmas presents and letting my dogs shred the wrapping paper allover the living room floor, not to the chagrin but rather the delight of both my parents. Maintaining those traditions isn’t immediately obvious to new arrivals or even long-term expats and the lack of options can be disheartening at times.
If I am to be completely honest I don’t love living in Korea but it does afford me opportunities to meet people from other places I wouldn’t ordinarily meet back home. It also allows the family and me to visit places that again I wouldn’t be able to stateside. But when it comes to Halloween, the expat community and Chopsticks Wide go all out to ensure that kids and even the parents have an authentic carving, dressing up, and trick-or-treat experience; and when 100 or so kids and their parents meet downtown and parade down the street, people are certain to take notice.
The Local Reaction
Not surprisingly, we found the shop-owners and restaurateurs to be more than willing to help accommodate trick-or-treaters. Patrons of restaurants were filled with joy upon seeing the children dressed in a variety of costumes and could be heard asking the owners to give the children money instead of candy. The candy wasn’t always the highest of quality and there are still a few kinks to work out as far as location and traffic are concerned but as a participant of this year’s Halloween Festival, we can expect great things for future trick-or-treaters.