Halloween! Everyone … well almost everyone I know loves the treats and the tricks that come with Halloween. It’s a fun holiday for kids especially. They play dress up and go round the block trick or treating and by the end of the night they come back with baskets full of sweet candy. This holiday draws the community together and adults definitely participate in the dress up game. Of course for others it’s a good excuse to show off some gorgeous legs or a full cleavage and for those with itsy bitsy ones, well why not show off lots and lots of clavicle with an off the shoulder cat costume. However, others are more conservative leaving the dress up game to simply imitating a famous person or icon while others take it to the extreme and literally dress to kill! I have seen some scary costumes. All in all, its great fun and a lot of countries which recognise this holiday benefit from the commercial side of it.
My Halloween night this year was quite interesting and I learnt a lot about trick or treating in a country with different culture. I was coincidently working in the pediatric centre and I had a 14 hour night shift. Now night shifts are nothing to look forward to. I find myself extremely exhausted by the end of my 7 day night shift schedule. So on the 31st of October, I decided to keep a positive mind and treat my little patients to some yummy candy as a get well soon gift in the spirit of Halloween. Their guardians/parents were not impressed to say the least. Many did not understand the purpose of Halloween and if they did, it was considered evil. As a result, my candies faced huge rejection and in the event that someone did pick a treat, it was not short of a rude remark. I only got a thank you from one person that night.
So I sat down to understand why my good Halloween gesture was such a failed mission. My conclusion was that there is a lot of mistrust between people in Zambia and as such, good will with no biblical reasoning is received with a lot of suspicion. This coupled with Zambia being deemed a
Christian nation and the strong sense of traditional culture goes against everything to do with Halloween. Perhaps it would have been successful had I tried to treat an open minded crowd with diverse cultures from different countries where trick or treating is recognised. Never mind, I walked into November with a fairly full bag of sweets to eat alone. I guess I treated myself!