Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Halloween Hassles?

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Halloween Hassles?

Article excerpt

Byline: Kim Connolly BPW member

HALLOWEEN is not an Australian tradition, consequently when kids arrive at our doors on October 31, we may have the odd muesli bar to give them, or if they're lucky, we happen to have a few lollies in the house that will cover the first three kids that bother us.

Who started this North American tradition in Australia anyhow?

Well, it's the kids that are the driving force behind the ever-growing popularity of Halloween.

And anyone who has children now is getting the pressure from the ground up and it causes a dilemma.

The age-old arguments surface of 'so-and-so's parents have said yes' and even, 'you could come with me'.

I remember the other side of Halloween.

Growing up in Canada, we eagerly awaited this Festival of the Dead for a number of reasons.

Obviously because of the 'candies' but also because of the fun of dressing up, running the streets with other children in costume and seeing the wonderful and frightening houses of horror that each new street exhibited.

Each year there would be campaigns in schools, on the radio and our parents would talk to us about how to go 'Trick or Treating' in a safe and respectful manner.

This doesn't happen in Australia and our children are not prepared for the dangers, or versed in the techniques of optimum sugar procuring.

I was recently asked what tricks were played on kids when they didn't get a treat.

My reply was that this never actually happened because kids didn't really want people to show them a trick; they just wanted the sugary bounty.

Conversely, no children I ever saw played any of their own tricks on people because there was no time; there were lollies to be collected.

We had actual strategies worked out so that we would come home with the fullest pillowcase possible.

There was not time for any silly trickery! Town houses and densely populated areas were the best because it wasn't a long distance from one door to the next.

Farms were only visited by the kids who couldn't get into town.

And we knew exactly which houses had the treats and herein lies the difference between what's happening now in Australia and why it can be so annoying for the residents and dangerous for the kids. …

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