Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween in Lima, Peru

Last year at Halloween, we were still living in Surquillo. Surquillo is one of the poorer districts, as far as residential status goes - but it's still a nice place to live! Now we're living in Miraflores, which is one of the best residential areas in the city. The difference it made in trick or treaters was huge!

Last year, I had two groups of mostly teen-aged kids come by - no costumes, just plastic grocery bags and yelling 'Halloween! Halloween!' They haven't quite got the 'trick or treat!' part down yet.

This year, we went through two bags of candy! We had group after group of little kids with their moms - in all sorts of adorable costumes. We had a lot of princesses, some ghostface masks, an awesome dinosaur - and even a Teletubby!

We had carved our little pumpkin and put it out on the front step, hoping to let people know we were giving out candy. It was very popular with the little kids. My husband said we were the only ones that had a jack O Lantern out - not really a surprise, since it's not a custom here.

The truth of the matter is, Halloween itself isn't a custom in Peru. When I first arrived, there was no sign of Halloween. But each subsequent year, I've seen more and more Halloween goods in the stores. Some people don't like it - they say that it's an American custom and is usurping Peru's own culture. But I think, if people like it, and adapt to it and make it their own, it becomes their culture. The United States didn't invent Halloween, it was a mixture of customs from various cultures that came together and became what we have now. Just in my lifetime, Halloween culture has changed in the US. I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing for it to change in other cultures. As more North Americans move to Peru, we - as immigrants, just like our forefathers were up north - are bringing our cultures here, and our new home is adapting to us.

I think that's an awesome thing!
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1 comment:

  1. Well, this year your mom had one group of teenage boys and that was it. However, the giant bowl of candy was half gone...I think it was an inside job.


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