Sunday, October 30, 2005

Europe: Trick or Treat or Ramadan Sweets?

Poor Europeans: We don't believe in our own culture anymore, and our continent has become a battlefield for competing "cultural imperialisms": American and Islamic ones. I know which one I would choose, but quite a few among our chattering class seem to object less to the increasingly prominent Ramadan celebrations than to Halloween. A sign of the times? Which candies will our grandchildren be eating 50 years from now? Will it be "trick or treat" or Ramadan sweets? And which sheets will our daughters be wearing? A burka or a "Casper the ghost" costume? They sure look similar, don't they? Perhaps it's the ultimate proof that all cultures really are equal, so why care? After all, it's just another piece of cloth, isn't it?

Some Europeans Aren't Fans of Halloween

It's almost Halloween and all those ghosts, goblins, tricks and treats are giving Hans Kohler the creeps. So the mayor of Rankweil, a town near the border with Switzerland, has launched a one-man campaign disparaging Halloween as a "bad American habit" and urging families to skip it this year. "It's an American custom that's got nothing to do with our culture," Kohler wrote in letters sent out to households. By midweek, the mayors of eight neighboring villages had thrown their support behind the boycott. So had local police, annoyed with the annual Oct. 31 uptick in vandalism and mischief. Although Halloween has become increasingly popular across Europe complete with carved pumpkins, witches on broomsticks, makeshift houses of horror and costumed children rushing door to door for candy it's begun to breed a backlash. Critics see it as the epitome of crass, U.S.-style commercialism. Clerics and conservatives contend it clashes with the spirit of traditional Nov. 1 All Saints' Day remembrances. Halloween "undermines our cultural identity," complained the Rev. Giordano Frosini, a Roman Catholic theologian who serves as vicar-general in the Diocese of Pistoia near Florence, Italy. Frosini denounced the holiday as a "manifestation of neo-paganism" and an expression of American cultural supremacy. "Pumpkins show their emptiness," he said. In Sweden, even as Halloween's popularity has increased, so have views of the holiday as an "unnecessary, bad American custom," said Bodil Nildin-Wall, an expert at the Language and Folklore Institute in Uppsala.

12 Comments:

At October 30, 2005 4:43 PM, Blogger Heloise said...

Halloween did not originate as an American custom, it is a cultural recollection of the Celtic festival Samhain celebrating the coming of the new year. It's the Celts' New Year's eve, a time when the veils between our world and the spirit world are lifted. If Eurabians had a racial memory left, they would remember this, bonfires et al.

 
At October 30, 2005 4:58 PM, Blogger John Sobieski said...

Such concern about Halloween while their entire world is transformed by Islam. Is their hate of America so great that they would prefer to become Muslims than recognize America as much better direction to go if their 'culture' must evolve. Love is blind? So is hate.

 
At October 30, 2005 5:20 PM, Blogger tefta said...

Many schools in the US are doing away with Halloween as well as other tradtional holidays.

 
At October 30, 2005 6:38 PM, Blogger heather said...

Heloise is correct about the origins of Halloween. It was imported to the US mainly by the Irish/UK.

Many people, especially Christians, in the US do not celebrate this holiday. It is considered the highest holy day for Satanists and Wiccans.

 
At October 30, 2005 8:59 PM, Blogger chigalum said...

Roman Catholic theologians have pulled their slippery penises from boys bums long enough to mount a defence of their religion and culture from "crass, U.S.-style commercialism". Must be Halloween again.

 
At October 30, 2005 9:44 PM, Blogger gaslucas said...

explain to me the chain of reasoning that led you to bring the Catholic Church into this forum! it is as if the news were about a volleyball game in italy and came with a defense of pandas!

 
At October 30, 2005 10:49 PM, Blogger Fjordman said...

chigalum: Is there a point to this?

 
At October 31, 2005 1:55 AM, Blogger DJM said...

gaslucas- you're expecting a bigot to employ reason?

 
At October 31, 2005 2:39 AM, Blogger nouille said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At October 31, 2005 2:44 AM, Blogger nouille said...

Halloween is EUROPEAN!!!!!!

axis of islam and heloise are correct in their observations and info.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/features/halloween/index.shtml

 
At October 31, 2005 2:51 AM, Blogger nouille said...

So, I guess I won't wish Europe happy halloween, perhaps Happy Ramadan is more acceptable.

 
At October 31, 2005 11:02 AM, Blogger northerner said...

I`m European and i do not mind
Halloween, nice for the kids.
Christmas trees with gifts under, easter eggs and what have you not are also relatively new traditions, what is there to complain about? traditions evolve, it`s a good thing. When i see the kids with costumes and candybags i don`t exactly feel European culture crashing down around my ears. Our politicians occasionally give me that feeling.
well, happy Halloween to everybody!

 

Post a Comment

<< Home