Kiwi Perspective on Halloween

Halloween in America is an amazing experience; especially on a college campus. The weirdness mixed with the festive spirit is a whole new world. It seems that any reason for celebration is embraced here, and illustrates a benefit of American patriotism.
When drafting this I was sitting in one of the many cafeterias on campus enjoying my lunch. I sat watching a one-eyed man carve a Jack o’ Lantern, and watched zombies chasing a human down the hallway.

The zombie part of this story is interesting and would never fly in New Zealand. They launched a game on campus for Halloween week called the ‘zombie tag’ (or something like that). Upon signing up you are issued an identification card and a bandana which identifies you as human (and many students on campus signed up, which wouldn’t happen at home because it’d be too uncool). All the players begin as humans, but one is chosen at random to be the ‘original zombie’. This person tags (feeds on) human players which them turns them into zombies. These zombies must them feed on a human every 48 hours or they will starve to death and are out of the game. A human wins if he or she survives to the end of the game without being eaten/tagged. Otherwise the zombies win!

So because of this ridiculously popular Halloween game, people are running around campus with toy guns and fake blood etc, and chasing people around trying to feed on the human players. They’re actually travelling in packs now and hunting the human players. I have a few friends participating and they said they’re actually stressed and nervous whenever they walk around campus. Sounds pretty funny and I kinda wished I’d signed up now, but again – I guess it’s a cultural difference since in New Zealand this would be the weirdest thing to do! Is that because of our humble, less ‘in-your-face’ nature?!

Anyway apart from this zombie tag I’m finding it hard sometimes to tell who is in costumes and who is just an awkward and/or odd individual who is usually strange in their normal life anyway. For example during my lunch break in the cafeteria I witnessed a man in full hunting gear (just American?!), a grandma in disco sunglasses (just a bit senile?!), and a girl with long straight black hair and very dark eye make-up (just a goth?!). I think what I’ve learned from this is that if I want to dress halloweeny, make it very obvious what I’m dressed as and really go all out!

At least for some of the oddballs in society this is the week where they assume normality and fit in. I wonder if they enjoy it….?

One misconception I had about Halloween is that everyone would dress scary. They don’t (besides the zombies). The majority choose to dress as A) movie characters such as Indiana Jones, Jack Sparrow (from pirates of the Caribbean), or famous musicians like Lady Gaga or Michael Jackson. I’m yet to see an Edward Scissorhands which I’ve decided would be a fantastic costume.

Anyway that’s my rant for the day. All in all Halloween is an amazing American tradition. I’m not really sure what the point of it is or where it started (it’s pretty speculated), but its fun! NZ should get jump on the bandwagon!!!!  
This entry was published on October 31, 2012 at 8:26 pm. It’s filed under America and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “Kiwi Perspective on Halloween

  1. Judging by the number of zombies knocking on m y door last night I'd say it has already caught on. In fact…I taught all day yesterday in a strange black and orange outfit covered on huge spider webs which I found in the costume room of the performing arts centre. The kids didn't even comment. I think they probably just thought it was normal for me!

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