Are we Barbados or 53rd State? Halloween candy is now Bajan Culture?

{NOTE Meant to do this every since, was so overloaded with events ’til now} In  1982 the Caribbean Pepperpot had a Halloween Costume Contest, but if you walk up to a Bajan and asked about Trick Or Treat, then you’d get a blank stare… In 1984, there was a similar contest at Rum Runners (now amalgamated into Plantation Garden Theatre) and I dressed as a Ninja and had my first slow dance to Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got To Do With It” and I recall I was pleased yet embarrassed with the dance! She was dressed as a Witch and I felt that I should really attend as a Pirate, especially after the dance, since I knew I had a peg leg too, LOL!

Cobweb Cotton Candy and "Body Parts (Jelly)" this is in BARBADOS not Canada, UK nor America... What happen to Steel Donkey? Or the Heart Man?

In 1989 I went to “The Best Li’l Warehouse In Barbados” and was in an original outfit – Canine The Barbarian – where I dressed like Conan but wore a Pluto mask… Which now leads to the point I am making, I had to make most of my outfits from scratch and if there was any thing I needed like a mask or fangs and swords, usually I’d have to find who’s going overseas. There was no candies to traipse from house to house like my US childhood. I was in Barbados, part of the Caribbean – I reluctantly, at the time, accepted it…

I left behind Halloween as a US or UK Tradition long time since but last year at Sheraton they had masks which caught me by surprise – but not more than that, except a few fetes here & there with costume contests.

Here are more choices on Prince William Henry St - you'd never even think they gave a damn about Independence next month?

Then in September I am shopping at Big B and I see? Hallowe’en Candy? As in Trick or Treat? I heard there were some folk in Fort George Heights who did it last year or year before but I thought that was just a rumour? Can anyone tell where Barbados’ Independence went? As it is merchants only give it Lip Service for the 1st week of November, then reds, greens & Ho-Ho-Ho til Dec 25th itself!

As if that was not enough, had not been in Bridgetown for a good while – City is too jammed with vehicles and people walking slower than a George Romero zombie – and in at Woolworth’s (Barbados is one of two places left with a branch of F.W. Woolworth – not sure, but other place may be Australia) and I see racks and shelves overflowing with costumes and not even properly separated since there was an X-Rated outfit called “Seymore Boobs” where the tunic has the following statement;- “PLACE BREASTS HERE” now while I think it’s personally funny, nevertheless, this is not correct as not only toddlers can easily see it but it is in their grasp – not set high up for adults only!

These outfits as you see are at ground level, there's M Bison of Street Fighter side by side with a real villain or pervert...

What has happened to Barbados? Are we so apathetic about our nation that we let any culture have sway? While it may be accepted that the USA is the new Roman Empire, do we not have our own method of expression? Our own dreams? Is Bajan culture so repulsive we must find another and embrace it more strenuously than one born to that milieu?

3 Responses

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  1. I’m unimpressed. England also celebrates hallowe’en. As do many other countries around the world. So why not compare us to them? Why America? I could understand if u were talking about the neo-colonisation of Barbados by America using examples of television series and in the way we dress (like the rapstars, etc.) , but to use the example of halloween is not good enough. I think Barbados has been just as influenced by Britain in movies and books such as Harry Potter (in which hallowe’en is seen as very important). I’m not saying that it is right, but I don’t think that we accept that the USA is the new Roman Empire, just because we share a tradition with them that the whole world also partakes in.

    Furthermore, by celebrating it I don’t think we find “Bajan culture so repulsive we must find another and embrace it more strenuously than one born to that milieu.” A bit harsh don’t you think?

  2. So does Canada observe the Celtic New Year, but we don’t chug Molson’s eh? Maybe we do like Harry Potter, but are we so fixated we have Hogwarts parties? Bajans have a fascination with US things is well known – check the “It So Happen Suite” at Frank Collymore Hall where a Bajan visits England and see the aftermath, there is an aphorism that Bajan catches an accent faster than a cold. So no – I do not find it harsh.



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