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Saturday, October 28, 2017

cultural confusion & a taiwanese Halloween carnival

One thing I miss the most about America is being home to celebrate holidays, especially Thanksgiving and Christmas. One thing I love most about my international school is that the administration tries its best to acknowledge the holidays western staff & students miss out on even though those holidays are not Taiwanese holidays -- like Halloween. 

Every year, our school has a Halloween carnival. Every class all the way from grades 1-12 sets up a booth and sells goodies like dry ice drinks and fudgy, gooey brownies. There is a costume contest and trick-or-treating and a haunted house. It's one of my favorite events of the year, and out of the six Halloween carnivals I have attended at my school over the past six years, this one was by far the best because of this:
Seriously, could they be any cuter?! Sean had been wracking his brain for weeks trying to figure out what to be for Halloween (he teaches 4th grade & his kids obviously get really into Halloween), but the second he saw the costume for Ruby that my mom mailed to us from America, he knew: he would be a farmer and she would be his prized strawberry. 

The only catch to my school's efforts to celebrate western holidays is that it forever confuses students who are not from the west. We have many students from South Korea, India, and Taiwan, and most of them think that Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are always on Wednesdays. Why? My school always celebrates these holidays on Wednesdays. These pictures are from this year's Halloween carnival, which my school held on Wednesday October 25th instead of Tuesday October 31st. 

The reason is the same for all holidays: every Wednesday, there are two open hours built into the class schedule for reasons just like this. Therefore, the school's Thanksgiving feast will be on Wednesday November 22nd instead of Thursday November 23rd, and the Christmas concert & party will be on Wednesday December 20th instead of Monday December 25th, even though we will have school that day. 

I tried explaining to the students that these holidays are not always on Wednesdays (or ever for some like Thanksgiving), and while most got it, some just looked at me blankly. I guess sometimes some cultural confusion just comes with the package of being a part of an international community, but at least we can sure have a good time sharing our cultures with each other! 



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