Growing up in a Pakistani household, Halloween was always this confusing “America-only” holiday where we would never answer our front door. But as a child, I always envied the kids who got to dress up and get free candy while my Muslim parents said it didn’t align with Islamic beliefs. It was a holiday for Christians and, so, it was a holiday that got overlooked in our household.
This all changed as I grew up and learned the roots of the Halloween, and become enchanted with the gore and scary hoopla. Learning about the Salem Witch Trials always made me think about how witches were killed for being heretics and yet on this day, it seemed to me that Christians (little did I know Halloween was not actually a Christian holiday) dressed as and celebrated them. But then again, witches looked so cool I wanted to be one. Imagine being able to fly on a broom? But I never did get the chance to truly participate in Halloween festivities because I felt I didn’t belong.
Then, I entered my second year of college and Halloween fell on a Tuesday so, naturally, everyone was excited for “Halloweekend.” Truth be told, I still wasn’t eager to join the festivities considering my impending doom from my upcoming accounting test. However, I chose to dress up for the party taking place on Halloween at the multicultural center in a dinosaur onesie for two real reasons. One, because who wouldn’t love to dress up in a onesie? And two, because I felt it was time to finally experience Halloween.
At the end of the day, I realized Halloween is no longer related to any religion or cultural background but has rather transformed into an American tradition. In reality, it’s a commercialized holiday where it’s fun to get free candy and have an excuse to publicly wear a onesie. And so, I’ve decided to participate in this Halloween as well as future ones by dressing up–beware of the mighty dinosaur.