Amanda Maxwell
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Orange and Black day...or Hallowe'en???

Updated Wednesday, October 31, 2012  ::  Views (4490)

A recent hot topic in Cambridge has been that of local school's having orange and black day instead of Hallowe'en activities.  I have to admit, although Keith and I do not have any kids, this really bothers me.  The reason I can't seem to get it off my mind is because my family has lived in Canada since my Great-Great-Great-Great Grandfather was granted crown land in the 1830's.  My family has lived here since before confederation and a majority of my family continues to live here because it is such a fantastic place to live.  This is a country founded on Christian beliefs, and was settled by the French & British.  Because of that, we have traditions and holidays that are different then some of the people moving to Canada from other countries.  I think it is fantastic that we allow people from different cultures and religions to settle in Canada and keep their own identities, I do however have an issue with the fact that I feel like I cannot openly participate in holidays and events that have been taking place in Canada for many years.  I feel like we let other people be themselves yet we are starting to hide who we are.  We accept others, so won't they accept us?

I grew up in a Christian home, and both Keith and I remain devoted Christians.  For Hallowe'en my parents rules were that we could dress up and go out but we couldn't be anything mean or evil.  I remember being a cowgirl and a clown and one year my younger sister Kaley was a bride.  To us, it was just a fun day to dress up and get candy.   At school we used to do a parade through the entire school so everyone could see the different costumes and then spend the afternoon playing games and eating treats.  It was so much fun!   It had nothing to do with evil or All Hallows Eve and I think for most children today they still feel its a day to have fun, dress up and get candy.  I did have friends growing up who did not go out because their parents wouldn't allow them to...and that was fine.  I feel that if parents don't want their kids to participate, then don't have them participate but accept that other people want to do these things.  It completely ruins being a kid for those children who want to enjoy Hallowe'en...and Christmas!

Some of my best friends from university are Sikh.  In fact, when one of my friends got married I was part of her wedding party.  It was an amazing experience and I was completely honoured to be part of her wedding.  I got henna tattoos, wore a bindi and dressed in Indian clothing.  Quite honestly, it was the best wedding I have ever been to.  We both accept each other for who we are.  When we were in university we used to go out for Hallowe'en and do things at Christmas.  I also remember them bringing back sweets after Diwali.  They would go home at Christmas and instead of it being a religious holiday it was one where they gathered as a family and still exchanged presents.  They essentially did what agnostic people do and I think that's great!  I get to celebrate my religious holiday and they got time off to spend with their family and exchange gifts.  

I have no problem wishing someone a Happy Hanukkah, Happy Diwali or any other religious holiday because I accept others for who they are and what they believe.  I would not be offended if someone said to me Happy Diwali...I would say it right back at them.   I do, however, expect others to have the same acceptance of me and my holidays.  I feel that this country is taking everything to the extreme to please and not offend the people of different cultures moving in instead of embracing our own culture and saying "This is who we are.  We are a country founded on Christian beliefs who take holidays at Easter & Christmas and let children dress up on Hallowe'en. We welcome you and respect you, but please respect us."




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