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The White Hindu has moved! This blog is no longer updated, but Ambaa is still writing The White Hindu every weekday at

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Nice Try

We are heading into the time of year that puts me on a very short fuse.

To start with, Halloween is this weekend. It's a fun holiday for children to dress up and get candy, not connected to a religion anymore. Today there are fliers all over our building about how Halloween is celebrated around the world as a way to honor Satan. It is, they claim, the biggest holiday on Satan's calendar. There are some Biblical verses that supposedly supports this claim, even though Halloween didn't exist when the Bible was written.

Clearly the evangelical message is, fun is evil.

Other than that, people are trying to be sensitive and politically correct, but not quite making it.

For example, I went to my weight watchers meeting, where they are talking about how to prepare yourself for the eating holidays. I have not mentioned to them that my holidays are winding down and almost over. The leader said that we would discuss techniques for how to deal with the December holidays, whichever ones you celebrate.

Nice try, but I don't have any December Holidays. Again, mine are going to be over in November.

During the meeting one girl described starting exercising as "I was afraid Jesus was calling me home."

The rental office is holding a door decorating contest for winter holiday theme and I am cringing to think about what kinds of Christian decorations that is going to inspire.

And lastly, I tried to create a music station based on bouncy dance/club music and every other song it plays is a soft, Christmas special. No matter how many times I thumbs-down the Christmas songs, they keep playing more of them. It's giving me an angry twitch.


  1. Halloween, All Hollows Eve etc. is an old Celtic holiday, in Gaelic it is called Samhain pronounced SOW-in (Sow rhymes with cow). So in the Christian eyes it is pagan and thus EVIL muahaha

    As for the modern American version, not sure when or how that started

  2. American Hallowe'en is mostly inspired by Gaelic traditions brought over by Irish and Scottish immigrants. Not to be too nitpicky, but, for the information of the trivia geeks (like myself) who might be reading this, the word is Samhain (SOW-in) in Irish, Samhainn (SAHV-een) in (Scottish) Gaelic.

    By the by, I wouldn't say it's no longer connected to a religion. Though the Celtic Pagan faiths were not practiced as such post-Christian conversion, the mythical structure of the holiday year (and just about every other aspect of Celtic life) remained intact into modern times. Also, there are those who have been attempting to reconstruct Celtic Paganism through archaeology and folklore, and they practice it as a genuine religion. I myself was one until I found my current path. See Celtic Reconstructionism and some forms of Gaelic Traditionalism.

    In regards Christian-themed Christmas decorations, I would, myself, prefer religious decorations for a religious holiday to sterilized Xmas-consumer junk.

  3. Oh God, people are going to think I like to argue... *shakes head* I'm sorry people...

    Hi Art, just a little correction if I may; as a native Gàidhlig speaker, we always say Sow-in or Sow-wen and it is typically spelled Samhuinn. The Islanders pronounce it Sahv-een, prolly due to the Norse influence. Never the less, it is usually referred to as Oidhche Shamhna, in which the "Sh" is lineated.

    So to knitpick both are correct :D

    Sorry to hijack the entry Aamba :D

  4. Aamba, the best thing you can do for yourself is to learn to accept that in North America, the prevailing holidays are the Christian ones. You will find much peace in that acceptance. It doesn't make it right, but it is what it is. For now. I believe on spreading awareness about other religions when appropriate, but I don't believe in allowing it to get under your skin. Easier said than done, I know.

    And I hear you about the Halloween thing. I was almost afraid to put a costumed photo of myself up in my profile this weekend, because I know it will offend some of my friends. But I'm going to have my fun--I'm not hurting anyone, and if they un-friend me for celebrating Halloween as just a fun day, well, they've lost a good friend.

  5. There are certainly a few people who celebrate Halloween in a religious sense, but not many. All those kids out there having fun are not thinking about worshiping the devil, that's for sure! :)

    FrannyG, you are right. I am learning on acceptance and relaxing about it. I have plenty of opportunity to practice, too.

  6. Aamba, I'm not sure which is your supreme God... so maybe you can celebrate Pancha Ganapati? It's 21-25 December, after all at least you'll have celebration and if you would set your mind on celebrating it you will not notice Christmas that much...

    I think it might be little too silly idea but at least I tried...

    I clearly love your blog!

    Have a nice day,

  7. as for Indian (hindu) american kids are concerned, hollween means only wearing costumes, trick or trating and doing other fun stuff. Nothing more.- Surya

  8. Surya, I think that's the experience of most kids in this country. It's just fun! I certainly have always enjoyed it. I like dressing up as literary characters. In high school I went as Madame Butterfly and The Phantom of the Opera a couple of years.

    Not a bad idea, Alice, I'll give that a try!

  9. Even if Christians or other monotheists do not return the courtesy, it is the Hindu way to accept the holidays of all faiths. When someone wishes me, "Merry Christmas!" I just say, "Thank you, Merry Christmas to you too." That is the essence of the Hindu teaching "Sarva Dharma Sambhava" (All ways are possible to the Divine). As long as you are not asked to violate a central tenet of your Hindu belief (e.g. if you are offered meat when you have adopted vegetarianism), there is no harm in wishing people well in the celebration of their faith, whatever that is.

  10. I know :) And I've written about this before, I just happen to have a big chip on my shoulder about Christianity and I have a hard time with the assumption of everyone around me that I'm Christian. I'm trying to deal with it and be accepting and loving, but it's a work in progress!