Happy 2 days after Halloween ... from Nepal (it is Monday morning here)!
.... below, excerpted from a family message thread ... the pic is from my own "contribution" this year - Dia de los Muertos style ... Elizabeth and I had a Skype - pumpkin decorating party online. It was big fun!
I have been in the mountains ... with no internet. But, I did see some pumpkins! And, I had a discussion about Halloween with my Nepali Hindu friends (It was not as easy to explain as one might think ...).
My Hindu friends: "Why you decorate pumpkins? What is 'Halloween' in Amereeka ..."
Me: "Well, it's a sectarian holiday that was based originally on a religious holy-day ... 'All Souls Day' ... which precedes another holy day ... 'All Saints Day' ... but, it's not religious any more ... it's now called a 'holiday' (which is transliterated from the words 'holy day' ..."
... they look at me puzzled ...
Then, my Hindu friends asked: "But, why you worship such terrible things on that day? ... Horrible, gruesome, ghastly things like dead persons' human skulls, dead spirits flying around, werewolves that rip people apart, vampires that eat other person's blood, and zombies ... and, other very horrendous things like ax in people's head? Those things are bad, very bad ... and, then why you cover yourselves in zombie blood?"
Me: "Well, it's not really blood, it just looks like blood ... and, it's not blood from the zombies, it's blood from the people they eat, that then also themselves turn into zombies ... but, we don't really worship them ... we just dress up like them ... we just do it for fun ... "
My Hindu friends: "You Americans are so very strange ... that is a very strange and tearybul ("terrible" in Nepali accent) thing to call fun ... We are now little bit scared of you ... "
... and I follow with something like ... "But, we also dress up like fairies and super heroes, that can do magic and have super powers ..."
... which is immediately followed by concerned looks from my Hindu friends ... and, then they create a little more space between us as we walk ...