Halloween can be a fun time for kids! Spooky decorations, fun treats, and dressing up! This Halloween, remember when choosing a costume to make sure to choose something that does not appropriate another culture. What does that mean? It means "trying on" parts of a culture that aren't yours. It's problematic because it can be based on stereotypes, be offensive, and it reduces peoples' heritage, traditions, customs, and practices to something "trivial". Something that you can take off at the end of the day, but for others it is their true identity.
Here are some tips to make sure Halloween is all about the treats and not about offending people:
When deciding on a costume, ask yourself:
- Does the costume have a connection to a particular racial, ethnic, or marginalized group or culture?
- If the costume is a person, is there any controversy around this person?
- Do some research if you are not sure!
Let's take the opportunity, this Halloween, to remind our kiddos that cultures are not costumes.
This can be a great teaching moment for your kiddos (and yourself) to learn about another culture or religion and share why dressing up as someone from another culture is unacceptable