Monthly Archives: October 2011

Halloween or All-saints day? please take your pick!

Halloween arrived Bolivia some years back, it is a holiday here to stay, despite some people who resent it as they do not considered it as part of our heritage. Of course, a heritage that is actually been contested by current political party in government. Which is also nothing new; there was a political populist party, CONDEPA that promoted the endogenous concept, to look and conceive history and development from within.

This government intends to re-create mid-20th century development and also proclaims that we are all, or should all remember and honor the indigenous way of life and traditions (mostly Aymara or Quechua – criticizing American “imperialism” but exulting the Incas empire, where social classes were even more marked that todays). This government wants to erase what they call 500 years of colonialism, and that would mean getting rid of holidays like All-saints day, and of course Halloween.

Not that I resent that (they can live in their own bubble as long as they don not attempt to change ours), but I’m fully aware I’m neither white nor indigenous, I’m just a proud Bolivian citizen who also sympathizes with global culture. And as such I intend to enjoy Halloween costumes and parties; and also will engage in all-saints festivities, like going to church to honor and pray for my death relatives and friends and also enjoy the typical food we have in Bolivia for this date.

The cartoon on the left is from El Diario, October 30, 2011. It shows Bolivian government officials flying towards a Halloween house. So, today there will be some Bolivians enjoying this holiday, some will wait until November 1st to celebrate the day of all saints, per our colonial/republican traditions. We all
live in a grayish area; it is not just black or white as some politicians like to preach for their own survival -political discourse-.

Going back to Halloween, if you want to know about it in the middle east, check it through the eyes of one of our fellow Bolivians’ experience in Kuwait, just follow this link: http://cultureness.wordpress.com/2011/10/23/halloween-in-kuwait/