Jimena Costa writes in La Prensa:
HOLD THEM TOGETHER IS QUITE POSSIBLE
BETWEEN LATE OCTOBER AND EARLY NOVEMBER HALLOWEEN AND ALL SAINTS ARE CELEBRATED, CAN BOTH PARTIES COEXIST?
It is quite possible, in this era of globalization in which all cultures are thoroughly mixed. From this point of view, I don’t think its bad. It seems to me that it is normal; children, today, have access to the information that we didn’t have years ago and, of course, they are interested in participating in this type of parties.
Then, I think, to some extent, it is completely normal to happen, but I don’t like it, and not to preserve native cultures with a repetitive speech, but because I don’t know how I can be pleased to give a festive deal to death. I think that you have to see some issues with more respect.
Halloween may probably have some social function; to demystify the idea of death in all human societies. We always have a number of strategies and outputs to reflect the collective ills. Probably have a relationship with that.
Regarding which of the two parties has greater strength in Bolivia, there is no doubt that the day of All Saints, the customs that we Bolivians have are very rooted.
As to whether Halloween is commercial, I think all today’s commercial, because the amount of informal businesses that exist in the country, and the need to find some source to survive is enormous. I believe that the basis of all this economic movement is strictly the situation of job instability in the country. If it appears the card, the day it may be, is celebrated in all corners of the city, because there are a lot of people who live of what they can on the streets, in order to generate some kind of income.
About the institutions that should influence to recover traditions, the basic thing is education from parents, not schools, to just leave the load to the teachers is parents’ irresponsibility.
But I don’t know if I’m so to please to follow the maintenance of all traditions, I share much of the graffiti of Mujeres Creando [women creating] when they say that there is no sadder thing in peoples than it is their traditions and customs. The traditions that we have in the country tend to be extremely conservative. Most are patriarchal and, in that sense, I think that there are many things to overcome. I do not think that traditions be much defended, but only the good ones. In that sense, they are different views we have about the same, a different conception of death in the collective imagination.
I find it very difficult to avoid cultural blending and the influence of other countries, other cultures and visions with the communication systems we have.
What we have to do is to direct the youth, children, to preserve their traditions. Rather give them the values and principles enough to adhere to traditions that strengthen, precisely, more human values and not just for defense of traditions. There are our traditions which for me are terribly objectionable. For example, the “rutucha”: imagine that a child is so long without washing his hair so that after they cut off the little chunks of hairballs.
Many uses and customs, many traditions, which, from my point of view, should be overcome. In addition, I think that it is very difficult to prevent the mixing of cultures.
Along those lines, I’d say it is wrong to believe they are to replace one another. All Saints is more religion oriented, while Halloween is just an excuse to use a disguise and party… we should not confuse them as they are not the same thing! I believe the world is “flat”, in the sense that we can absorb more from other cultures than ever before, and in so doing, you feel part of this world, fine! Enjoy life and do not elaborate on conspiracy theories. One is linked to religion beliefs and the other is just a party!