October 18, 2011

Cherishing my Memories

I am so excited about this one being my first post in the new LINKY PARTY I’ve created. You may wonder the reason why I do it. Because I like to be INSPIRED. And for me, one source of inspiration comes from the past and all the things that YOU and ME have had to go through to make us stronger. To make us the person who we are today. And although I don’t live in the past, I constantly learn from it and I can only be grateful for a life well lived and for the future ahead.

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Because of the season, I thought it would be a good idea to show you what Halloween was like for me as a child growing up in Colombia. Yes, we DO celebrate Halloween but it’s only been done so for approximately the last three decades. Movies and TV series had a lot to do with the spreading of this holiday.

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My mom didn’t really decorate the house for Halloween. It wasn’t the thing to do back then. But she worked hard, for days, by hand making our costumes. She was always very creative and would implement her own designs and ideas with the little resources she had. She didn’t want us to wear the same store-bought-costume other hundreds of children would be wearing. She wanted us to looks special and different.

As I type this post, I am getting one of those “AHA” moments when I realize, even more, where my creativity came from and how, since a young age, I already knew I wanted to look, be and act different and that was OK. It all started by one.simple.costume. 

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Pumpkins don’t grow in Colombia. Maybe now you can understand my feelings towards carving them. My kids keep begging. I know will give in someday…but not this year.

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When the big day arrives, children dress up in costumes and go to school where they have a big celebration. I mean BIG celebration. Costume parties are common in the evenings for adults, too. I don’t remember my parents dressing up or going to such parties. Because parties involve dancing, to the opposite of my mom, my dad was never quite the dancer. The story repeats itself with the next generation, as I am married to Amor, whose passion is somewhere else far away from the dance floor.

Grandparents from the Colombian Caribbean Region tell us that a long time ago, before the Halloween tradition came to Colombia, children didn’t celebrate on October 31st, but on November 1st – when they celebrated All Saints’ Day. Dressed up like angels and armed with metal drums, they went from house to house, asking for candy and singing a song:

Angels we are, coming from heaven, begging for alms for ourselves…”

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That tradition is gone. Now kids sing their own Spanish version of “Trick or Treat” which consists of more than just those two words. The louder the sing upon arrival at a house, the more candy they get. It was SO FUN blasting out!!   

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One Halloween, my brother, then about six-years-old got his bag of candy STOLEN by a much older kid who took off running. I remember how hard he cried and how the multitude pitched in to give him a new bag full of candy. As a young child myself, too, I already knew how wrong this was and didn’t comprehend how someone could do such a thing. I DO now. There is poverty, a lot of poverty where I come from. Children don’t eat, let alone celebrate Halloween. For many of those children, their way out, at least for that one day, was to go to the more affluent neighborhoods and target little kids like my brother. As devastating as it was, and perhaps even traumatic since I remember it very vividly, I am NOT BITTER. I know one thing for certain: That kid needed that candy more than my brother and if stealing the candy meant survival, then I’m glad we were put on his way.

So there you have it: a piece of my childhood

I hope you have enjoyed reading this.

This post turned out rather long. I hope you know I am not expecting it to be that way for those of you linking up. It’s all about the message that you can create to be able to uplift us even if takes only three words. It’s your turn now, please grab a button and come share your stories. Can’t wait to have you!

  

9 comments:

  1. Love the pics Vivian, you're so adorable!

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  2. Hello Vivian,
    This is very interesting and I love the pictures. As you may recall I am from Jamaica so it is good to hear all about Halloween. My twin and I have always had a great interest in people, customs, places etc. around the world and have had pen-pals for a long time. Now I mainly keep in touch with them via email. I am glad to be a part of your linky party. Take care and have a good Tuesday.
    Judy

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  3. Your mom is awesome. All of those costumes are amazing. I'm the same way. I love making my kids' costumes. This is the first year that I have bought a costume. My son really really wanted a costume from the store that he saw. I had to ask myself if it was more about myself or about what he wanted. HE got the store bought costume. I am making a Pippi costume for my daughter...yea!

    I'm linking up today. I didn't even know today was your link up about memories and my post happened to have a little memory in it.

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  4. Your costumes were great! What a great linky idea, too! And I totally think you should carve a pumpkin with your kids. Roasted pumpkin seeds are great afterwards. :)

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  5. ^^ oops. Deleted comment. =/
    Great Idea! Ill have to come back tomorrow and link up a story.

    Great costumes by the way! Your mom was very creative. Unfortunately, I don't have any Halloween photos in record! boo!

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  6. this is so wonderful, vivian. such great pictures and a beautiful story. i'm looking forward to reading morea bout your past and linking up next week! p.s. i love all of those costumes!

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  7. Oh your mother was so sweet to make you costumes each year! I have fond memories of scrambling through closets my mothers and aunts thongs to put together costumes. I hope to join your kinky party soon. I'm just in the middle of moving. Lovely post!!

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  8. Loved reading this! Except for the stollen candy part- that is awful. Fun to see your different costumes.

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