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  #61  
Old 19.09.2010, 13:11
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Re: Can I "trick or treat" on Halloween?

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If you don't want to be a part of this, then either don't answer your door, or politely tell the children that you don't celebrate Halloween.
Instead, why don't the American parents and children realise that they are guests in another country and whilst they're welcome to keep their traditions in their own community it's bloody annoying when they try to foist them on other people.

"Keep it to yourselves," is the best advice.
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Old 19.09.2010, 13:23
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Re: Can I "trick or treat" on Halloween?

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Haven't you done enough damage with Krispy Kreme and Starbucks already?
Don't see anybody on my side of the pond complaining about Nestlé.
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  #63  
Old 19.09.2010, 13:34
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Re: Can I "trick or treat" on Halloween?

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Instead, why don't the American parents and children realise that they are guests in another country and whilst they're welcome to keep their traditions in their own community it's bloody annoying when they try to foist them on other people.

"Keep it to yourselves," is the best advice.
I see nothing wrong with Americans continuing a tradition that has been very important with them in another country. St. Patrick's Day, Halloween, and Cinco de Mayo are all big holidays in the United States because of Italian and Mexican immigrants.

That being said, it's foolhardy for an American expatriate to take their children trick-or-treating in Switzerland without checking out beforehand whether their neighbours approve or not. You can always have a private party with like-minded people behind closed doors. (For American adults without kids, that's basically what Halloween really is---private costume parties at bars, restaurants, or private homes.)
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  #64  
Old 19.09.2010, 13:42
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Re: Can I "trick or treat" on Halloween?

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I see nothing wrong with Americans continuing a tradition that has been very important with them in another country. St. Patrick's Day, Halloween, and Cinco de Mayo are all big holidays in the United States because of Italian and Mexican immigrants.
If you read my post again, you'll see I didn't say there was anything wrong with continuing their own traditions within their own community. It's the foisting upon others I object to.

The Muslim's don't come to my house telling me it's the conclusion of the Haj and it's time for me to help feed the poor; the Australian's don't knock on my door on 26th January and expect me to drink beer with them (though I will if asked) so why should the American's come round with their children expecting me to celebrate with them?
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Old 19.09.2010, 14:08
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Re: Can I "trick or treat" on Halloween?

Good point.
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  #66  
Old 19.09.2010, 16:41
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Re: Can I "trick or treat" on Halloween?

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Don't see anybody on my side of the pond complaining about Nestlé.
That's because Nestlé is European, and therefore, chic, sophisticated and synonymous with culture and all things decent.
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  #67  
Old 19.09.2010, 17:01
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Re: Can I "trick or treat" on Halloween?

Well, we are not American and having never lived in America it wasn't until I moved here that I was even aware of Halloween (of course I knew it existed but couldn't tell you when it was). But the first few years we were here (6 years ago) we had plenty of swiss kids knocking on our door trick or treating. The first year I had no idea it was Halloween and spent the night rooting around in my cupboard trying to find things that would qualify as "treats". The following years I was better prepared!

So after a few years of that I thought my kids would enjoy it. So we joined in with some others and went around the neighbourhood. It was fantastic. The kids loved it. I was so pleasantly surprised as I wasn't really sure how people would take it (although I did assume that given their kids had been knocking on our door for a few years they wouldn't get upset). Sure enough most people opened their doors and had treats at the ready. Some had even dressed up themselves and were handing out things with great ado.

So we have done it almost every year since. The kids love getting dressed up, there are plenty of swiss kids out doing the same thing and it has a really nice neighbourly feel.

So I would say go ahead!

Have fun. You might even meet some neighbours!
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  #68  
Old 07.10.2010, 17:42
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Re: Can I "trick or treat" on Halloween?

The swiss don't celebrate halloween yet. Instead they are celebrating "Fasnacht" in january/february which is a little bit similar to halloween (the dressing up is the same but they don't trick or treat).
You should arrange with a few american friends and go to their homes with your children to trick and treat.
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  #69  
Old 31.10.2011, 21:39
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Re: Can I "trick or treat" on Halloween?

Hmmm. Well, you all certainly have your opinions.

I moved to the Lausanne area last year and was convinced there was no Halloween, and we should enjoy all the other good celebrations going on around us instead. And we did.

Afterwards, I learned from various friends and neighbors that some children do trick-or-treat around our village. Then last Friday night, we were all surprised by the arrival of several goblins and ghouls - to which my eldest child observed was so very un-Swiss like - 2 days early indeed .

Well, the look of utter delight on my children's faces convinced me that we should give it a go on Halloween after all this year. Our Dutch and German neighbors and their children gladly tagged along. I was the only adult used to ringing doorbells of any old neighbor with a light on, and they being proper European ladies, were glad to let me fumble in darkened hallways with their - quite eager - batboys and witches.

I will tell you this much. It's awfully hard to find a way into those Swiss homes, but once there, we found so many nice - perhaps lonesome - people happy to see a troupe of spooky children smiling at them outside their doors! Some had candy on hand. Some were already cleaned out by costumed guests who, mysteriously, arrived during the weekend. One man came out of a restaurant apologizing profusely for having no bonbons to offer, but handed my 5-year-old a 5 franc coin, asking her to go to the shops and buy some candy for all of her friends to share.

Halloween is an excellent opportunity to meet one's neighbors and the magic isn't (just) the candy and the costumes. It's sharing a glimpse into one another's homes and being out in the dark on a spooky night and not knowing what's going to happen next but daring to knock on a neighbor's door and the neighbor daring to open up to you.

Perhaps a little Halloween isn't the worst tradition to offer this polite society after all.
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  #70  
Old 31.10.2011, 21:56
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Re: Can I "trick or treat" on Halloween?

I've just had the last of my Halloween door-knockers tonight after having groups of kids visiting on Saturday and Sunday night too. It's all been very cute, and my own kids have loved the whole thing. We never knew there were so many other kids in the neighbourhood and it's been nice meeting new neighbours.

The funny thing is though that none of the kids say "trick or treat". One group of little kids yelled at ear-splitting levels "BON BON!!!!" as the door opened and then tonight, two pre-teen witches just stood solemnly in the doorway and never uttered a word, just held out their open bags. Super spooky and kinda weird.
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Old 31.10.2011, 22:05
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Re: Can I "trick or treat" on Halloween?

come dressed up as the Billag man.
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  #72  
Old 31.10.2011, 22:24
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Re: Can I "trick or treat" on Halloween?

I had two German speakers and an English speaker, all of whom offered me best wishes of a 'Happy Halloween' and 'Trick or Treat!'. Luckily I had some candy on-hand, as they caught me a little off guard. I looked around and noticed many of my neighbours had their lights off tonight.

In any case, three little goblins went off a little happier tonight, and I was pleased to take part. They were wonderfully-well-mannered and I hope that all visiting goblins can be so well brought-up.

Agree with the comment above -- this is a great way to get to know your neighbours (or at least their kids -- and be regarded as a 'good guy' in the neighbourhood)
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  #73  
Old 01.11.2011, 05:04
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Re: Can I "trick or treat" on Halloween?

I was stunned to have my apartment doorbell rung (first time EVER — didn't even know what it was at first!), as kids in the building made their rounds. I had just bought some packages of Torino noirs, so at least I had something to (reluctantly) give as treats.
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Old 01.11.2011, 05:54
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Re: Can I "trick or treat" on Halloween?

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come dressed up as the Billag man.
That could be a profitable Halloween!
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  #75  
Old 01.11.2011, 06:27
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Re: Can I "trick or treat" on Halloween?

Last year we had some children from within the apartment complex arrive all dressed up and happily gave them chocolates. A couple of sullen, obnoxious teens turned up not in costume and demanded sweets but the little ghosts and ghouls were polite and cute.

Overall they mustn't have had a good response as they didn't return this year (I was prepared!). Only the obnoxious teens did (again not in costume). So this time I didn't let them in the building
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  #76  
Old 01.11.2011, 09:24
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Re: Can I "trick or treat" on Halloween?

This year, a group of us aged between 25 and 30 got together for a Halloween party, all clad in our own various takes on a Halloween costume: vampires, zombies, mountain climbers, pirates, the "Men in Black" from the dead, a Persian, a drunk driver (me) and his victim (my girlfriend). We were 11 people in total: 3 Americans, 2 Australians, 2 Germans, 1 Iranian, 1 Honduran, 1 Indian and 1 Cameroonian.

One of us (a German, surprisingly) had the idea to try out trick-or-treating on the unsuspecting neighbors, more experimental than anything else. Knowing full well that this tradition isn't practiced widely if at all throughout the country (or continent for that matter) and that we are no longer cute little children, we all agreed beyond our better judgement.

We first stopped outside the kitchen of a restaurant which had just closed and rapped on the door to a group of surprised chefs and servers. We greeted them with a "trick or treat!", wished them a happy Halloween and stuck out our pumpkin pail to await their reaction. They looked at each other, burst out laughing and stuck 4 beers inside.

Next up was a house on the street with most of its lights still on. We rang the doorbell and a panicked woman came down the stairs and stared at us through the window, reluctant to open the door to a worldly group of inebriated revellers. Our smiles and well-wishes eventually persuaded her, and after another awkward push of the pail in her direction, she left to get her purse and slipped 11CHF* inside (one for each). (*We explained that money wasn't at all necessary and we were happy with as much as a potato, but she insisted that the sight of us was well worth it.)

We continued to walk toward the outskirts of the village, and that's when we saw it... a dark mansion on top of the hill, lit up by the eve's moon. Even a jack-o-lantern was in plain sight half of a mile away. We trekked up the hill with excitement and concern rumbling in our stomachs. The driveway's gate was wide open - almost as if we were expected. As we neared the house, the motion sensor light flicked on, a dog started barking inside. But no voices could be heard. After hesitating a few moments in front of the massive windowless door, we eventually gathered up the courage to knock. A bit of movement inside. Everyone exchanged worried, half-smiles. The door creaked open.

Slowly, an old woman in an apron emerged from behind the door, took one look at us and burst into laughter. She called her husband and son over to see and invited ALL OF US into her house out of the cold. She couldn't get over what she was seeing and sent her son to fetch a nice bottle of wine and as many beers as he could find, then sent us back on our way. Imagine that!!!!

None of us expected such a reaction from anyone. We were expecting no one to give us anything and maybe even some doors shut in our face. What a nice surprise! Not to mention, 7 of the 11 of us had never been trick-or-treating before and had never even celebrated Halloween. The girl from Cameroon had just left Africa that morning for the first time in her life and had never even heard of it. As an American, it was great to experience Halloween with such a diverse group of people who could appreciate it much like many other holidays: an excuse to get together and share good times.
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