Though Halloween is the worldwide-known holiday most countries celebrate at the end of October, in no small part thanks to the success of media phenomena like the eponymous Halloween -in which a serial killer relentlessly pursues teenage victims for our thrills and horror- or the more family friendly Nightmare Before Christmas which is ironically meant to be a Christmas flick and yet serves to remind us of the so-called witch’s holiday.
However, in our country, Peru, this day commemorates the Criolla Song and has a completely different resonance and gravitas that comes with its arrival. Families gather and it’s not kids in bright costumes preparing for trendy parties what steal the show. Instead, delicious folklore dishes and songs of bygone days that created our country’s identity inundate the air with melodies that turn our elders, parents and every neighborhood storyteller into the center of the community.
Though diametrically opposed even in which part of the family would be -typically- interested in celebrating them, these holidays irrevocably share the same date of October 31st and thusly puts Peruvian families in the center of cultural discourse. Is it best to yield against the inevitable progress of global influence, or sternly hold on to ideals of olden days?
The answer may have eluded us in the past, do so in the present and may do so again in the future. But even so, celebration in togetherness with those with whom we belong and care for regardless of time’s passing will always be an irreplaceable heritage.