Wan Nur Fadhillah
Mon, Nov 02, 2009
Definitely a treat, not trick

ON Halloween night, residents of Woodgrove Avenue spent their evening trick-or-treating, a sight not usually seen in other parts of Singapore.

The yearly event organised by members of the expatriate community living in what has been lovingly called "Little America" started at 6pm and lasted for two hours. Yet, half an hour earlier, the bustling energy of families living in and around the estate can not only be seen, but felt as the once-sleepy street geared up for the festivities.

Even parents got in on the act - some mothers were dressed as witches, some fathers dressed as disco kings while children in costumes of their favourite superheroes dotted the streets.

Miss Leslie Eriksen, an expat from the US, and her family had their gates wide open. Trick-or-treaters will be welcomed to a basket of candy placed on a table by their front porch, with plenty more bags hidden beneath, in case a "top-up" was necessary.

Soon enough, over 700 children walked through those gates yelling out "Trick-or-Treat!", and earning one candy each.

"It's a kid's holiday. It's for the kids, and you take them from house to house. Sometimes when the parents dress up, they do so for the kids. But the parents don't go trick-or-treating," said Leslie.

The parents who organised this event had gone to great lengths to ensure the "trick-or-treating" was safe. Security was hired to marshall vehicles in and out of the estate, as well as direct traffic to the neighbouring American School for easy parking.

Donation booths were also set up. As with previous years, the event has aligned itself with "Caring for Cambodia" - a drive to collect toothbrushes in aid of the "Bright Smiles Bright Futures" campaign.

When asked how Halloween is celebrated back in the US, Leslie claims that it feels more traditional as there is definitely a stronger sense of community with families intact with fewer single-parent households - a sight reminiscent of how it used to be back in the 50s.

"It started getting dangerous when people started putting razor blades in the apples and the kids would really get hurt," Leslie said.

It is pleasing to see how a western tradition can retain the same heart and joy when transported in an Asian heartland. It was a treat to have experienced first hand, the spirit of Halloween.


For more photos, click here.


Text and photos by Wan Nur Fadhillah of Republic Polytechnic.

This is a final-year project by Republic Polytechnic students in conjunction with AsiaOne.


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