Sunday, November 1, 2009

Trick or Treat

Indians don’t really celebrate Halloween, nor do I. I have to admit that I’m not a big fan of Halloween. Really, what’s the point of getting dressed up if you can’t trick-or-treat? But this Halloween might have been the best one in years! As US ambassadors to Shanti Bhavan, we took the responsibility of Halloween very seriously providing the kids with relay races, bean bag tosses, face painting, scavenger hunts, ghost stories, coloring, and of course, candy. Allie and Ashley, my roommates and our resident dance volunteers, taught the lower grades routines to Monster Mash and Thriller. The kids rocked it!

I was in charge of the scavenger hunt and, because I dressed up as a fortuneteller, all the kids lined up for my impromptu palm reading. I literally had a line of 20 kids deep asking me if they would pass their board exams, if they would be rich, if they would be married, and how many children would they have. I had no idea how to read palms but I managed to pull out some astrological lingo out of my back pocket about their lifespan, careers, wealth, fame, marital status, and potential offspring. The children took my clairvoyant skills seriously and remembered every word I said, repeating their fortunes to their classmates and teachers the next day. Here is an Allie's interview with Devraj, a fourth grader:

Hopefully, they won’t ask me for a second consult, because it is highly unlikely that I’ll give the same reading. I should have somehow worked in a lesson on “how to divide decimals” into their fortunes since my 6th graders are struggling with this lesson at the moment…a missed educational opportunity…

In addition to Halloween, the children celebrated Ms. Beena, the vice-principal’s birthday by honoring her with cards and with a dance performed by the 12th graders. At SB, they LOVE birthdays. One of the first things that they ask when you arrive is when is your birthday, followed by how many brothers and sister you have and when their birthdays are. On your birthday, the entire school will sing to you during the afternoon snack and you get to pass out a piece of candy to the entire school. Birthdays and family are very important to the children – they clearly have their priorities straight! All in all, the children had a blast and the volunteers were really glad to have pulled off a successful Halloween celebration!

The 8th graders trick or treating at the guest house


  1. Awe, I love this!!! Did all the Europeans know about Halloween as well?
    What is my fortune Miss Vivian?
    Thsi was a great post :)

  2. Caren, you will lead a long life full of happiness. Your hard work will always pay off :)

    The Euros know about Halloween but they aren't as into it as we are. We forced them to be more American for the children :)

  3. Viv, I'm glad you are feeling better and got a chance to travel a bit. Halloween sounds like it was a lot of fun. Can't wait for you to return and read my fortune. xoxox, mary