Al estar en un país anglosajón era obligatorio celebrar Halloween. Empezamos el día veintiocho de octubre con una baile de disfraces organizado por Shelley para la comunidad de disminuidos mentales de Whitehorse.
Una cosa de la que nos hemos dado cuenta desde que cuidamos a Greta en Hastings hace ya más de tres años es que la gente con cierta disminución cerebral son muy desinhibidos por lo que sus fiestas son muy divertidas: todos bailan coreografías increíbles (no por la ejecución técnica pero sí por la imaginación y las ganas), cantan y se ríen de todo (especialmente de sí mismos).
Al día siguiente tocó la fiesta de los niños en la sede social de la comunidad de Tagish. Ahí fuimos todos disfrazados y nos lo pasamos genial bailando y comiendo marranadas.
Nada más llegar nos encontramos con la exposición de las calabazas que los niños habían tallado esa misma mañana. Alguno tenía más talento que otros, pero todas, ya sea por una cosa o por la otra, daban mucho miedo.
Al día siguiente los niños fueron capaces de convencer a sus padres para que les dejasen ir casa por casa pidiendo caramelos. Eso tiene mucho mérito ya que las casas están muy lejos unas de otras así que un adulto les tiene que ir llevando en coche.
Esta fue la primera vez que celebramos Halloween con una familia con niños y fue divertido. La próxima vez les convenceremos para asar castañas y comer panellets.
Enrique & Marina English version
This is North America, so celebrating Halloween is not optional. We started celebrating on the 28th of October going to a Halloween themed fun dance that Shelley organised for some people with mental issues from Whitehorse. Previously, I wrote that her role involves encouraging healthy habits among this social group and socialising is a part of this.
Attending this party brought up some memories of our time with Greta in Hastings more than three years ago. This was our chance to proof that people with some kind of mental issues are particularly uninhibited and, quite often, very musical and/or arty. Therefore, all of them danced; some performed amazing choreographies, maybe their technique wasn’t the best but their moves were certainly creative; sang and found everything funny. We were glad to participate, serving soft drinks and cake and help with the clean up, so they all could focus on having fun!
The next day, still not the real date for Halloween, we had another party at the Tagish Community Hall. In the morning, I went with the boys to the hall to start with the most important decorations of the night: carved pumpkins. Each of them carved one and they all were pretty nice and creative. It was interesting to find out that nowadays there make pumpkin carving tool kits that make this craft way easier than using plain old kitchen knives.
The Penner boys decided to try colouring their pumpkins with red food colouring to resemble blood. The results were quite scary and so was the condition of our hands after applying the product. Once pumpkins were done, it was all set for the night.
Later in the evening, the whole family dressed up to attend the party. They kids came up with some creative and inexpensive outfits and so did Shelley and Myron. As we later saw at the party, the point wasn’t to look exactly like something but to dress like something it’s not you. There were some really cool costumes among the residents and no one seem to have bought much new stuff a part from wigs or fake beards.
The entrance of the hall was lit with the pumpkins that the Tagish kids carved in the morning. They all look even more impressive with a candle burning inside.
At the hall there were lots of games ready for the kids, a DJ playing music and every family brought some kind of snack to share. Everyone seemed to have a great time dancing, eating doughnuts hanging from the ceiling, tossing bean bags and eating lots of candy.
Then, on the real Halloween, the boys managed to persuade their parents to go out trick or treating. Note that this is a great achievement considering that Tagish is a very spread community of about 300 people and therefore an adult should drive them around. Well, it really was the neighbour who offered to take them along with her three children and they only went to friends’ places were they knew they’ll be welcomed.
This was our first Halloween with a family with young children in a country where this is really a date to look forward. It was a lot of fun, but next time we’ll persuade them to roast chestnuts and cook “panellets” which are the traditional catalan pastries we eat for All Saints in Catalonia.
Enrique & Marina