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Weird Or Just Different?

My sweet blogger friend, Kathy Combs, of The Giggling Trucker’s Wife chose this prompt for BlogFEST 2012 today: Your Favourite Halloween Memory.
How do I respond to this when Halloween is something totally alien to India?  It’s only in recent years, that Halloween has taken off in some metro cities, but to most of us it is still something weird that the Americans do! 😉

So, I don’t have a favourite Halloween memory, but this did give me a chance to reflect on something else.

Little Red

It’s amazing how somethings might seem perfectly normal to people of one culture,  might be absolutely weird to people of another culture. As an Indian I might find it really strange that children and grownups in America and parts of Europe  go around in spooky costumes for Halloween.  But I find it perfectly normal for children and adults to go around throwing colour on each other for Holi!

Hol! Ha!

Weird or just different? Derek Sivers shares a similar idea in a short TED Talk in Mysore, India.

Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we realized that being different is not weird? Being different just makes life so much more interesting!




  1. Melissa Tandoc Melissa Tandoc November 4, 2012

    I like ‘different’ 😉 I really don’t like adapting that custom of wearing costumes for Halloween…especially on great and holy feasts like All Saints and All Souls 🙂
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    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues November 1, 2012

      Come to Mumbai, come to Mumbai, Shilpa. You’ll see weird – and I don’t mean Halloween costumes! 😉

  2. Adriene Adriene October 31, 2012

    You are astute as always, Corrine. I think it’s all a matter of being open-minded and willing to learn about each others’ culture. I only recently heard of Holi and I think celebrating the beautiful colors of the word is rather glorious and looks like fun!
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    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues November 1, 2012

      Yes, the more open we are to other cultures, the more we will grow, I believe, Adrienne. Holi is fun if you don’t mind going to work the next day in the ‘pink of health’ 😉
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  3. Diana Pinto Diana Pinto October 31, 2012

    I love the concept of halloween and just a few days back we had a halloween party.But I missed it. I think it’s great to be different.

  4. colleen colleen October 31, 2012

    Great point! I guess it is all so relative really, when people fear anything different they label it as weird without trying to understand it, the history of it or the culture in which it originated…but really, everything is normal to someone somewhere, right? To me, different isn’t weird…but it is very interesting!:)
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    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues November 1, 2012

      So right, Colleen. Our fear of the different makes us label things as weird. We don’t try to go beyond to understand the history of practices – our own included. Different is definitely interesting and enlightening!

  5. Rachna Rachna October 30, 2012

    I agree about different not being weird. But, I also find it silly that kids in our community celebrate Halloween by dressing spooky and going around houses to get candy. They understand nothing about it and just try to copy something alien to look hip or because they saw it in movies or something. That is so difficult for me to understand :).
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    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues November 1, 2012

      Oh, not weird at all, Rachna. I too find it hard to accept wanting to completely ape another culture without understanding it. 🙂
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  6. Adrienne Adrienne October 30, 2012

    I’ve never been to India or even studied it so I had no idea that Halloween was foreign to you Corinne. Now I learned something new. I can see why you would think we’re a little weird. But as the video pointed out, we’re all just different.

    I enjoyed hearing what he shared and how they do things differently in other countries. Now that was just fascinating to me.

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    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues November 1, 2012

      I was kidding that I found the American celebration of Halloween weird, Adrienne. I’ve grown up reading more books from the US and the UK than I did Indian books, so I am pretty familiar with Halloween. We are all different, but we must learn to appreciate our differences and learn about other cultures with openness. Thank you for stopping by, Adrienne. And hopefully, someday, you’ll stop by in India!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues October 31, 2012

      I’m not sure it’s so cool when you’re walking down the street all dressed for work, Kathy! 🙂 The colour does come off – eventually! I’m sure if you find a community of Indians (my kind!) around your area, they’ll let you play Holi with them. The festival is around March/April. 🙂

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues October 30, 2012

      How boring, indeed, Martha. I love learning about different cultures too – and try to be as open as I can to understanding the significance of their customs and traditions. We have a whole range of customs that are peculiar to certain regions and ethnic groups in India itself. It’s always a learning process. Glad you liked the video too – I just happened to ‘find’ it yesterday!

  7. B k Chowla B k Chowla October 30, 2012

    To be honest,it isn’t very long back that I actually heard of Hawooleen
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    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues October 30, 2012

      It is rather new to us, Mr Chowla. It’s only recently it’s started appearing in our metros.

  8. privytrifles privytrifles October 30, 2012

    I had come to know about Halloween through books in my childhood and later through my cousins. I find it perfectly beautiful to do such things. As even in India we have so many festivals in every state and each has its own beauty and grandeur. What is Durga Puja in east is Navratri in west where they dance and sing the entire night!

    At the end of it, its all about enjoying oneself as you celebrate the differences !

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    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues October 30, 2012

      Yes, Halloween was something we read about until we got to see it in movies and on TV. We must learn to enjoy our festivals without feeling the need to ape others or find them weird. 🙂

  9. Jenn Jenn October 30, 2012

    I loved your take on this prompt!! WOW. I think just different!!

    Cheers, Jenn
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    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues October 30, 2012

      That’s true, Zephyr. Which is why our poor attempts at celebrating Halloween just don’t seem right. I wish we’d all learn to celebrate who we are!

  10. jerly jerly October 30, 2012

    Exactly. What we are used to we dont see it as wierd. ANd it is exactly the differences, even the DIFFICULTIES that prevents life fro getting boring.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues October 30, 2012

      Isn’t funny, Jerly, how we find the differences weird, instead of celebrating them? 🙂

      • jerly jerly October 31, 2012

        It does seem a matter of conditioned responses Corrine. I believe we should relearn to celebrate the differences! This was a good reminder

  11. Roshni Roshni October 30, 2012

    absolutely!!! I wish people would get that!!!!
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