10.30.2009

Halloween

At school today, the kids celebrated Halloween with a parade at school.

It was interesting because my youngest child also had a Halloween party (parents were asked to bring in snacks and treats for the party) but my oldest child did not. I understand the reasoning (the teacher in my oldest child's classroom does not celebrate) but it was still odd.

I was really pleased, though, that there was some "to do" made over the holiday. I have a fairly ethically broad circle of family and friends, so my children have grown up celebrating everything from Easter to Passover to Eid and more. I love that my children get a wide view of the world and learn to celebrate in all kinds of ways.

So far, the public school has done a much better job of exposing my children to a wide variety of cultures than my daughter's former private school. In fact, it felt like the private school went out of its way to stress cultures other than our own - and in the process, completely negated my daughter's own culture. It was one of the biggest disappointments at the school (a Friends school) which was otherwise a wonderful place.

I realize it's a big world. And I realize that we're in the majority when it comes to race and religion and ethnicity in our little corner of Pennsylvania. And I do want my kids to embrace all cultures. But I don't want it at the complete expense of our own culture.

So that's why I was so happy to see the kids in Halloween costumes today. Holidays are fun expressions of all kinds of cultures. Let's hope that Philly public schools continue to embrace a number of them.

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