Tuesday 1 November 2011

A pumpkin, a cup and being un-Australian

Yesterday was Halloween. I have to admit I was surprised at the anti-Halloween sentiment on the webs. A lot of chat about being Americanised, etc. Having spent time overseas in my younger years and trick-or-treating, I quite like Halloween. I personally think the American influence is far, far stronger in other parts of our daily culture that no-one bats an eyelid at, but whatever, Halloween seems to hit a nerve with some.

Each year on Halloween, our neighbours hold a big picnic in the park across from our home. Kids and parents dress up, share food and generally run amok. Then the kids split up in groups and call on the houses with decorations. Everyone is out on the street laughing and chatting. Most households were standing at their front gates with bowls of lollies. We just went to the homes around our house. The girls scared our neighbours and they oohed and aahed at their costumes. Everyone happy.

Spooky witches

Today is Melbourne Cup day, the day that everyone becomes a punter. The day where Skip's phone starts beeping early as everyone wants tips. What am I doing today? Well, when the race is on we're supposed to be at swimming lessons, but I think we may chuck a sickie. It's the Cup after all. 

I read in the Sunday paper, that some employers were telling staff they could only take 3 minutes and 20 seconds away from their desks for the race, anymore then they'd have to take annual leave. What?! To me, thats un-Australian (god, I hate that term). For 151 years, the race has been part of our culture. My mum said they used to have sweeps at school and listen to the race (she went to a Catholic school). If you had to work Cup day it meant a long lunch and a glass of champagne with workmates, sweeps and fun. It was the one day of the years where you could let your hair down a bit. I think it's good for morale.
I think employers should factor it in, a boost for their staff and bit of fun, even if it's just for half an hour. I think its mean-spirited to crack the whip and force them back to their desks. 

What do you think? How did you spend Halloween? What are you doing for the Cup?
Is Halloween un-Australian? Is not watching the Cup un-Australian? Is hating the term un-Australian, un-Australian?


  1. Looks like FUN! Love those gorgeous girls of yours all dressed up. As you say, it's the neighbourly aspect of halloween that I like too (where it's done). Glad you had fun.

    As for the cup, we're going to a friend's house who lives just across the road from my gal's school to watch the race. Giddy'up!

  2. We've all gotten a bit too damn serious, really.
    Any excuse for a celebration is my thinking.
    I wasn't into Halloween - until I saw Magoo dressed up and embraced the fun. Hypocrite!
    We're having a bit of a luncheon Mummy style (as in with kids) here at my place for the cup.
    Any excuse for bubbly too!!

  3. What a great post Corinne! Wow, your street sounds awesome! A fab way to spend halloween night I think. Love the pic of your 'spooky witches' ;o) So gorgeous.
    I think some workplaces need to ease up a bit on the restrictions too. I appreciate that not all industries can stop in their tracks completely for The Cup, however, I think everyone should be allowed to watch the lead up, race and presentation over a glass of bubbly.
    I know at my company, it is very lopsided with the different departments and what they're allowed to get away with on Cup day. Some of them merely show up to start drinking and partying, while others barely get to stop work to watch it.
    UnAustralian actually makes me laugh and I think that's what it's meant for, a bit of a laugh ;o) xo


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