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Nama-Slay: How to Make Halloween More Indian

by Aiden

Sumati Huber gives her spooky advice. 

There is no denying that many of us know when Halloween (31 October) takes place, unlike other Indian festivals like Holi or Raksha Bandhan, which require our mom to remind us what date it falls on each year. No doubt this comes with a sorrowful scolding of, “You have lost touch with your own traditions!” However, there is still a way to compromise on our multicultural exposure, similar to those who manage not to eat beef at home but still consume it outside.

Here are some ways we can add our Indian flair to the upcoming Halloween celebrations this month:

  • Instead of supplying cavity-causing candies, Indian houses can hand out money envelopes containing 101 baht to trick-or-treaters to provide them with auspiciousness. Feed them a spoonful of sweetened curd to bless them as they continue on their Halloween journey.
  • When someone you vaguely know (for example, Auntie Shilpa’s cousin’s daughter’s neighbour) rings your doorbell, make sure to invite them in for chai and snacks because guests are godly and you cannot turn them away. If they decline, insist even more that they must come in and stay for dinner because they really shouldn’t be walking around in the dark to strange houses. Remind them that Uncle will drop them home later as well.
  • If any children dressed as ghosts show up at your door, compliment them on their fairness and suggest that they maintain this skin colour all year round.
  • Carving pumpkins is a Halloween tradition, but no future mother-in-law is going to compliment you for knowing how to cut out eyes and mouths on food. Use this opportunity to cube that pumpkin and learn how to make a delicious sabziaccompanied by roti. Offer it as the treat to kids who come to your door. Even though this may earn you the title of worst Halloween house, it will certainly give you the accolade of best future daughter-in-law.
  • Come up with a witchy spell that you cast when faced with single 20-somethings to wish them a speedy and successful marriage. Extra points if you do it while standing over a bubbling cauldron.
  • Invest in a doctor’s costume this Halloween, white lab coat and all. Feel free to wear it all year round as needed, especially when your parents complain about your desire to be a poet.
  • Rather than decorating your house with cobwebs and bats, stick up pictures of children who defied their parents, people who never got married, and Indians who let their hair naturally air dry instead of getting it done at the salon. Now this will provide some real scares this Halloween!

An unreformed party girl and mother of two, writer, editor and observer Sumati Huber tries to make sense of our unique Thai-Indian society and the aunties that she will one day become.

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