Celebrating Halloween and the multicultural spirit

How one of Sydney’s multicultural communities came together for a sugary Halloween

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Lockdown in Australia ended just in time for the holiday season, and honestly after being cooped up in your home for months, it’s fair to want to celebrate – well everything.

Since schools have only been functioning remotely, young children have missed out massively on mingling with others, and Halloween is as good an excuse as any – even if you don’t know too much about it!

Sydney’s Abeer Varma, 6, says, “I know that it is a festival celebrated to put away the evil.”

In Abeer’s building in Kogarah, there are over 100 apartment units, and the kids celebrated by knocking each and every door to wish their neighbours ‘Happy Halloween’ and ask for a ‘Trick or Treat’!

Residents of the apartment block were delighted to see the response from everyone, truly feeling Australia’s multicultural spirit.

READ ALSO: Getting the kids involved in the lead-up to Diwali


Halloween has its origins in the Celtic New Year, where for more than 3,000 years, on New Year’s Eve – October 31, the Celts celebrated the god of death, Samain.

Over time, it became a tradition to celebrate it in English-speaking countries, especially in North America thanks to Irish immigrants who settled there with their customs. Halloween has now become a traditional folk and pagan festival.

“In our building we have people from the Chinese, Indian, Bangladeshi, Australian, Macedonian, and Nepali community. At first, not everyone was sure about celebrating Halloween in this big way, but nevertheless we started from level 1 of the building and level after level the kids rang doorbells, or knocked on doors, and trick-or-treated,” Abeer’s mum Ekta told Indian Link.

“The little ones were overjoyed to receive freshly baked muffins, candies, lollies, ice-creams, and cakes. We could see people popping out of their units after hearing the kids! Neighbours prepared their treats in anticipation, waiting for their turn to answer the door,” she added.

3-year-old Elisha dressed up as a little witch in pink, and the boys chose to wear skeleton or Dracula costumes with scary masks.

Thankfully, no tricks were played this Halloween. The kids took their loot of candies and sweets home with a promise to eat just one a week and remembering to brush their teeth after!

“Almost every parent reported afterwards that in Australia all festivals and moments of joy should be celebrated like this; jointly amongst all communities. Spread love and get to know each other,” Ekta said.

She reminisces back to Diwali in India where most homes and ‘societies’ would invitingly leave their doors open for their neighbours and relatives to visit, exchange wishes, and catch up.

“For all of us residents, the key takeaway from this celebration was the fact that even with little efforts, celebrations can be made bigger and we must try and get to know people around us! Share something more than a smile when using the lifts or the building’s common area. The people who live around you should not be strangers,” she said.

Now, Abeer looks forward to Diwali with his new friends.

READ ALSO: ‘Lucky to be so multicultural’: how mixed families celebrate Diwali

Bageshri Savyasachi
Bageshri Savyasachi
Truth-telling, tree-hugging journalist.

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