Halloween Celebration in Sydney

By Suman Roy

Its been 9 months running, I joined a recruitment company as a HR Consultant/Advisor. Rest of my time, I love explore Sydney and learning more about Australian way of life with friends. We were all International students in the past.

Just like an usual day, I finished my job and returned home.Suddenly my roommates- Sayantan Mandal, Monalisha Bhowmick, Protock Saha (from different parts of West Bengal, India) made a plan and said -”  C’mon Suman, let’s spend this weekend at city. In this 3.5months of lockdown, we didn’t move anywhere. Let’s enjoy 2021 Halloween with the famous Squid Game’s Doll  at Circular Quay. ”

Without having a second, I replied,’ Yes. Let’s go.’

After reaching Circular Quay and The Rocks, I saw how individuals are celebrating the Halloween. Everyone is dressed differently. Most of the individuals dressed like a character from a horror movie. It intrigued me a lot to understand a bit more about Halloween. It is an American tradition that is making its way in Land DownUnder.  I haven’t celebrated this Halloween festival before. Its seems totally different. The concept involves the dead returned to earth and celebrate with bonfires along with their families & loved ones. Its feels amazing. Halloween also reminded me of ‘Bhout Chaturdashi’

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Bhout Chaturdashi & Halloween:

In our Bengali culture, some celebrates  the Festival of Lights or Diwali or Kali Pujo for three days. The day before Diwali or Kali Pujo is known as ‘Bhout chaturdashi’. On this day, rituals are performed for Goddess Kali from midnight till early in the morning with the offering of country liquor or Karan to the goddess. Bhout Chaturdashi is all about keeping  off the evil spirits.It includes eating 14 kinds of leafy greens and lighting  14 lamps for idiom Choddo Purush (14 forefathers. Other Bengalis celebrate Bhoot Chaturdashi with songs ,movies and books too. They watch movies like  Bhooter Bhabishyat (Future Of The Past/Ghost)  or Bhoot Chaturdashiby Shabbir Mallick. Some do sing  ‘Bhuter Raja Dilo Bor’ lyric from Satyajit Ray’s film  “Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne” or eating at Kolkata cafe named Bhuter Raja Dilo Bor in Jadavpur , Kolkata. The  Bhout  Chaturdashi concept is similarity to Halloween as both celebration is based on the belief of the descention of the dead. For Bhoot Chaturdashi, we believed that the last 14 forefathers of a family visit their living relatives, while Halloween is said to be the ‘gateway’ between the dead and the living. It is true that Halloween celebration has taken the concept to the next level.

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In The Streets of Sydney :

Halloween is celebrated with great enthusiasm in streets of Sydney. Everyone sang as they walked on the footpath. At the end, Sydney city was so hyped on the halloween festival, even inside the train the the train operator announced and wished their passengers happy Halloween. Even in one of the compartment there were bunch of people who dressed like Iron Man, Wonder Woman, Batman & Spider-Man. The train operator praised their dressing style which we cannot find in Kolkata. In India, more precisely to say in Kolkata the term “Halloween festival” is not being celebrated on a large scale. To me, all these small attentions to deals make the celebration special.

After having an amazing Saturday evening, my phone rang on Sunday noon  from my manager and my colleagues.  I had to join them on Sunday for another halloween party at the The Argyle Pub(Coincidentally it was a sudden plan as well).

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I joined my company’s MD Mr. Shahil Chandra, my GM – Kajal Valecha (Myra),Marketing lead- Akash as well as my colleagues- Manisha, Ghani and Sai The Argyle Pub to enjoy the evening and had our dinner at the Rocks.

I feel blessed,  that I am working with one of the top rated entrepreneurial company(labour hire recruitment agency) and clubbing with work colleagues to celebrate Halloween. The craze of Halloween in the pubs was mind-blowing. People dressed in different characters such as pirates of the Caribbean  or some like Egyptians and enjoying the Halloween. It  is also one of those festivals, celebrate by people from different culture backgrounds.

My two days of Halloween party in Sydney is a little glimpse of my life in Land DownUnder.

Author : Suman Roy came to Sydney in May, 2019. He has master of business dual specialization in Marketing & Human Resource Management as an international student.