Sunday 25 September 2011

Halloween to be replaced by Deepavali

I have cancelled my Halloween column, which was supposed to run in The New Paper on Sunday on Oct 30.

The decision to cancel my column about Halloween is not due to any religious beliefs, but rather my shaky belief that contriving a parallel to the recent controversial decision by Wildlife Reserves Singapore to cancel this year's Halloween Horrors event at the Night Safari could be funny.

Even though I am neither Christian nor Buddhist, I am against devil worship of any kind that doesn't involve listening to heavy metal music from the 70s and 80s because I'm old school.

But someone has to teach me how to get my MP3 player to play the songs backward so that I can get my instructions from Beelzebub. It used to be easier with vinyl.

Damn you, technology!

With such references to Beelzebub, heavy metal and school, you can see how the topic of Halloween can be too scary for children.

My writing can already be horrifyingly bad enough without it being about Halloween. Just ask anyone who saw Phua Chu Kang The Movie. Yes, I wrote that.

The New Paper is a family newspaper. As such, my column should promote family-bonding and some may argue that frightening children is antithetical to family-bonding.

My column three weeks ago on the new Mooncake Festival levels in the Angry Birds Seasons smartphone game marked the latest in my series of Asian-themed and family-bonding columns.

Who can forget my thoughtful column in 2009 on whether I should wear shorts or long pants to visit my relatives on the first day of Chinese New Year?

I am now planning a column centred around Deepavali which falls on Oct 26. This will be a multi-cultural family column for all Singaporeans and tourists to enjoy.

With my focus on Asian festivities, I have therefore decided to cancel my Halloween column in view of the clash in dates.

So no more columns about Christmas, New Year (the non-Chinese one), Good Friday and Labour Day as these holidays don’t go with the Asian theme. I’m still on the fence about National Day though. Can't decide whether it's Asian or not.

My decision to cancel the Halloween column is also due to the lack of any feedback from corporations, "friends" on Facebook, the public and the media about the column. In short, no one cares.

Another reason is that my Halloween column has no relevance in relation to conservation.

I thank myself for my dedication and the seven months of hard work that went into planning for the column.

I was so shocked by the sudden cancellation that I cried. I hope it doesn’t affect my work performance bonus.

Going forward, I will write more family-centric columns, which will include new youth engagement and interactive stuff throughout the calendar year.

A relative in Tampines offered to read my Halloween column because he did not want my efforts to go to waste. I declined the offer as I felt he was being patronising.

Before I go, I also want to apologise to Beelzebub for earlier linking him to the cancellation of my Halloween column and stress that Beelzebub had nothing to do with the decision.

For those of you who subscribed to The New Paper for my Halloween column - sorry, no refund.

Please don’t call for my resignation.

At least I didn’t kill any fireflies.

- Published in The New Paper, 25 October 2011

UPDATE: Why Deepavali is better than Halloween (but not Independence Day)