Navigating culturally sensitive costume choices

You can absolutely comprehend it, if you take time to read/hear and understand the offense. There’s even a catchy slogan: “My Culture Is Not Your Costume.”



October 30, 2020 - 2:26 PM

Dear Carolyn: Halloween costuming seems to have gotten more complex over the years with a number of people being offended for reasons I cannot comprehend. Additionally, I have two foreign exchange students living with me who have never celebrated Halloween before and seem excited about it. I have explained that costumes came about originally as a way to scare off the evil spirits that people believed were free to walk the earth on All Hallows’ Eve. Scary costumes seem pretty straightforward, but then the rules get murky. There was a huge commotion about a not-Asian girl wearing a kimono. One of my girls brought a traditional dress from her home country to show us and now wonders if she could wear it as a Halloween costume. On one hand, she is from that country so it should be okay to wear it, right? On the other hand, it really isn’t a costume meant for Halloween. Help me out here, please.

— Murky

Carolyn HaxCourtesy photo

Murky: It’s actually not that murky, I don’t think.

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