Halloween, Burmese Style

Posted by on Oct 31, 2008 in Chicago, Myanmar (Burma) | No Comments

Happy Halloween! I’ve gotten a few comments recently on my Halloween 2005 which reminded me of the reader requests for costume updates. This year I decided to once again utilize some of my travel souvenirs for my Halloween costume. One of the things that I most enjoy when traveling is observing the local costume, so I never thought twice of honoring the Akha Tribe of Easter Myanmar with my Halloween costume.

I can understand how it might come across as strange, maybe even insulting to dress up like a different culture. In America Halloween no longer requires a scary costume, in fact few people dress up scary anymore. When I lived in England in the 90’s most locals who celebrated Halloween (and there were few back then) thought a costume was supposed to be scary. What do you think about dressing up in another culture’s traditional costume? It might be strange, maybe even insulting, to dress up as a Japanese person, but I wouldn’t think twice about dressing in a Kimono as a geisha. There’s a new poll to the right to chime in with your opinion.

The two photos I have of my costume are not amazing this year. Last Saturday night I was running out the door and quickly trying to find a good place to use my self timer which is why neither photo has my entire costume. On the way to the party I stopped at a liquor store to buy beer and was carded while wearing my costume, including my headdress. The owner asked if I was wearing my grandma’s clothes, which I found especially odd.

Bottom half of my costume Out of focus top half of my costume

If you’re interested in other Halloween posts you can read about Halloween 2007, Halloween 2006 at Everest base camp (my costume was someone who likes hiking), Halloween 2005 in Chicago, or Halloween 2004 in the Xishuangbanna region of Western China (where I dressed up as a Canadian).