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American and International Students Celebrate Halloween at Otterbein

American and International Students Celebrate Halloween at Otterbein

Halloween is a fun tradition for all ages, and Otterbein students are getting in on the fun, sharing spooky traditions with international students along the way!

Campus Festivities
What Halloween would be complete without pumpkin carving? The Department of Health and Sport Sciences (HSS) is hosting its second annual pumpkin carving contest, open to all current Otterbein students. Carve an Otterbein themed pumpkin and tweet/tag @HSSOtterbein, or email picture to aharting@otterbein.edu by 12 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27 for a chance to win prizes. Participants can also bring their pumpkins in person to HSS on Thursday to be put on display outside the front entrance. Winners will be announced Friday late afternoon. First prize is lunch for two at Koble, second prize is an HSS golf umbrella and third prize is an HSS mug.

A Scary Good Halloween for International Students
While American students have grown up with Halloween traditions, what do Otterbein’s international students think about the holiday?

Mexico native Maria Cobo Fabián compared American Halloween to Mexico’s Day of the Dead.

“We have special food like Bread of Dead (pan de muerto) and some candies with chocolate or sugar that are very popular (chocolate calaveritas/sugar calaveritas). Also there are families that like to put an altar in their homes, where you can pin pictures of your family members that are no longer with you. It can also have food, candles, alcohol, flowers and personal items of the deceased, and this is to remember the things they liked.”

Cobo Fabián, who is dressing as a witch for Halloween, especially likes the decorations that come with Halloween.

“I really like that you can find in any store Halloween stuff. Talking from personal experience, I don’t usually like this kind of festivities, but when I started to live here, I started to want to decorate my house and buy presents. The fun part is the customs and how the houses are decorated.”

Saori Nagano, a student from Japan, celebrates Halloween in her home country.

“Halloween became popular relatively recently. It is especially common for young Japanese people to celebrate it. They get together and dress up in various costumes, like a witch, skeleton and ghost.”

Like other international students, Nagano has been struck by the Halloween decorations in America.

“I rarely see real pumpkins for decoration in Japan. Many American people decorate their houses for Halloween — their decorations make me excited!” she said.

She plans to carve a pumpkin for the first time this weekend and is looking forward to the new experience.