Our Americanisation

Tonight there'll be the sound of the front gate opening, whispers, scuffling noises and a knock, and will you open the door to trick or treaters expectantly or grudgingly? Or will you hide in a back room?

Halloween has been just the trick or treat bit in Australia for a few years, but Woolworths' reporting of tripling sales for all things Halloween suggests that the American tradition, or at least the American version of the tradition, is taking a hold. That's to be expected, I suppose, as simply a part of the Americanisation of Australia, a late part since the the Americanisation is very well advanced.

American culture is now the major influence in our food, our language, our sense of humour, our clothes, our emotional responses, our attitudes, and that is at its most obvious in the swapping of Australians' British reserve for American emotionalism. Another marked change is our new division of people as winners and losers, a division based largely on money.

Most of us have railed against trick or treating, and we've railed too against the wider Americanisation of Australia, but I suspect it's too late to fight. Should we spare ourselves the angst and embrace Halloween? Should we order a turkey for Thanksgiving? Are we be better off Americanised than when we were Anglicised?

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