So after a month-long hiatus, I am back with funny foreigner stories. Today I’ll share a brief story about how confusing our American traditions can be to foreigners, and how this can often lead to hilarious situations.
Halloween was a few days ago. I know that some other countries celebrate Halloween, but many do not. Even though Halloween is portrayed in American movies, many exchange students and other foreign visitors are not fully aware of the way we celebrate this holiday. This year I heard perhaps the funniest misunderstanding of Halloween traditions by an exchange student.
A friend of mine is hosting a young lady from China this year. The host family explained to their student the concept of “trick-or-treating” and told the Chinese girl that she could answer the door and hand out candy to the kids that come to the house. Everyone thought that she understood what to do, but having never heard of Halloween or “trick-or-treating,” the Chinese girl was still confused on the concept. When the first little boy in costume came to the door, said “trick or treat” and opened his bag of candy, the Chinese girl reached into his bag, grabbed a piece of candy and said “thank you!” The little boy was so confused he just left.
I just thought this was the greatest story and really illustrates how confusing and nonsensical some of our traditions can appear to visitors from other countries.
*names have been omitted to protect the student*