Chicoween isn’t a reason to mock our cultures


Javier Hernandez

Día de los Muertos Skeleton

The days getting shorter and colder signifies that the winter holiday season is near. 

Before any of the prominent winter holidays comes Halloween, and in Chico, Halloween is known as “Chicoween.” 

Chicoween is an essential experience you have to be a part of during your time at Chico. The community takes this event seriously, and there are parties throughout the whole town. 

“Chicoween is Halloween like you’ve never experienced it,” according to Urban Dictionary. 

Costumes are being put together and in Chico, the parties are non-stop. Things seem normal — especially for a college town with the streets being lit up and prizes being awarded for costumes. Everything seems normal right?

But it is all fun and games, until people use this “unofficial” holiday to mock other cultures. This is known as cultural appropriation. 

“Cultural appropriation is harmful because it disregards the significance of the attire and often overlooks the past struggles of the community,” said Chico State senior Victoria Villaseñor.

People’s cultures aren’t there to be mocked, they are to be celebrated correctly within people that reside from that culture.

Cultural appropriation in all shapes and forms  ultimately has to stop. It contributes to the overlapping issues of racism and oppression and makes the stigma these cultures face even worse.

There is more bad done than good with cultural appropriation. There’s no need to add to this. 

Pumpkin saying "Thankful and Blessed."
Pumpkin saying “Thankful and Blessed.”

This unofficial holiday doesn’t give people the right to mock other people’s cultures and ethnic groups. 

It is easy to avoid, people just tend to ignore the negative connotation it brings. 

Think of this, “Does this seem harmful to anyone?” If the answer is yes then don’t wear it. It’s that simple, but people are just too ignorant.

There are hundreds of options to choose from for your Chicoween parties. No need to use someone’s culture as a costume. 

We are all adults and can contribute to this not being an issue. 

A huge aspect of this is accountability, but it starts at the top with Chico State itself. 

Chico State senior Vanessa Mendoza Hernandez mentioned how Chico State should spread awareness about cultural appropriation because it has happened to students before.

“Chico State, being a Hispanic-Serving Institution, especially should do a better job at advocating for their students of color so that they feel heard, respected and uplifted, not ignored,” Mendoza Hernandez said.

It’s fine to hold your friends accountable when they do something disrespectful or stupid.

“It is just a costume,” people say to justify their mockery of people’s culture. It really isn’t, just dress up as a vampire or something. Don’t mock headdresses or skin color. 

Let’s all be together and help each other avoid such acts. We can do this, I believe in us.

With that being said, I hope everyone has a safe and fun Chicoween. Just remember, don’t mock people’s cultures with your costume! 
Javier Hernandez can be contacted at [email protected] or @jhm1226 on Twitter.