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Barbie Doll, Santa Claus and Halloween: globalization vs national traditions

The world is getting globalized. It means that unique cultural features are disappearing: the hamburger replaces the dranik  traditional potato pancake, Halloween replaces ancestors remembrance days. Some see no harm in it, others compare it with the bed of Procrustes, a mythic robber, who cut or stretched the legs of his guests if they didn't fit the bed. In other words, made them fit his standart unnaturally. Santa Claus vs Slavonic Granddad Frost, Barbie vs traditional dolls. Who will win?

Before showing the bloody scenes of violence, they often give the warning that the content  “is not suitable for children or people with weak nerves”. But the louder and the scarier the victim cries for help in the movie, the more attractive it gets for the youngsters. Though, it's not just the matter of its artistic value.

The same can be said about Halloween. Only about two decades ago Belarusians didn't know a bit about the holiday, innocently called by some people as All Saints' Day. Nevertheless, there's nothing saint in the feast that costed (and costs) lives of people. Anyway, let's leave this bacchanal madness for a while and talk about some other shocking reality that began once in the fantasy world too.

For example, in Russia, several little female fans of animated series Winx have become victims of their desire to be fire fairies.

The instructions they got on the Internet were the following: turn on the gas cooker at night, walk around a bit and go to bed.

In such a way, a little girl from Cheboksary got 50% of her body burnt.

And now let's move to another story. American Barbie doll was in dreams of every Soviet girl. The grew-up girls started to make themselves Barbies.

Natalya Savostenko, psychologist-practitioner:
People trying to be like dolls aren't normal either for me, or for any other doctor or anyone in principle. Just because we do have natural body standarts.

Just imagine a 175 cm tall woman weighting 49 kg: her neck would sag under the weight of her head and she would have to move on all fours.

In spite of all the warnings, some women do become living dolls, preaching their beliefs on TV.

As if mocking, along with the fashion for being slim, America promulgates fast food habits.

A famous restaurant with a sinister clown on its logo tempts us with a smell of re-used oil and an ammoniacal taste of its cutlets.Actually, there are hundreds more world wide food traps waiting for its consumers to make them fat and ill with cancer in return.

At the same time, the virus of Westernization affects heads as well as stomacks, by turning authentic languages into their lame substitutes.

Victor Ivchenkov, Doctor of Philology, professor:
That is, the simplest way for a language to gain new words by loaning them. When do we get most of loanwords? When people broaden their outlook, adopt pluralization, can express their thoughts freely. But the question is whether it is always suitable to loan words?

Granddad Frost or Santa?

Christmas has become just another holiday used by another famous American company to make a fortune.

And here are the holidays coming to our town in the shape of a crazy old man with a gun.

But our Granddad comes with his granddaughter Snegurochka, which means 'Snowmaiden' in Slavomic languages. Vladimir Radzivilov has been a winter magician at the main New Year show of the country for 25 years already. He believes that a kind role is beyond competition if it's really kind.

Vladimir Radzivilov, Honoured Artist of the Republic of Belarus:
Our Grandfather Frost has Slavonic origin. I'd like to preserve the traditions of my ancestors. We do have a great culture.

And now let's get back to Halloween, celebrated on the night of October, 31. Just several centuries ago it was the night of the Celtic festival Samhain, when the doors into the world of Death were believed to be open for the ghosts and witches to come to earth. The 9th century saw the arrival of unequal mix of this ancient tradition with a Catholic feast of All Hallows, named later Halloween.

Tadeusz Kondrusievicz, Archbishop of Minsk and Mogilev, Metropolitan of Roman Catholic church:
That is a holiday that cannot be compared with All Saints' Day in any way. It is not an All Saints' Day celebration at all. Today we may think that it's just a game, just a masquerading, but it is not so. Here we do call spirits, we do communicate with them. This is not appropriate for us, Christians.

Every year such an orgy costs about 7 billion dollars in the USA alone.

A third of the sum is spent on sweets – everybody wants to get through the night.

But there are already known several lethal outcomes of such a celebration. In 2012, three girls from Madrid died of a heart attack in a stampede. In 2015, 27 killed and 160 more injured in the fire at a night club in Bucharest.

Pavel, Metropolitan of Minsk and Zaslavl, Partiarchial Exarch of all Belarus:
It goes without saying that our life should consist not only of work, but of some rest and entertainment from time to time as well. But everybody has to realize that a celebration of Halloween has pagan origins. A seemingly innocent feast imposes new values on Slavonic people. It's beyond the notion of culture.

Jack-o'-lantern is a traditional Halloween decoration made from a pumpkin.