How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

More on ethnic Halloween costumes: 'It's not just about a's about power' (Video)

WAMU's DCentric blog in Washington, D.C. has been covering the debate over whether or not it's acceptable to don ethnic drag, i.e. that scanty PocaHottie or "Arab Shiek" costume, on Halloween.

Last week, the blog featured a poll seeking input from readers. Today they've posted a video in which ColorLines magazine's Jorge Rivas interviews interviews Stephanie Sheeley, the treasurer of Students Teaching About Racism in Society (S.T.A.R.S.).

The Ohio University student group is responsible for the much-publicized (and much-parodied by now) "We're a Culture, Not a Costume" media campaign. Sheeley talks about the campaign and criticism of it, and why it is that costumes which impersonate a marginalized group are deemed offensive by some.

A post last week on Multi-American highlighted an essay from the Native American issues and images blog Native Appropriations that explained the view of the offended. It also offered a few creative alternatives for those who insist on wearing something ethnic.


The cultural mashup dictionary: ¡Tricotrí!

Anyone remember walking up to a house on Halloween night as a child, goodie bag in hand, knocking on the door and shouting this?


Thanks to @rainmaker_mike and @ergeekgodess for tweeting the first pronunciation of "trick or treat" as it has been hollered by generations of Latino kids making the rounds every Halloween in the U.S. Here's one of their tweets from this morning:


LOL, so true! RT @rainmaker_mike@ergeekgoddess: How do you say Happy Halloween in Spanish? ¡Tricotri!

This is what "trick or treat" sounds like phonetically to Spanish-speaking ears, and thus how it comes out when Spanish-dependent parents (and their kids) roll up to the door, their little Spidermen and Disney princesses screaming "¡Tricotrí!" I distinctly remember shouting this outside a doorway in Bell once when I was five or six, dressed in a mummy costume made from an old sheet - and thinking, at the time, that this was actually how you said "trick or treat."

I got candy, so it worked.

Have an entry to suggest? Multi-American’s cultural mashup dictionary is an evolving collection of occasional entries, bits and pieces of that fluid lexicon of words, terms and phrases coined as immigrants and their descendants influence the English language, and it influences them.

Recent entries have included Wi-5GooglearTwittear and Feisbuk (lots of social media) and perhaps my favorite to date, Tweecanos. The series started off with the meaning and etymology of the term 1.5 generation. Feel free to post new suggestions below.

And Happy Halloween.