Monday, November 23, 2009

Roger Cohen's "Them Bones" story goes over the top!

Bones! Bones! Them bones! -- the apparent Taiwan-French connection


by Them Bones
webposted: November 24, 2009

According to a recent article on Sept. 9 in the New York Times -- which I think
very few people in Taiwan are aware of, and thus this blogpost here -- a
finger bone from the body of the late Li Tien-lu, the great
puppetmaster of Taiwan, is allegedly buried in France under a plum
tree outside a private home north of Paris. In addition, a bone from a
finger of Li's son, who passed away this year, is also buried in that
rural French garden.

According to Roger Cohen, a highly-respected and veteran columnist for
the Times, a French woman who once studied puppetry with Li in Taiwan
in 1975 apparently arranged for someone to apparently exhume his body and take a
bone from one of his fingers and airfreight it over to France so she
could bury it in her garden. That's what the Cohen reported on
September 11, 2009

This story might not be true at all, but then again, it might be
completely true. Who knows where truth lies? It was reported in
the New York Times Weekly Edition supplement in the United Daily News
here, an English-language supplement that appears
as an insert every Tuesday.

As some readers might know, Master Li -- one of Taiwan's national
treasures -- died in 1998 and his son died in 2009. As far as I know,
they were both buried, or cremated, in Taiwan. Cohen's story is one of
those "East meets West" exotic set pieces, where a finger bone
fragment of a master puppeteer from Taiwan somehow gets later buried
beneath a plum tree in a remote village an hour away from Paris.
Prayers were said, wine was drunk, New Age beliefs were intoned.

Cohen says he knows about this story because he was at the re-burial
ceremony in France when it happened last summer. He has a home in the same town.
"We met under the plum tree," Cohen wrote. "Or rather India and China
(sic) met, and France too.
As the bells chimed from the 12th century steeple of technologoy.
Marrying East and West, past and future, life and death, the global
village lives."

Yes, Cohen said that Taiwan was in China. He really believes it.

When I asked Mr Cohen by email if he really believed that finger bone
fragments from Li and his son were really buried in France and if he
actually thought that Taiwan was in a country called "China", he said
yes to both
questions.

As background, Cohen wrote in his column: "Back in 1975, Claire
studied puppetry in
Taiwan with one of the great glove puppeteers, Li Tien-lu. They became
friends and, in later years, Li often visited [France]. Such was his
attachment to Cherence, France, and such peace he found in this French
village, that when Li died in 1998, he requested that part of his
anatomy find its final resting place here. At a ceremony in 1999, a
piece of bone -- believed to be a fragment of the great man's finger
-- was buried under the plum tree in France....[In 2009] Li's son
died. Naturally, he wanted to be close to his father. So arrangements
were made ...as father and son, or rather tiny fragments of each, were
united beneath the plum tree."

When I asked Tom Brady, the editor of the New York Times Weekly
Edition, about the veracity of the claims that Cohen made about Li's
finger bone fragment being shipped from Taiwan to France and re-buried
there, Brady replied: "I've talked to Roger, and the standards
editor here at the New York Times, and all I can say at this point is
that we stand by the column."

If Cohen's tale is true, it is indeed an interesting addition to the
history of the Li family in Taiwan. I hope the United Daily News will
someday report the truthfulness of the story in its Chinese-language
edition one day so that the Li family can also see what the Western
press has said about it. If true, it deserves front page play. If it
is a French kind of New Age urban legend, Cohen should admit it, too.

Whatever the truth is, it's a great story. Taiwan's new French connection!

--------------------------------

CODA:
November 24 issue of United Daily News in Taiwan carried this letter today:

Dear Editor of the New York Times Weekly Edition in the UDN in Taiwan,
as edited by NYTimes editor Tom Brady:

Roger Cohen's Intelligence column ("Distant Echoes Under the Plum
Tree" -- Sept. 8 issue) was a very enjoyable read, and Cohen's column
is one reason I read the weekly edition of the Times that is inserted
in my local Chinese-language newspaper in Taiwan. His way of writing
about the global village we now live in, East and West, North and
South, makes this transplanted Bostonian feel right at home reading
the weekly edition here.


Sincerely,

Them Bones
Taiwan

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Jon Krich checks out Taiwan's 'century restaurants'


Editor's note: [Jon Krich is a Bangkok-based reporter, originally from New York City, and he recently came to Taiwan to do a story for the Wall Street Journal headlined Checking out Taiwan's 'century restaurants'. Born a day after
New Year's Day in 1951, Krich has travelled widely and written about a huge host of topics. After a trip through Asia's ''hippie trail'' in 1976, Krich wrote and published the groundbreaking anti-travelogue MUSIC IN EVERY ROOM: AROUND THE WORLD IN A BAD MOOD, and became a regular contributor to several travel magazines and newspaper travel sections, writing three more travel books centered on bis passions: EL BEISBOL (first serious US book on Latin baseball), WHY IS THIS COUNTRY DANCING? (Brazil as the country of music), WON TON LUST (A mythic search for world's best Chinese restaurant). In 1999, Krich moved permanently to Asia to be chief feature/culture/food writer for Asian Wall Street Journal. He is married to Thai journalist Montira Narkvichien and the couple have a daughter Amita Anya Beijaflor, who was born in 2004. PHOTO of Dad and Amita: www.facebook.com/people/John-Krich/524065134. Krich's parents were Aron Krich, a poet, sexologist, marriage counselor in NYC and
Toby Cole, who was a theatrical agent and an author of texts on acting, playwrighting.]

Checking out Taiwan's 'century restaurants'

by Jon Krich

(c) 2009 Wall Street Journal

ILAN CITY, YILAN COUNTY, Taiwan, NOT CHINA -- The Chen family is preparing for the opening of
what will be this provincial town's fanciest restaurant. Its name,
Link, is appropriate: Three generations are working together to build
on a culinary tradition begun with a single street stall. The
presentation will be Western-style, with individual plating, rather
than the usual shared bowls of Chinese fare. But much of the menu
takes its inspiration from the family's Du Hsiaw Uyea, one of Taiwan's
"hundred-year-old restaurants."

"It's the old dishes, deeply imprinted in memories, that catch
people's stomachs," grandfather Chen Ching-Hsiang insists.

Chinese cuisine has long had its "century eggs," and in Taiwan the
idea of the century restaurant has gained popularity. It reflects the
coming centennial of Sun Yat-sen's Republic of China -- the founding
year, 1912, is still used as the starting point of official calendars
in the modern nation of Taiwan -- and also asserts the value of an independent Taiwanese
cuisine that long predates the 1949 arrival of the exiled KMT
regime and its KMT tastes.

The Chinese-language term for these old establishments translates more
literally as "100-year-old shops," and can extend to bakeries, cracker
or meatball factories, single-dish noodle or soup purveyors, even tea
or incense sellers. And, like the preserved eggs of similar name, many
are not strictly centenarians; it's more an honorary designation,
attached to a traditional establishment by local fame and government
tourist authorities. Dating to unrecorded periods when the island was
a remote and exceedingly humble outpost, the businesses began as
simple stands. Their age is best measured not in years but in
generations. (As for the preserved eggs, their age is best measured in
weeks or months.)

Still, the old establishments do open a window on local history,
cultures and tastes. Du Hsiaw Uyea roughly means "slack season," a
reference to the need in bygone days for the likes of fishermen and
farmers to have backup livelihoods for when there wasn't work in the
fields or on the sea. For the Chens of Yilan, an agricultural area an
hour's drive east of Taipei, that meant getting the early patent on
si-lu pork, a tasty snack of noodle-like strands of meat and cabbage
bathed in duck-egg yolks, and dou gang, soft lard coated in a sugary
batter, that on the restaurant's elaborate menu is now listed as
"I-lan Minced Pork Cake."

"At the time my great-great-great grandfather started selling this,"
explains Joy Chen, who returned after graduation from college in the
U.S. to carry on the business, "all most people ate were sweet
potatoes, and few trades were available because the Japanese didn't
allow us to become educated." Taiwan was a Japanese colony fron 1895
until 1945.

Now tour buses pull up to the family's two-story establishment, where
nostalgic items are supplemented by luxury seafood like local abalone
served on tender luffa gourd, scallop cakes or the exceptional
butterfly shrimp deep-fried in a wrapping of sweet green onions, the
Yilan area's best-known produce.

But the most famed hundred-year-old of all is another Tu Hsiao Yueh
(same name, different Romanization), founded in Taiwan's most historic
city, Tainan. Back in 1895, as legend has it, a fisherman named Hong
began selling noodles out of portable pots hanging from a bamboo pole
across his shoulders, a device called a tan tsi. Now tan tsi noodles
(also rendered as "dan zai") are the "must" pasta for visitors to
Tainan, where the restaurant has three branches (there are two more in
Taipei).

The dish -- chewy noodles bathed in a meat sauce, made pleasingly
tangy with vinegar and mashed garlic and topped with a bit of lively
green onion and a single steamed shrimp -- is amazingly filling and
perfectly balanced. Tu Hsiao Yueh also offers traditional plates like
pig knuckles and grilled fish stomach (both a lot tastier than they
sound).

Taiwan's Century Restaurants
Du Hsiaw Uyea

58 Fuxing Rd., Sec. 3, Yilan City

886-3-932-4414

Noon to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Tu Hsiao Yueh

16 Zhongzheng Rd., Tainan

886-6-223-1744

Web: www.iddi.com.tw

11 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.

Hau Wei Fish Soup

186 Guohua St., Section 3, Tainan

886-6-224-1880

8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Zai Fa Hao

71 Minquan Rd., Section 2, Tainan

886-6-222-3577

9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Tainan Yungle Market

Guohua St., West Central District, Tainan

A-Zen Bakery

71 Zhongshan Rd., Lugang

886-4-777-2754

Web: www.a-zen.com.tw

9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Longji Restaurant

1 Lane 101, Yanping South Road, Taipei

886-2-2331-5078

11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; closed the third Sunday of each month
Much of the old core of Tainan, Taiwan's capital from 1661 to 1887, is
a veritable food museum. Many open-fronted food shops along the
pleasantly arcaded Guohua Street can lay claim to long lineage. Many
other lunch counters worth testing can be found just blocks away in
the city's oldest covered market. (It would take weeks to trace all
the Tainan specialties found there, from crunchy shrimp rolls to
"coffin boards" -- thickened soup poured on Western toast.)

Another Tainan hole-in-the-wall is so storied that it has turned to
same-day delivery of its singular food item, frozen and ready for
steaming, to almost anywhere on the island. It has been in operation
as Zai Fa Hao since 1872, during which time there has apparently been
little opportunity to work on the d├ęcor, which is heavy on aluminum
fan hoods and grimy tiles. But the hearty zongzi -- steamed triangles
of rice wrapped in bamboo leaf, a common treat across southern Chinese
realms -- are justly celebrated for their rich stuffing of steamed
meat, mushrooms, egg yolks and shrimp. A Tainan specialty of
fish-paste dumplings in soup makes a fine accompaniment.


On the way north, many Taiwanese stop in Lugang, which was once
Taiwan's main port and still boasts a brace of old, though
unfortunately "improved," shophouses. Judging by the lines in front,
most come to purchase the special buns and breads at A-Zen. Friendly
owner T.K. Cheng, the seventh generation of Cheng in charge, boasts
that "fillings of love and kindness" explain the lasting popularity of
his light and gingery ground-pork baozi. If not entirely worth an hour
detour off Taiwan's main north-south highway or high-speed rails, the
crisp cookies called "cow's tongues" (for their shape) are
exceptional, as are the fresh mantou rolls. With a daughter studying
at Paris's Le Cordon Bleu culinary school, A-Zen promises to get even
better under an eighth generation of Chengs.

In Taipei, the most reliable grazing grounds for "hundred-year" dishes
is the old city, especially the alleys surrounding the colorful Long
Shan temple (but tourism-board recommendations led to gloppy oyster
omelets and a seemingly century-steeped bowl of chopped cuttlefish).
Stretching the definition of "old" to make things more tasty, the
alleys surrounding Taipei's main government buildings still contain
eateries founded by those first apostles of mainland cooking who
arrived in 1949 to cater to Kuomintang officials and troops in nearby
dormitories.

One of the finest is the humble Longji, a mere 58 years in operation.
From ham in tofu skin to rice cakes, the food honors the founding Zhu
family's Zhejiang ancestry in a way that can hardly be found in
Zhejiang anymore.

—John Krich is a writer based in Bangkok.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

One Taiwanese Would Kiss All of Paris

One Taiwanese Would Kiss All of Paris

by Dan Bloom


Special to The Wild East

http://www.thewildeast.net

A kiss just a kiss. Or is it?

A Taiwanese woman named Ya-ching Yang has become famous around the world for a blog she has set up about going after 100 kisses from willing men in Paris.

Based on a whim she had three years ago, and put into action this past summer in Paris, with 54 kisses under her belt so far, Yang is accompanied on her fishing, er, kissing, expeditions in France by a Parisian friend, Chinese photographer Xiang Zhenhua, who gets everything on film and then posts the shots to her blog.

Recently, I caught up with the kissing classical piano student and asked her a few questions — by email.

When asked what was the initial inspiration for her kissing adventures
in Paris — perhaps a movie or a book or a song — Yang said that
there was no specific event or inspiration that set her off on her
seemingly quixotic quest.

“So many people have asked me this question, about what inspired me to do this, but I really couldn’t tell you the exact answer,” Yang said. “The idea flashed in my mind about three years ago … I felt that since the idea would not go away, and that is came back to me again ths year. Maybe it was time to do something about it. So I did.”

When asked how her mother and father in Taiwan were reacting to the news about their “kissing daughter” — both in the local newspapers in Taiwan and in many newspapers around the world as well — Yang said “My parents always taught me, and instilled in me, that I should always be true to myself and follow my own inclinations, independently of how others look at me, although without going overboard of course.”

“So I felt very positive about this kissing idea … My parents knew about what I was doing, and they completely supported me, stood behind me on this, from the very beginning of the media glare that my blog created. They also anticipated the pressure that Taiwanese society might put upon them, but they are bearing it well. In fact, my parents’ positive reactions and support have touched me deeply in the way that they have shown unconditional love for me on this. They are great people and wonderful parents. A daughter couldn’t ask for better parents.”

Yang, who speaks French and English, in addition to Chinese and
Taiwanese, went to National Taichung Second Senior High School and then studied at Shih Chien University in Taipei where she majored in piano. She first began to learn French when she was 25 when she went to Paris for a master’s degree in classical piano, she said.

Yang has been studying in Paris for the past two years, and posting some of her piano recitals online, with plans to perform as part of a chamber group when she returns to Taiwan next year.

“I enjoy playing chamber music with a group, with others on different
instruments in addition to the piano,” she said. “I hope to do more of
that when I return to Taiwan.”

When asked who her favorite composer is, Yang said: “Oh, that’s easy. I absolutely love the music of Maurice Ravel, and in fact that is why I chose to come to France to continue my piano studies. I really love French music, I feel it matches my soul. Of course, I like other composers as well; all classical music is so beautiful.”

With the photos and posts on her blog getting worldwide attention, not to mention more than a million hits from Internet surfers in Taiwan, Yang has toyed with the idea of putting her project on paper in the form of a picturebook. Some Taiwan publishers have shown interest in turning her blog into a book, although she’s undecided on the title.

“The book will most likely be a pictorial edition with an accompanying
text, and we will try to connect the words with the photographs,” Yang said. “I haven’t decided who the publisher in Taipei will be yet. I’m planning to be back in Taiwan soon, in the future, and I have some job interviews already lined up in the next few months. I’ve enjoyed my life and studies in France, but I am definitely going back to Taiwan. Taiwan is my home. The book will be published there, first. If there are any foreign editions later, that will be great, too.”

Her book might be titled “A Hundred Kisses”, or “One Hundred Messages From a Kiss”, Yang said, adding that she would love to hear from readers of her blog what titles they might suggest, too.

When asked what a kiss meant to her growing up in Taiwan, and what kisses mean to her now as an adult, Yang grew philosophical.

“The meaning, the message, from a kiss is beyond words, beyond my
imagination,” Yang said. “Even just a light brief kiss on the lip has
its meaning, and each person, I believe, has their own unique style of kissing.

“For example, there’s the tender kisser with his rather soft
and tender kiss, and then there’s the naughty kisser with his — how
shall I say it? — exiciting and ‘fun’ kiss. So, in fact, every kiss
is very special and individualistic, in my experience of things.”

“In Taiwan, where I grew up, a kiss was something different from what I have seen here in Paris,” Yang added. “Back home, a kiss was regarded as a kind of promise, to stay together for a long time, maybe forever, since most people are more conservative about kissing than here in France. I can now imagine, yes, kissing my Mr. Right someday. I haven’t found him yet.”

Kisses, especially kisses in public, did not come easily to Yang at
first, she said.

“My parents didn’t kiss in front of me, never, and when I watched
kissing scenes in movies as a child and teenager in Taiwan, I was very shy about looking at the TV or movie screen,” she explained. “It
wasn’t until I went to college, when I entered university, that I
became more comfortable watching those kinds of movies.”

“And of course, coming to Paris two years to study classical piano,
being in this very romantic city really opened my eyes and my heart to understand what kissing is really all about,” she added. “Now I feel
it is very romantic to watch kissing screnes in a movie, and to me,
now, a kiss seems like an amazing exchange of very interesting
‘energy’ for both the people kissing each other. That’s what I’ve
learned.”

“A kiss is a way of passing on an intriguing kind of energy with
another person, and it’s very different from verbal communication,” Yang said. “A kiss is very subtle, very delicate, there is a lot to learn from all this.”

When asked if she considers herself a shy or extroverted woman, Yang said: “You know, sometimes I am shy, and sometimes I am very
out-going. People often tell me I appear to be a very calm and logical
person.”

And how old was she when she got her first kiss?

“Nineteen. My first boyfriend, in Taiwan.”

MEDIA LINKS :
The colorful tabloid newspaper Apple Daily did a big Chinese-language spread on her in September, she’s been written up — and pictured — in newspapers from Sydney to New York, and she’s all over the French internets as well.

The Taipei Times ran a brief story about her from the local office of the Germany-based Deutsche Press Agentur news agency on September 12.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

" news karaoke artists" -- coined by USA TODAY, Gannet News Service reporter Chuck Raasch

NEW WORD from USA TODAY

" news karaoke artists"

Chuck Raasch coined it

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

By Chuck Raasch, Gannett National Writer


news karaoke artists

• Commentators are the news karaoke artists on blogs and social
networks. They are not original witnesses, but they are heavily
engaged spinners of the providers' work. Once upon a time, they were
primarily editorial page writers, campaign consultants and pundits.
Today, they range from opinion bloggers to Larry the Cable Guy. Their
cacophony is making the biggest mark of the information age.

Chuck Raasch writes from Washington for Gannett. Contact him at craasch@gannett.com, follow him at http://twitter.com/craasch or join in the ...

Tim Storey punks newspapers around world again with letter to editor in various guises

This guy TIM STOREY, aka who knows his REAL NAME, whose letter was sent to over 100 newspapers worldwide, he
PUNKED you, as he says in diff versions he is from Toronto, London,
etc...you really should verify letters...he uses a born again Christian mailing list to target
newspapers around the world for his right wring conservative letters ...

The Barrie Examiner welcomes letters to the editor in electronic or print format. To submit letters to the editor for publication you must include your full home address and daytime phone number: news@thebarrieexaminer.com

In one letter he TIM STOREY is from Toronto and in another letter from London and also from Naremburn,
Australia. One suspects that this MIGHT BE andrew Prieditis again, from New Zealand. Possible he has changed name and locations again?

also

Christians need to avoid Halloween
Arizona Republic - ‎Oct 27, 2009‎
... parents not allow their children to go trick-or-treating but instead attend costume parties where they can dress as biblical figures. - Tim Storey, Phoenix.

UPDATE: A REACTION HAS SET IN: see letters reacting to TIM STOREY's multi-letter screed BELOW, scroll down please:

To be considered for publication, all letters must include the
writer's full name, address and telephone number for verification
purposes. Only your name and the city/town where you live will be
published. OOPS

Sunday, Nov. 1, 2009, Page 8 of the Taipei Times, where the letter was not verified for name or location of writer.

Halloween celebrates death

The pagan feast of Halloween is foreign to Christian tradition and has
become a superstitious and empty way of imposing mindless triviality.

The day has its origin in the Celtic New Year which celebrated the
return of the spirits of the dead to their homes. Hence, those who
observe Halloween, though they are probably ignorant of what they are
doing and why they are doing it, are in reality celebrating death, the
devil and Hell.

The observance of Halloween is mixed with Christian festivities whose
meanings are totally contrary to Halloween.

On Nov. 1, Christians celebrate belief in the communion of the saints.
On Nov. 2, we make visits to the cemetery as a religious and
profoundly human gesture, inspired by the hope in the resurrection.

I encourage Christians to celebrate the Christian truths of these days
with renewed faith as a response to the real concerns of mankind
today.

TIM STOREY

London

Halloween celebrates death
Taipei Times - ‎Oct 31, 2009‎
The pagan feast of Halloween is foreign to Christian tradition and has become a superstitious and empty way of imposing mindless triviality. ...

Your Fiji, Your Voice
Fiji Times - ‎Oct 28, 2009‎
THE pagan feast of Halloween is foreign to Christian tradition and has become a superstitious and empty way of imposing mindless triviality. ...

Halloween not very Christian
The Barrie Examiner - ‎Oct 29, 2009‎
The pagan feast of Halloween is foreign to Christian tradition and has become a superstitious and empty way of imposing mindless triviality. ...

http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=132475

http://www.thebarrieexaminer.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2151270

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2009/11/01/2003457359

AND

Gulf Daily News » News Details » Letters1 Nov 2009 ... The pagan feast of Halloween, marked in Bahrain yesterday, is foreign to Christian tradition and has become a superstitious and empty way of ...
www.gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=263082

Daily News Monitoring Service ISSN 1563-9304 | Kartik 16 1416 BS ...
The pagan feast of Halloween is foreign to Christian tradition and has become a superstitious and empty way of imposing mindless triviality. ...
newsfrombangladesh.net/view.php?hidRecord=291537 - Cached - Similar -
Meaning Of Halloween29 Oct 2009 ... The meaning of Halloween. Tim Storey, Dublin, Ireland. The pagan feast of Halloween is foreign to Christian tradition and has become a . ...
hmbnyc.com/members/?t=meaning-of-halloween - Similar -
Meaning Of HalloweenThe pagan feast of Halloween is foreign to Christian tradition and has become a . Halloween costumes confer power and importance to the people who wear them ...
zakaking.com/?t=meaning-of-halloween - Cached - Similar -
Meaning Of HalloweenThis site may harm your computer.
30 Oct 2009 ... The pagan feast of Halloween is foreign to Christian tradition and has become a . The True Meaning of Halloween. The Strategist and I spent ...
pete.kruckenberg.com/blog/?t=meaning-of-halloween - Similar -
Full Coverage: Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?28 Oct 2009 ... The pagan feast of Halloween is foreign to Christian tradition and has become a superstitious and empty way of imposing mindless triviality. ...
www.newstin.com/rel/us/en-010-019568790 - Cached - Similar -
Meaning Of HalloweenThe pagan feast of Halloween is foreign to Christian tradition and has become a . Real meaning of halloween. Watch Halloween videos and photos! ...
www.insight-photography.org/?t=meaning...halloween - 18 hours ago - Similar -
Meaning Of HalloweenThe pagan feast of Halloween is foreign to Christian tradition and has become a . Oct 29, 2009 . The real meaning of Halloween is honoring the dead as ...
eeinarsson.com/?t=meaning-of-halloween - Cached - Similar -
Halloween Meaning OfThe pagan feast of Halloween is foreign to the Christian tradition and has become a superstitious and empty way of imposing mindless . ...
sansfacon.co.uk/ost/?page=halloween+meaning+of - Cached - Similar -
Meaning Of HalloweenThe pagan feast of Halloween is foreign to the Christian tradition and has become a superstitious and empty way of imposing mindless . Oct 27, 2009 . ...
www.mischacoster.com/?t=meaning-of-halloween - 8 hours ago - Similar -

========

A REACTION HAS SET IN: see letters reacting to TIM STOREY's multi-letter screed here:

Spirit of Halloween explained, defended

Pagans don’t believe in the devil, evil or hell

To the Editor:

I read the Oct. 28 letter about the “pagan feast of Halloween” and I am currently so mad I am shaking. Halloween to pagans is called Samhain. It is not celebrating the devil. Pagans don’t believe in the devil or hell. We believe that humans control themselves. Samhain is like the Christian All Souls Day; it celebrates and remembers loved ones who have passed on. Most Christian holidays are based on pagan ones.

It’s quite unfair that people don’t bother learning anything about other religions before forming opinions. I was raised as a Christian and I converted to paganism and there are many, many similarities.

Pagans are peaceful and accepting. We don’t believe in evil, so celebrating Halloween is not evil because to us evil doesn’t exist. I wish Tim Storey would educate himself because he is insulting a very large group of people in the Syracuse area alone.

Chrissy LaVine
Baldwinsville


Halloween marks American celebration of trust, community

To the Editor:

This is in response to Tim Storey’s letter suggesting that that instead of trick or treating, kids should go to parties as biblical figures.

As I walk and drive around the city I see wonderful homes decorated in frightening decor and pumpkins. Although the Halloween holiday has its origins in ancient Ireland that predates Christianity, it is truly an American holiday. From an economic perspective, the Halloween holiday contributes to the American system of capitalism by being a “consumer driven” holiday. The National Retail Federation estimates the total spending for the holiday this year to reach upwards of $4.5 billion in the United States alone. Trick or treating, costume parties and haunted houses are among the many popular ways to celebrate here in the United States. Although college students and adults are a little too old to be knocking neighbors’ doors in search of candy, many are likely purchasing costumes for the occasion.

Most importantly, this holiday in America represents true American characteristics of trust and community. It is one of the only days on our calendar in which children can interact with neighbors and their families along with trusting one another and having fun. Many children will be carving Jack o’ lanterns this year, and I know Jesus will still love them. Happy Halloween!

Nick Stamoulacatos
Syracuse


As long as everyone has fun and stays safe, what’s the harm?

To the Editor:

In reference to Tim Storey’s letter regarding the “pagan feast of Halloween”:

Unfortunately, Storey and I differ on the celebration of Halloween. Having grown up trick or treating, I admit that I am a little biased when it comes to celebrating the holiday with costumes and “mindless triviality.” When I was younger, I would go with my siblings and parents and trick or treat in the neighborhoods surrounding our home. I now enjoy seeing trick or treaters enjoying the holiday the same way I did. And with the exception of the Halloween-goers who do a little more tricking than treating, what’s the harm?

Many communities don’t mind buying candy for the neighborhood kids, and I believe many people like me, enjoy seeing the kids’ costumes and the fun that they have.

As long as everyone has fun and stays safe, I think we can all celebrate Halloween whatever way we want.

Rita Church
Syracuse


Leave Halloween to those of us who enjoy it

To the Editor:

I write in response to the letter by Tim Storey. In it he asserts that celebrating Halloween is “a superstitious and empty way of imposing mindless triviality.” Might I take the time to remind you that just next weekend Christmas merchandise season begins? Stores will begin rolling out the cheap ornamentation and tacky plastic wares in red and green that remind us it is the season to purchase.

I ready myself each year for the inevitable stories of shopper injury and death at the traditional “Black Friday” sales, directly associated with Christmas. And then there is the inevitable tar and feathering of anyone who dares utter a sentiment of disdain against it all. You know the “war on Christmas” downer?

Seriously though, if you want to crusade for a more Christian holiday why don’t you start there and leave Halloween to those of us who enjoy it for what it is. As a non-Christian, I know I’d appreciate it.

Chris Lynch
Syracuse

JHC, PEOPLE! (YOU TOO, TIM STOREY, whoever you are!) A billion years ago Halloween may have meant something quite different to pagans, Christians and Celts, but today, in the good ole USA, it's a billion dollar industry and fun time for the kids (to wit, Christmas, Easter and Mardi Gras). True, that All Souls and All Saints should be regarded as a time of honor and rememberance of our dear departed family and friends, should not be forgotten, BUT C'MON. The kids could care less about the history behind Halloween. They just want to dress up and be someone - or something - else for one night just as we did so long ago (and did we care?). And, Tim m'man. That idea of yours about dressing up as biblical figures? I can see the ACLU crawling out from under their rocks now to make mince meat out of that one.......and I'm sure they could find a ton of twisted consititutional reasons for doing so.

=== Google News Alert for: The pagan feast of Halloween is foreign to Christian tradition and has become a superstitious and empty way of imposing mindless triviality ===

Halloween celebrates death
Taipei Times
The pagan feast of Halloween is foreign to Christian tradition and has
become a superstitious and empty way of imposing mindless triviality. ...

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Darth Vader outfit a good choice to combat 'Satanic' Halloween
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Posted 1 day ago


(Re: "Halloween not very Christian" in the Oct. 29 edition of the Examiner)

Tim Storey suggests in his letter that those of us that observe Halloween are "in reality celebrating death, the devil, and hell."

As an alternative to Halloween, he suggests that parents not allow their children to go trick-or-treating, but, instead, attend "costume parties where they can dress as Biblical figures."

This letter got me thinking about my own views and morality surrounding Halloween.

Here I was, set to take my little boy out trick-or-treating, dressed as Darth Vader (he loves theStar Warsmovies).

Luckily, I read this letter and realized how close to devil worship I had come.

So, I was then prepared to take Mr. Storey's advice and forgo Halloween and instead take my son to a Biblical costume party. I thought maybe I could teach my son some good morals by doing this, and thought why not dress him up as that great Biblical figure Abraham?

Probably a good message for my boy.

Then I reconsidered and decided to take him out on Halloween dressed as Darth Vader.

My reasoning?

Even if this is some sort of Satanic ritual as Mr. Storey suggests, at least at the end of the day, Darth Vader wasn't truly ready to kill his own son.

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Terry Worrall Barrie

Trick Or Treat
The Post-Standard - Syracuse.com - Laura Dobler - ‎Oct 29, 2009‎
I wish Tim Storey would educate himself because he is insulting a very large group of people in the Syracuse area alone. DNZ Property goes to investors with capital-raising deal
New Zealand Herald - Anne Gibson - ‎Oct 15, 2009‎
Tim Storey, DNZ's new chairman replacing Alastair Hasell, has just sent letters to investors inviting them to participate. But he did not say how much was ... LETTERS: A million here, a million there ...
Las Vegas Review - Journal - ‎Oct 29, 2009‎
K wrote on October 29, 2009 08:32 AM: Tim Storey - your letter made me laugh out loud. You sir, are a sanctimonious ignoramus. ...