Todd: So Megen we are talking about Holidays and Christmas and in the last interview we talked the difference between Christmases in a cold country and a warm country, so now I thought we would talk about Christmas in countries that aren’t really Christian countries. They don’t really celebrate it for religious reasons. So we’re in Japan and it’s interesting that in Japan it’s a romantic day, right?
Megen: Yes. Yeah it is.
Todd: It’s like Valentine’s Day
Megen: Yes, you have to spend Christmas with your partner.
Todd: Right, and everybody looks forward to it – to go out on a date and give each other gifts, and yeah.
Megen: Yeah, yeah, I think the fireworks are for the boyfriend and girlfriend and I think, and I think there are a lot of decorations that are similar to like Valentine’s actually.
Todd: Yeah, it’s interesting because they have the Christmas decoration everywhere, but nobody gets the day off. No families celebrate it really.
Megen: Yeah, it’s a regular day.
Todd: Except eating the chicken dinner, which we talked about — the fried chicken dinner. Yeah, so it’s kind of like one of those, like I call it a soft holiday. Like in America a soft holiday would be St Patrick’s Day. Like everybody has to go to work but you do something that day related to the holiday even though you have no historical connection to it at all.
Megen: Ah, I see.
Todd: So for example on St Patrick’s Day you drink green beer and you wear green. Like, do you do that in Australia?
Megen: Ah, that started to become a thing in Australia that the bars do tend to have green beer, and you have green clothing that you might wear and people go out. It’s definitely a drinking holiday. Not a holiday though.
Todd: Right, are there any other holidays that you’ve absorbed into Australia?
Megen: Well, people are starting to celebrate Halloween more these days and people take their kids trick or treating.
Todd: Oh, really?
Megen: Yeah! Not everyone does it, though I think that some people like to put a sign on their front door to say that trick-or-treaters are welcome, because generally we don’t do that kind of thing in Australia, but the departments, the department stores are having more decorations and it’s definitely infiltrating from America I think.
Todd: Oh, that’s interesting. So, in America Halloween is a big time to have parties. Do you have parties?
Megen: I think more and more people are having parties. They have their own party in their house with decorations and costumes, but it’s hard to say how many people celebrate Halloween really.
Todd: Well, what about costumes? Did you wear a costume?
Megen: I never wore a costume in Australia. I had never celebrated Halloween, but I noticed that some of my friends, and friends with children, they are celebrating it more, and it’s becoming just a chance to have a party and dress up.
Todd: As an English teacher did you dress up here in Japan?
Megen: Yes, I did actually. Twice.
Todd: Oh, you did. Did you like it?
Megen: I did. It was fun to dress up. I dressed up as a character from a Jubilee movie, and it was really good to get together with my friends and to go out. Have you ever dressed up before?
Todd: Oh, countless times. Countless. Yeah, so as a kid it was a big thing definitely in America.
1) In Japan, Christmas is a ______ holiday.
2) What do they say about Christmas in Japan?
3) Department stores are having more decorations for _____ .
4) How many times has she worn a Halloween costume in Australia?
5) Where did she dress up?