It was Sveriges Radio, the local public radio station broadcasting from Malmö. They were wondering if I would be agreeable to being on the program in FIVE MINUTES to talk a bit about Halloween and trick-or-treating, since I'm apparently one of their go-to Halloween experts. One of our neighbors works in broadcasting and she's the one that gave them my contact info a couple of years ago.
That time, it was a longer, actual interview about Halloween, the traditions and trappings and the cultural aspects of it. This time, I think I might have hit the 3-minute mark, if that.
The reason why they called was because Halloween made the news (Swedish) in the local papers yesterday, and not in a good way. According to the article, some children were yelled at, told to get lost, and and one woman even reported the trick-or-treaters to the police. These were 10-year-old children! Yeesh.
The reason why they called ME wasn't because they wanted clarification on what trick-or-treating IS, but because my neighbor had told them about how WE handle trick-or-treating in our neighborhood. I got the idea from my friend Debbie years ago, but never got around to it while the kids were really small. We started in 2006 and have organized it every year but one since then (last year we were on our way to Italy on Halloween).
Here's how I described it before and basically what I told the radio host this morning: It's not just a free-for-all through the entire village. We print up and send out letters of explanation at least a week in advance, warning people and saying that if they want to participate, they can put the enclosed pumpkin cut-out on their door or mailbox and then the kids will know it is okay to knock on their door. The kids are told not to knock on the doors of houses that don't have one of our pumpkin papers on it. All the kids gather at our house and then are allowed to roam through our neighborhood ONLY. It's a contained area and everyone knows one another, and several parents walk around the streets with the children. It only lasts about an hour or so, and the kids always come back happy and excited, just like they ought to, when it's Halloween.
And then I dithered for about 10 minutes after I hung up the call, because I had said erbjudan when I meant inbjudan* and I left for work and got halfway through the village before realizing that I had left my purse at home, and ALL the way to work the second time before I realized I had left all my work papers on the kitchen counter. *sigh*
AND THEN! When I walked into the office, one of the colleagues in my department said, "HEY! I heard you on the radio this morning!" and proceeded to make fun of my accent. Like he has room to talk, since he's a foreigner himself. Heh!
EDITED TO ADD: Here's the link to the interview if you want to hear my horrendous Swedish accent yourself! :D (the interview starts just after 09:25)
Foggy Bloggy Birthday Wishes to vember and Eva!
*Offer instead of invitation, sort of