[private] This past Halloween Honduras demonstrated to the world how politics have become entwined with religion. History has proven through the years that politics and religious traditions are like water and oil, an unfavorable match. Today we still continue to move forward with our eyes closed and our heads buried in the sand making the same mistakes.
I went through the same search in my younger days. I believed religion should control politics until I learned the true meaning of things. Religion is the search for truth. The truth is there for us to seek, but all too often we fail to do so in our daily lives. Politics is not about searching for the truth rather it is more about control.
The origins of Halloween can be traced back 2,000 years to an ancient Celtic festival in what today is Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France. It celebrated the end of summer and the beginning of winter and their New Year. Originally created to mark the time or date the earth goes into hibernation or the dead time for the earth. For centuries, farmers have known this and prepared their fields for this dormant time. In the spring, fields are plowed and planting begins as the earth rejuvenates itself for new life.
Halloween, like Christmas and other holidays, has become over-commercialized. Christmas shopping begins as early as October, with merchants trying to increase their sales and children asking their parents for early Christmas gifts. Whatever happened to Santa, or dressing up in festive costumes and having parties at Halloween? We are losing sight of our traditions in the name of commercialism and tourism.
Tourism has become the number one industry in Honduras and as such we need to put our minds to work on how to attract more tourists to Honduras and the Bay Islands. Congress voted to curtail the Halloween festivities putting a damper on possible income for businesses in Honduras. Some will rationalize and say it was for safety reasons, but in the end it was in the interest of economics. In the Bay Islands, most of our descendants are from the Great Britain area and are knowledgeable concerning the origins of Halloween and how this celebration became intertwined in religious celebrations.
In short, Halloween is part of our heritage and culture. This celebration makes us unique to Honduras. Our heritage and culture is also the main reason why the Bay Islands are among the number one areas for tourism in Honduras and makes them a primary source of income from taxes imposed on tourists.
A designated Congress member should work closely with the Chamber of Commerce of Honduras to review the annual calendar for holidays celebrated both in Honduras and internationally. They could investigate the historical background and the significance of each particular holiday and how it is celebrated. Then they could develop a theme for each holiday, targeting the tourist industry via the internet to come to Honduras and the Bay Islands to celebrate these holidays, boosting our much needed economic status.
Our Congress should take a closer look at areas generating the most income from taxes for the government. We need a voice in Congress affecting decisions for the Bay Islands. We are an internationally based department with only one vote, but Honduras collects the largest amount of money from our tourists compared to any other department.
How much was it the Congress’ intention to stop the Halloween celebration in all the bars and restaurants and how was this decision made. What may be good for one area of the country may not be the best for another area. This is the case and point here. Honduras is made up of multiple heritages and the Islanders do not have the same heritage and culture as the rest of Honduras. If our customs and culture is taken away from us, we have less to offer to the world. This is what makes the islanders unique and we need to retain our uniqueness. We do this to attract tourists from around the world, and to continue collecting the largest source of taxes from the tourists visiting our islands.