TRADITIONAL autumn celebrations are fast approaching - wonderful. A regular marking of the seasonal changes.
Some, like ‘conkers’ or sharing a ‘harvest festival’, are simple but ancient traditions.
They richly reflect our social and political history and are important sources of patrimony - handed down through generations. Society, fashion and customs change with time.
Many customs have become increasingly commercial and the ‘experience’ may often mask the origins or meaning of the event being celebrated.
In fact, the entertainment value may be the sole focus for organisers of such events - perhaps, thereby, explaining the advertisement for ‘Hallowe’en’ currently displayed at Brooklands Boating Lake, Worthing.
It seems that in addition to the traditional ‘ghost train, witches and wizards rides, etc’ there is to be a Torture Chamber!
This is horrendous. How can the promoters of this event ever imagine it is appropriate to offer such a topic as ‘entertainment’? We have only to be partially aware of international events to know how torture is grotesquely used to distort justice and liberty.
Such barbaric treatment is often reported to have been used on civilians, including many children. Torture is abhorrent and many organisations, such as Amnesty International, have worked tirelessly throughout the world to eliminate it.
Surely we owe it to our youngsters to have a true ‘reality’ check with this issue - and encourage them to always uphold the values of our democratic traditions, at home and abroad.
I hope the organisers of the Brooklands Hallowe’en celebrations, and the authority approving it, reconsider what they propose as ‘entertainment’ for our children - before the end of this month. Perhaps I am out of step - I hope not.
St Thomas’s Road, Worthing