Friday, January 7, 2011

Christmas in Sanur, 3

An article recently appeared in The Bali Times, the English language newspaper here, which seems particular suited toward further delineation of my point, and so I quote verbatim as follows:


The country's top Islamic body has said Christmas decorations in malls, amusement centres, and public places are "excessive and provocative."

Christmas ornamentation has been put up in an "excessive and provocative way," said Muhyidin Janaedi, one of the chairmen of the Indonesia Ulemas Council (MUI).

"It should be done in a proportional manner, as Muslims are the majority here, otherwise it will hurt their feelings," he said.

He said that MUI issued a recommendation urging mall and recreation centre managers to act proportionally in decorating their premises.

"We received complaints from a number of malls' employees who are forced to wear Santa Claus costumes which are against their faith. Such things should not have happened," he said.

"We need to restrain muslims from joining the festivities," Junaedi added.

Against their faith, the man says. What, the dreaded Santy Claus costume? Forced to wear the infidel red hat, the pointy one with the white cotton ball on top? Shiver me timbers!

But what faith is this that the man calls their faith? What faith is it whose members worship a fat man in a red suit, so offending the members of another faith in the process. What is it about Christmas trees, colored lights, excessive shop window decorations that has “hurt their feelings?”

Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas!

Ho, ho, ho, and a bottle of rum!

Yes, it’s piracy, nothing less. We have been struck on the high seas, the ship has been scuttled, the castle has been sacked, and the booty made away with by that jolly old pirate with the pink cheeks, the cherry red nose, and a stomach that shakes when he laughs like a bowl of Jello.

Dastardly, I say! Robbery pure and simple.

We are inclined to agree with the man from the MUI.

But wait . . . What faith are we talking about. What faith is represented by Santy Claus? Why, none, of course. He is neither Pope nor God nor the son of God. He is not a prophet. He is neither Krishna or Vishnu. You do not find his portrait on the church alter or pew. His charge is over eight reindeer, not twelve apostles.

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