Monday, December 19, 2005

Dispatch from the Front: the War on Christmas

December 19, 2005. Yogyakarta, Central Java, Indonesia
In this 90% Muslim country, Christmas is alive and well. Many shops are decorated for the season and wish people Merry Christmas with signs (sometimes in English, more often in Indonesian). While I haven't yet observed any jilbab clad (scarf wearing) patrons purchase Christmas related items, the stores that advertise Christmas specials are full of jilbab wearing customers and clerks. Hotels and restaurants pleasantly blast Christmas carols with full vocals, "Noel, noel, born is the king of Israel...", "Have a holly, jolly Christmas, it's the best time of the year...", and "O, little town of Bethlehem..."

Kompas is Indonesia's national paper of record, like the New York Times but without the fake stories by its reporters. Yesterday's "Living" section in Kompas proved just how much this country gets Christmas with an article titled (my translation): "Santa Claus is here. Let's go shopping!"



Blogger sexyretard said...

It is ironic, indeed. I'm told by Christian missionaries that they had more rights of evangelism in Saddam's Iraq, especially when it came to schools, than they did in the United States.

I'm also told that Russian kids can have organized prayer in school settings.

Comrades, I wonder just who the godless commies are. Of course, I have to give the usual disclaimer that commercialization is bad, and that saying "Christmas" rather than "holidays" is not going to lead to revival.

10:44 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

O'Reilly was right: Christmas has been exiled, but what an unlikely destination! It would appear that the less Christmas means to a people, the more comfortable their commercial establishments are proclaiming it loudly and proudly. Keep the dispatches coming, cajun!

10:57 AM  
Blogger mkchicago said...

Here's an NRO atricle that parallels this thread nicely.
The Real War on Christmas

"this Christmas, many churches in Indonesia will be surrounded by the uniformed Muslim Banser group, a wing of Nahdlatul Ulama, the world's largest Muslim organization. The Bansers will not be there to attack the churches but to help protect them from extremists, to prevent any reprise of the Christmas 2000 bombings. Nahdlatul Ulama has done this for several years, in cooperation with the police and the Christian, Hindu, and Buddhist communities."

Have you seen any of this Cajun?

11:23 AM  

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