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13 December, 2010

LET'S REJOICE IN DIFFERENCES AND PUT THE MERRY BACK IN OUR CHRISTMAS

I am the first to admit that I was slow to warm to the idea of an increased emphasis on multiculturalism in Canada.  I just didn't think that it was warranted.  Typically, I was thinking from a singular mind.

Needless to say, my attitude has softened and my understanding has grown proportionally in recent years. 

I appreciate multiculturalism now as a celebration of each other's culture and religion, not denying, avoiding or re-inventing it.  After all, Id is Id, Dewali is Dewali and Hanukkah is Hanukkah, which leads me to the point of this post...Why do Christian Christmas greetings become "Season's Greetings"?   

I agree with Clarence McMullen of Richmond Hill who suggests that a culture that denies its own traditions can never truly appreciate and celebrate other cultures, let alone their own.  In Clarence's words: "It is nothing less than hypocrisy to say 'Season's Greetings'; or even worse 'Holiday Greetings'," correctly pointing out that "holidays" are traditionally in the summer months.

He explains that he is a Christian who was raised in India.  "Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs would come to our house on Christmas to wish us well, have tea and cake, and even sing a few carols with us.  During other festivals, we would join family friends to celebrate with them as well.    We continue to do this in Canada and again the majority of people who come to our Christmas celebration are Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims.

"Should I be offended at what people of other faiths call their festivals?  Or should the true expression of my faith be to celebrate these occasions with my neighbours and to share their happiness?"

Right on, my friend Clarence.  But you are forgetting that we also "celebrate" something else in Canada these days and it is called "political correctness" which apparently applies only to Christians who are all too willing to sacrifice some of their traditions by watering down something so innocent as Christmas greetings.

Christmas is what it is...What's not so correct about that?

Merry Christmas, everyone!  No apologies from this traditionalist who recognizes the common roots of other religious festivals and the right to celebrate them without compromise.


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