Now that the holiday season is over, can we now say, “bah! humbug” without disrupting the self-hugs that many multi-culturalists are giving themselves?
In my previous post I had written about the 3 layers of culture we learn to negotiate. That was actually a very simplistic way of looking at culture. Let us introduce a level of complexity. Imagine that this individual moves to a culture where he is an outsider—perhaps is an immigrant, a globe-trotting professional or just part of the constantly churning global population?
For instance, she is a Hindu ( albeit, a laid back Hindu) in a largely Christian but also substantially mixed racial, religious society. Suppose she claims a participant’s stake in the Christian traditions?
So how many flakey layers of cultures can there be?
Multicultural Poster and Posturing
So here is this multicultural poster that I happened to see a few days ago. It said, “Happy Holidays” and had a whole list of festivals so we could wish everyone a happy holiday season. By the logic of the politically correct multiculturalists either we all celebrate or no one does.
So the poster starts off: Hanukkah(24th Dec), Christmas(25th Dec), Kwanzaa(26th Dec); so far so good. Trying very hard, the poster manages to find Pancha Ganapati ((21-25 Dec) for the Hindus….
On Being Told What to Believe
“Pancha Ganapati? What is this?” I ask myself. I am of the laidback, agnostic, non-ritualistic variety, but nevertheless a born Hindu. So I investigate. I google.…Ooops! It does exist! Here is a link and lots more, if anyone is curious. So apparently someone decided that upset Hindu children should get gifts like other children around Christmas time. Knowing that Hinduism gives you the license to create /invent gods and festivals, I cannot argue. But I am convinced that Pancha Ganapati is actually a retail conspiracy. Expectedly, in the next few years India and Hindus worldwide will switch over to Panch Ganapati of instead of Diwali or Dusherra because that’s right in the middle of the shopping season.
Or, is this some humbug from the militant multiculturalists who want to tell Hindus what they should be celebrating?… Because they need a Hindu festival to fit into the “Holiday season”?
Then, I look at the poster further. For the Buddhists, Bodhi Day(Dec), Yule (Dec 21) for the Pagans, Omisoka for the Japanese, St. Nicolas Day, Chinese New Year, St Lucia Day, Festival of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Three Kings’ Day and for the Muslims, Ramadan, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.
Notice how the multicultural logic is breaking down. If the list is by country or by religion, is the poster not missing a few? If the list by the month of the year, Eid al-Fitr is almost 6 months off.
Paying for Being Included
These sentimental well-intentioned folks have to be told to stop being so belligerent about inclusiveness. Not to be included is better than being included on someone else’s terms. The multiculturalists are taking away my freedom to my beliefs, and trying to give Christians a guilt complex they do not deserve. If I wish someone, “Merry Christmas” and if the person happens to the same to me, I am not offended. I do not become a Christian, I do not celebrate Christmas, but I party.
Does anyone have a problem with that?