Czech Republic
Lidové Noviny, 21 December 2009

Santa go home

Published on 21 December 2009 at 13:21
Lidové Noviny, 21 December 2009

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Leading with the headline "Face-off between snowmen and Santa!", Lidové Noviny reports on a demonstration by members of the "Save baby Jesus" group who gathered outside the Czech parliament on 18 December. The activists are demanding more respect for Czech Christmas traditions, which usually attribute the bearing of gifts to the baby Jesus—a role they worry will now be usurped by Santa. As group leader Eva Fruhwirtová, explains: "The baby Jesus and other Czech Christmas traditions are an important part of our identity.” Fruhwirtová, who has also penned a petition against Santa addressed to Prime Minister Jan Fischer, wants her fellow citizens to resist cultural dominance from abroad. "We defended our traditions against 'Deda Mraz' (the Soviet Santa), now we're defending them against the American Santa," she adds. A large number of Prague shops, which are supporting the campaign, have decorated their windows with appropriately Czech Christmas symbols. Snowmen are encouraged, but Santa is not welcome.

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