St. Nick Ban Causes Stir in Vienna
St. Nick, nein! A ban on St. Nicholas at Vienna's kindergartens is taking some of the ho-ho-ho out of the holidays for tens of thousands of tots this year. And it's creating a political ruckus, with opposition parties accusing City Hall of kowtowing to a growing Muslim population by showing Europe's Santa the kindergarten door.
Municipal officials insist their decision is prompted more by psychology than political correctness. Instead of joy, the sight of a strange bearded figure at the door evokes fear in most kids, they argue. And they point out that the policy on St. Nicholas is more than a decade old -- though they concede it is being enforced more rigorously than in the past.
While Santa rules in the far north, the jolly elf has little tradition in
Austria and surrounding countries. As in past years, some booths at
Vienna's main Christmas market are again plastered with stickers depicting
Santa with a diagonal red bar across his fluffy white beard -- the work of
a group in Austria, Switzerland and Germany that sees Santa as a symbol of
the commercialization of Christmas and a threat to local traditions.
comments powered by Disqus
- Is it a reminder of Nazis or a historical object worthy of saving?
- Supreme Court reveals that the docket books of many justices survive -- and are being made available
- Poll: Majority Of Americans Say Obama Is Mixed Race, Not Black
- New technology helps paleontologists see Ice-Age bee in intricate detail
- History textbooks in crosshairs of Australia's curriculum wars
- She Came All the Way from Melbourne to Attend the OAH
- The 7 Most Popular HNN Videos from the 2014 OAH
- Jesse Lemisch’s up-from-below history is still strikingly original
- U.Va. Historian Alan Taylor Wins 2014 Pulitzer for Book on Slaves and War -- His second Pulitzer!
- UW Professor Stephanie Camp, 46, feminist historian, dies