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Tarvos - TAC 2015 Pushkin/Scan

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tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
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China
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Studies: Greek, Modern Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Korean, Esperanto, Finnish

 
 Message 993 of 1511
06 December 2013 at 3:42pm | IP Logged 
Zwarte Piet is black because he crawls down chimneys and is thus covered in soot. Some
people think it has to do with slavery, but if we're going to go back in history, the
Zwarte Piet is actually based upon Moorish traditions (or even Odin's black ravens). As
far as I know, Zwarte Pieten are just helpers who can be a little mischievous at times.
As always, people would do well to actually research the origins of Sinterklaas and
Zwarte Piet before yelling nonsensical crap at camera's.

There was a national uproar about this but I didn't follow it because someone who
thinks Zwarte Piet is racist just has no goddamn inkling about what they are talking
about. Apart from the fact that they just happen to be black because of traditional
origins of Saint Nicholas coming from Spain with Moorish helpers (if he'd come from
Turkey, then they might have been tanned? Or what if he'd come from China?), there's a
perfectly good non-historical explanation in the soot. If you want to think Sinterklaas
is "racist" (wtf? Sinterklaas gives presents to Dutch of people of African or Caribbean
origin just as much?) then you're just looking for a stick to hit things with and
complain.

I don't understand how the Zwarte Piet depiction is cliché either - they look like
circus costumes who are painted black, they don't look like a poor black guy starving.
Yes, they have large earrings, but so what? That's just a look, an image, all religious
traditions have weird imagery. Are we going to ban Santa Claus for being insulting
towards obese people or for animal cruelty towards reindeer? It just doesn't make any
sense. It was a parody based on an old joke that's developed into something secular and
in no way is intended to mock anything. We don't live in the Stone Age.



Edited by tarvos on 06 December 2013 at 3:43pm

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Ogrim
Heptaglot
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France
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 Message 994 of 1511
06 December 2013 at 4:06pm | IP Logged 
In Alsace Saint Nicolas is also accompanied by a figure who punishes naughty children, here he's called Hans Trapp, and he is not black, but will wear dark clothes and often a blackish beard. He also wears a rod or a whip. Small kids might be scared of him, but the bigger ones will rather try to mock him and hit him back with something hard...

The Alsatian tradition has probably its origins in the German celebration of Nikolaustag. And also in Alsace many people give the gifts on the eve of 24 December (when the Christkindel comes, normally symbolised by a young girl dressed in white), while in the rest of France it is normally on the morning of the 25th, as far as I know.

Edited by Ogrim on 06 December 2013 at 4:07pm

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Josquin
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Germany
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 Message 995 of 1511
06 December 2013 at 4:50pm | IP Logged 
Thanks, tarvos! That's what I thought: Just some overambitious, overly PC people gone mad. Here in Germany, someone really demanded that children shouldn't be taught Christmas carols in kindergarten, because children of immigrants might feel excluded or even discriminated against.

Why not abolish all traditions, so nobody will feel excluded any more? The problem is no one will be able to feel included either, because we won't have a culture any longer. I'm normally not one of those cultural pessimists or even right-wing populists, but this simply goes too far...

Edited by Josquin on 06 December 2013 at 4:52pm

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tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2870 days ago

5310 posts - 9398 votes 
Speaks: Dutch*, English, Swedish, French, Russian, German, Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Afrikaans
Studies: Greek, Modern Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Korean, Esperanto, Finnish

 
 Message 996 of 1511
06 December 2013 at 5:40pm | IP Logged 
It hasn't got anything to do with being right-wing or cultural pessimism. It has to do
with knowing your history, and people don't.
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namoran
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United States
pooglegoo.blogspot.c
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 Message 997 of 1511
08 December 2013 at 3:24am | IP Logged 
will anyone organize a TAC 2014 challenge? This time last year the teams were assembling.
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tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2870 days ago

5310 posts - 9398 votes 
Speaks: Dutch*, English, Swedish, French, Russian, German, Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Afrikaans
Studies: Greek, Modern Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Korean, Esperanto, Finnish

 
 Message 998 of 1511
08 December 2013 at 3:03pm | IP Logged 
There's a sign-up thread on the first page, go look for it.

I certainly am not organizing anything, haha...

By the way, you lot will have to do without me for a couple days, as I am headed to
Munich tomorrow. This means I will be speaking lots of German (be prepared to see lots of
German on my 6WCBot and a lot of other languages as I will have long train journeys and
thus be capable of logging tons of hours for foreign languages.)
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milesaway
Triglot
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Russian Federation
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 Message 999 of 1511
08 December 2013 at 3:45pm | IP Logged 
Приятной поездки!
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tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2870 days ago

5310 posts - 9398 votes 
Speaks: Dutch*, English, Swedish, French, Russian, German, Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Afrikaans
Studies: Greek, Modern Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Korean, Esperanto, Finnish

 
 Message 1000 of 1511
11 December 2013 at 9:38am | IP Logged 
Thanks. I am in Germany now and I have noticed
that my speaking is rusty. Same goes for my
Swedish. I really ought to give some of my old
languages a bit of practice. I read an entire
Swedish book on the way here. On the way back
I will concern myself with French.

I am trying to finish most of the books I have
left to read right now - I have another
interview on Friday for Romania. I don't know
how much I will be able to take with me if I
go. I also want to buy a German book here to
practice that.

Furthermore I have hit level 5 of TTMIK.


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