I came over to Sepia Mutiny to write about this and discovered that something similar already is being thoroughly canvassed in comments here. Ah, well.
Recently I’ve marked the onset of each winter by complaining about the people who complain about the de-Christianization of Christmas. My last post on the matter focused particularly on the bizarre spectacle of some Christian extremists who are offended when Wal-Mart fails to greet them with Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays, and who assume they are being discriminated against because Christmas, unlike Kwanzaa and Hannukah, didn’t have a section separated from Holiday on the giant retailer’s website. I found their desire to have their religion associated with trees and Barbies very bizarre, concluding “Personally, I’d be annoyed if paintball places declared themselves to be celebrating Holi.”
p> Then I stopped and thought about whether I’d feel differently in India, where I’d be in the majority rather than in a small minority. Maybe there I’d feel that something was being taken from me, that my place in the majority was being disrespected, if the day before Diwali, someone merely wished me “Happy Holidays” in an attempt to be inclusive of Eid (which this year came the day after Diwali). Can anyone who’s been in India more recently than I recall instances of Hindu holidays being traditionally tied to secular items, and Hindus’ being offended when the secular items were dissociated from the religious holiday?
Speaking of commercial acknowledgments of faith, I’m not offended, but I am a little puzzled that my planner notes Christian, Jewish, Muslim and even Buddhist holidays, but nothing of Hinduism. I think the maker, Quo Vadis, is based in Canada, but surely there aren’t so many more Buddhists or Muslims in the Great White North than there are Hindus?
UPDATE: Here’s one way to get a multicultural holiday — put bindis on Mary and Joseph.