The Communist Chinese government — and yes, they’re still Communists after all these years — canceled Christmas this year.
It took less than 24 hours for all the Christmas trees, lights and bells to disappear from a 27-story shopping and office complex in the Chinese city of Nanyang.
Even the giant teddy bear at the mall entrance wasn’t spared, said Ma Jun, who works at a tutoring company in the building.
“Everything is gone and cleaned,” she said.
Christmas continues to be a shopping festival across most of China, with huge trees adorning shopping malls in Shanghai and Beijing, but a growing emphasis on traditional culture by the ruling Communist Party and the systematic suppression of religion under President Xi Jinping are imperiling Santa Claus’s position.
At least four Chinese cities and one county have ordered restrictions on Christmas celebrations this year, according to official notices and interviews. Students, teachers and parents from 10 schools around China told The Associated Press that Christmas celebrations have been curtailed.
“The ongoing local reaction against Christmas is part of the wider sentiment since Xi took power,” said Zi Yang, a China expert at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.
You would think the secular nature of Christmas would appeal to the commie atheists in the Chinese government. Not so. A growing cultural nationalism in China seeks to remove foreign influences:
“You have a culturally conservative ethos in the country that has definitely been encouraged by the central party-state,” said Guo Yingjie, a professor of Chinese studies at the University of Sydney. “It’s not hard for university presidents or officials to say, ‘OK celebrating Christmas can easily be seen as de-Sinification or promoting Western culture.’”
Students have taken to social media to complain about restrictions on Christmas celebrations at their schools.
At a top Shanghai university, a student union had its Christmas plans cancelled for the first time, an organizer told the AP on condition of anonymity, fearing rebuke.
The students came up with a solution: By replacing “Christmas” with “New Year’s” in their activity proposal and changing the date from Dec. 25, it sailed past school administrators.
No doubt there are many diversity freaks in the U.S. who are applauding the Chinese government’s restrictions on Christmas. What makes us think that our cultural icons are any better than a Chinese cultural icon? This should teach us all a lesson in humility…or something.
I’m sure Santa is secretly pleased. That’s a billion fewer kids he has to stop and deliver presents to. He’s getting kind of old and he can sure use a break now and then.