Finnish media attacks Christmas school play with black character
Finnish news media has come out against a children's Christmas play because of traditional black character.
Published: December 21, 2017, 8:19 am
An innocent traditional Finnish Christmas performance in Jysk, is being attacked by leftists because it features a black person played by a white actor.
The play is based upon the gospel of Matthew telling of the Wise Men’s journey in the Bible to honour the newborn child Jesus, and of King Herod, who orders his soldiers to murder all of the young Jewish boys in the hope of killing the one newborn.
The Finnish state broadcaster article on the Christmas play, Tiernapojat, noted that the character playing the King of the East – thought to be of dark complexion – darkened his face. The piece also criticised other cultural Christian traditions using “black face”.
The play is presented at Christmas all over Finland. Its roots are in medieval mystery performances. In other parts of Europe, presentations are mainly related to the Epiphany. The tradition in Finland came from Sweden.
In Oulu, the Tiernapojat has been organized since 1933 and a foundation has been set up to maintain the tradition. The most talented people are generally seen in the Christmas play performed at Finnish schools.
Most readers will be familiar with Black Pete of the Netherlands, a character that helps Santa deliver presents to the children for Christmas.
Black Pete has been regularly attacked by leftists in the Netherlands and the negative reports of “racists” has made its way into the international press.
As in Holland, Zwarte Piet, a local Christmas tradition, is being tarnished in Finland by Yleisradio Oy, the Finnish Broadcasting Company which is Finland’s national public-broadcasting company, YLE.
YLE has interviewed a feminist music teacher, Minja Koskela, and Muslim activist, Marya Abdulkarim to deliver what they believe is the coup de grâce to the traditional Christmas play.
According to the music teacher, Koskela, Tiernapojat should no longer be performed in schools. “Blackface is a racist practice, it has racist roots, and even if it is not understood as racist, it still is. Period.”
Koskela is a self-proclaimed feminist, teacher, blogger and researcher who wants to end gender roles in school.
“Cultural connotation is a new concept in Finland too. It has become a part of the social debate only in recent years. It is understandable that the discussion is slow,” says Koskela.
“As for the school world, the new, newly introduced curriculum has clear guidelines on what values should be taught. It clearly states that multiculturalism and the diversity of pupils’ backgrounds must be taken into account,”she added.
Marya Abdulkarim, a national Muslim activist, says blackface mocks the position and characteristics of the subordinate. It caricatures minority representatives. The tradition is based on abuses of power and oppression, according to Abdulkarim.
Abdulkkarim is a Muslim rights activist who insists that Finland is inherently racist.
The brunt of the YLE article focuses on the Dutch tradition of Black Pete suggesting guilt by association, even though there is no connection between the black king, and Black Peter.
There seems to be a political agenda at the expense of Finnish children by portraying them as “racists” because they enjoy rehearsing the lines and acting for audiences during Christmas,
In Finland, the proportion of dark-skinned people has been negligible.
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