Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Chinese proposal to cancel Christmas

I think this is actually a great idea for the West too. Christmas is an orgy of excess and unwanted presents, followed by January Sales where regret and a desire to slim down consumerism is confused with saving money! The Christians only originally celebrated Christmas to appease the Mithrains (who had a 12 day festival this time of year). Yes the religious nativity story is important within that faith, but the fact that 3 wise men turned up with some gifts is a rather slender excuse for the modern FlatScreenTV & Turkey orgiastic version. Arguably if you wanted to follow the bible there would be some very special baby showers in late december and that's about it!

Their cultural argument is very interesting too:

The opening line of the ten PhDs’ ‘Appeal’ reads: Occidental culture in China has already turned from ‘gentle breeze and fine drizzle’ to ‘fierce winds and gushing rain’, with the most direct and focused manifestation being the quiet rise and increasing popularity of celebrating Christmas. Thus, us ten PhD students from different Chinese institutes of higher learning and research centers, call in all seriousness on our countrymen to beware Christmas, and move out of your collective cultural unconsciousness and raise up Chinese culture.”

Story reported here


AliT said...

I'm a newcomer to this but this blog is great, full of ideas rather than the usual climate-porn with no suggested actions to take.

John Grant said...

thx alit and welcome :J

Andrew Smart said...

I love the idea of redefining Christmas somehow. I hae to confess I HATE CHRISTMAS and all the mindless consumerism that is attached. I've long thought about some sort of personal protest to this in the form of some kind of culture jamming/street art but reading this post started me thinking that people should be presented with some useful alternatives.

What if there was a place/brand/community/movement that encouraged the giving of more sustainable gifts. ie. six hours babysitting, a sexy massage or an offer to repair a garden wall or paint a ceiling.

Maybe there could be some sort of customisable downloadable gift certificates, so people could print them and give something physical.

They could be assigned catagories to make it more useable. For an example, I love cycling. The perfect gift ofr me isn't a bike or any amount of equipment. Actually, time to ride my bike(s) is far more valuable to me. If someone offered to wash them for me as well, then I'd be over the moon.

My point is, this kind of gift insight is useful. To me, to the giver, and to everybody else who'll benefit in the long run if simano don't manufacture so many small carbon fibre thing-a-me-jigs next year.

I could see this being in the spirit of 'change the world for a fiver'.

What do you reckon? Anyone fancy changing next Christmas fr the better? I know I'll be a lot happier come November if I knew I was doing something else this year.