lundi 4 janvier 2010

Nordic Christmas-kitsch

As you see on this photo I took on the second week of December 2009 in Tavira, a small town at the Atlantic coast in Southern Portugal, even here the Christmas icons are snowflakes and fir or spruce trees. You can also see figures Santas in their winter coats, and even reindeer. At the same time, there is no real winter in Tavira. A local inhabitant told me her grandmother had once seen snow there, and the temperature never falls below zero. There are no fir or spruce trees in Algarve, thus the Christmas light girlands are decorating palms. In fact, the nature here is much more similar to the nature in Galilee where Jesus was born and grew up. In Galilee there are no firs or spruces, no reindeer, no real winter. In Galilee you can see palms and camels. Why then is Christmas celebrated as a Nordic festival, why do we have all these Nordic kitschy reindeer with their sledges, snowflakes and imitations of fir trees made of neon lights? Why do we not celebrate Christmas in Northern Europe and North America with Mediterranean icons as camels, donkeys and palm trees?

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