Having recently engaged in some discussions on the matter of racial tolerance in Poland, I was pleased to see that the Christmas show at Zosia’s school provided me with more raw material.
The show was, as usual, very good with lots of tear-jerking Christmas moments where the youngsters got up and performed while doting parents sat convinced that their offspring are destined to become superstars of stage and screen. Here’s a short clip of “Silent Night”, imagine this going for about an hour and you’ve got the general idea.
It was roughly half way through that I noticed a little girl with a dark brown painted face, a Lion-tooth necklace and a Zulu skirt and I knew we were in for something special. She was part of a group who were representing the people of the world bringing Christmas wishes to Młociny. Here they all are in all their glory:
I didn’t catch everything they said so forgive me but as best I can recall the world according to somebody at the school consists of:
A – Eskimos
B – Africans
C – Chinese
D – Japanese
E – Arabs
F – Red Indians
G – White girls from Poland (Her first words were “I am a white girl….”)
Unless this particular mix of peoples is a standard script for Polish Christmas school events, you have to wonder what though process goes into creating such a thing. I’ve tried various routes of logical thought but none of them lead to this particular line-up.
We have a brown painted face for Africa but no yellow paint for China or Japan. We have two of the seven representing extremely small minorities – Eskimos and Red Indians (she introduced herself as an Indian) and both are caricatures long since outdated. We have two relatively close (on a global scale) Chinese and Japanese and yet huge parts of the world are ignored – Australasia, South America, Indian sub-continent to mention just a few. The Arab is Sinbad’s sister, the African is straight out of a cartoon book that’s probably banned in most countries, the Red Indian is Sitting Bull’s daughter, Chinese and Japanese women are almost the same except Japanese women have an ogi (folding fan).
I know, I’m being completely unreasonable. This is a kids Christmas show and they are all no more than 7/8 years old, no harm done and I’m sure everyone taking part and attending realises that the world does not look like this….or do they?