Friday, June 22, 2007

O Natal na Austrália

Nos comentários a este post do Fruits and Votes sobre o solisticio de Verão, "Alan" dá uma descrição curiosa do espirito de Natal na Austrália:

There is a not very serious theory that the cynicism with which Australians view politics (and everything else) is learnt as children. When even Christmas is plainly contrary to fact, something has to give.

All the cultural references involve snow, which most Australian children have never seen, and cold, which contrasts sharply with the old-scale century degree temperatures in the shade. It was worse a generation ago. People staggered through the blinding heat to consume a Christmas dinner that refused in any way to concede that it was summer.

Think spray-on snow ( a nasty plastic substance sprayed on windows to give the appearance of boreal frost) that often actually melts in the heat and gives off a nasty smell. Think about eating Christmas pudding when the temperature is such that merely moving can induce heat stroke. Think about Santa suffering an incredibly bumpy ride because he’s hitched his sleigh to mythical white kangaroos. The music goes: ‘Jinglebells, jinglebells, thump’ because the merry carollers pass out if they forget to drink enough water to keep hydrated.

Happily this clash of culture and climate has largely ended. It has given rise to Yuletide, an entirely secular festival when you guzzle in June all the northern hemisphere stuff that would render you totally insensible if you even looked at it in December. Naturally business is trying to take a real festival and turn it into an excuse for gifts and heavy consumer expenditure. Fits nicely into the long spending break between Easter and Christmas.

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