Tuesday, December 29, 2009

St. Nicolas, Santa Claus and Turkey’s shameful hypocrisy

Saint Nicholas (270 - 6 December 346) is the canonical and most popular name for Nicholas of Myra, a saint and Greek Bishop of Myra (Demre, in Lycia, part of modern-day Turkey). He was born when Lycia was part of the Roman province of Asia and was Hellenistic in its culture and outlook. When Myra was overtaken by the Islamic invaders, the Sjesluk Turks, sailors from Bari, Italy seized the remains of the saint and brought the remains with them and cared for them. There are numerous variations of this account. The most popular is that they are said to have taken them in response to a vision wherein Saint Nicholas himself appeared and commanded that his relics be moved in order to preserve them from the impending Muslim conquest.

Santa Claus, whose English name comes from the Dutch Sinterklaas, was the mixture of Saint Nicolas and the Santa Claus from Lapland. The historical St. Nicolas was model of the contemporary Santa Claus which is celebrated over the world with Christmas, 24 and 25 of December. So in fact, Saint Nicolas is still a Christian saint and Santa Claus the ‘secular’ and popular variant. And both are celebrated on different days because St. Nicolas is a traditional Winter holiday figure in the Netherlands, Belgium, Aruba, Suriname and Netherlands Antilles, celebrated every year on Saint Nicholas' eve (5 December) or, in Belgium, on the morning of 6 December. The feast celebrates the birth day (actually his name day, a Greek tradition until this very nice day in December) It is also celebrated in the traditionally Germanic parts of France (North, Alsace, Lorraine), as well as in Luxembourg, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Poland, Hungary, Croatia, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and in the town of Trieste and in Eastern Friuli in Italy. Additionally, many Roman Catholics of Alsatian and Lotharingian descent in Cincinnati, Ohio, celebrate "Saint Nicholas Day" on the morning of 6 December.

Now, the Turkish minister of Culture, who probably never in his live celebrated Christmas or St. Nicolaes Eve or morning, in all his pious Muslim devotedness, decided to bring back the remains of St. Nicolaes back to Turkey…where it belongs in his opinion. Of course his arguments are pure 100% commercial and not based upon Cultural heritage (What is Turkish and Muslim about both St. Nicolaes and Santa Claus?). So, the remains of St. Nicolaes can stay in Bari where they are safe. Because when the remains would be send back to Myra/Demre, the Greek Orthodox Church there would be turned into a museum and the remains would be exploited for commercial and propagandist reasons. It was not long ago that in Van, Turkey, the Armenian 7th century Cathedral Church of the Holy Cross of Aghtama was restored and turned into a museum, going on with the Cultural Genocide in contemporary Turkey.
And im my opinion you cannot demand something back what was never yours! This is usurpationism!

Day Opening - December 29

Winter in Italy