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Ban on pork products in Kindergarten

(242 Posts)
ethelmeaker Tue 04-Dec-12 14:52:15

We have been asked by the parents council at my son's Kindergarten not to bring pork products in as part of the breakfast buffet (where once a week parents bring in various types of food to be served as a buffet) The Kindergarten is in Frankfurt and is a state Kindergarten, so I don't think this is a legitimate request. The e-mail that we received stated that "as some children don't eat pork for various reasons we would like to ask parents not to bring pork products anymore."
The only reason I can think of is to do with religion and in a state Kindergarten religion has no place as far as I am concerned. Just wondered if anyone else has any thoughts on this.

YDdraigGoch Tue 04-Dec-12 14:55:06

Odd, because I'm sure some don't eat bread, or apples, or chicken, or ...... "for various reasons".

It must be a religious thing.

Jingleflobba Tue 04-Dec-12 14:59:27

I pt does sound odd, can the Kindergarten staff legally enforce it?

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 04-Dec-12 15:02:14

If they have a lot of Jewish kids and Muslim kids it is fair enough, isn't it?

CreamOfTomatoSoup Tue 04-Dec-12 15:02:20

It's also a cultural thing for people of Jewish/Muslim ancestry but who aren't actually religious. If quite a few of the children are Jewish or Muslim or from families who don't eat pork then there's no point having loads of pork in a buffet. YABU because not bringing pork to a buffet is not the same as saying you should all worship Allah.

junowiththegladrags Tue 04-Dec-12 15:03:33

What's the issue? Surely it's no big deal not to bring pork even if it is for religious reasons?

TeWisBeenNargledByTheMistletoe Tue 04-Dec-12 15:06:38

They said 'for various reasons' why assume it's religious? The only non-pork eater I know doesn't eat it for health reasons.

I'm with Juno, just don't bring pork.

Frontpaw Tue 04-Dec-12 15:07:04

I know some very very ye olde worlde Christians who won't eat pork either. Out school doesn't have pork but had no problem with beef when we had some kids there who couldn't eat it for religious reasons.

NulliusInBlurba Tue 04-Dec-12 15:07:06

The largest immigrant groups in German are Turkish people, with a significant number of North Africans. These people tend to be devout Muslims who would not want their children to eat pork, and in some cases no meat unless it's Halal. If your Kita has asked you not to bring in pork products, it will either be because the Kita itself has a large proportion of Muslim children (or children from Muslim backgrounds, if you prefer), or because the Frankfurt Jugendamt has decided it would be best for all state institutions across the city to adopt a blanket ban.
Of course it's not a problem, it's a very sensible precaution, if a substantial number of children would not be able to eat half the stuff brought along. And Kita-aged children of 3 are not going to be able to read any signs or distinguish between different meats, so a blanket ban seems best. Having said that, we've brought up our DC in Berlin and never experienced anything like this - if anything, Berlin Kitas were far more liberal and relaxed than institutions in the UK, where nuts etc are banned and A+B+C is deemed unhealthy.
And generally, German Kitas and schools are much more relaxed about religion in state institutions. There is NO rule stating that Christian assemblies are compulsory, and my children are not exposed to any Christian propaganda, except as part of a regular class which explores religion objectively along with other social issues. Children have to choose to take either Catholic religious study, or Protestant, or can do neither if that is their (parents') choice.
You seem to object to the fact that this rule has been introduced in a state Kita, but to the honest, that is where most Muslim children will be, because most grant-maintained ('freie Träger') Kitas are run by the church, and these attract by default fewer Muslims.
So those are my thoughts...

ethelmeaker Tue 04-Dec-12 15:09:47

But surely the culture of the country ie Germany should be taken into consideration? The Kindergarten does not have a huge number of Muslims/Jews so why effectively ban pork products for all children? Replies to the email so far definitely indicate that the parents would not be happy with a ban on pork products. Pork is a big part of German cuisine and its culture. Plus as I said before it is a state kindergarten so religion should not come into it.

OatyBeatie Tue 04-Dec-12 15:10:03

Why are people so obsessed with their irritation about religion that they can't even bring themselves gladly to accommodate cultural food preferences associated with religious faiths? What generosity, what hospitality or love is there in an act of shared food provision if you are so needled by the requirement to provide food that can be enjoyed by all? Far better for you to say, "No, I prefer not to bring in any food thanks." You can still attend the school: the ogre of religion in a state context won't have cheated you of anything at all except the dubious pleasure of giving gifts strictly on your own terms.

seeker Tue 04-Dec-12 15:13:47

I wouldn't dream of taking something to a kindergarten party that all the children couldn't share. Why on earth would you want to?

I am an atheist and feel very strongly that religion has no place in state education- but I would want all children to be able to eat anything off any plate without breaking their dietary rules.

marchwillsoonbehere Tue 04-Dec-12 15:13:48

Oatybeatie I am an atheist and I agree with every word you say. Brava!

marchwillsoonbehere Tue 04-Dec-12 15:14:15

And you seeker

MrsHuxtable Tue 04-Dec-12 15:16:22

I don't see the problem. There's plenty of other things to bring.

Also, in Germany, the state and the church aren't as seperate as they are in the UK.

I actually find it great that they consider Muslim/Jewish children. It actually shows how open they are.
They're not stopping your DC from eating pork on normal days. He can still bring it in for himself in his Brotbox. They only don't want it brought in for the Gemeinsames Fruehstueck, which I think is fair game.

Frontpaw Tue 04-Dec-12 15:16:57

I can understand severe allergies but meat...

I don't eat it myself, but never expect others to accommodate my diet, and would never be offended by someone eating a steak. I think if people are in a society where people do eat pork, beef, whatever (ban veal as its cruel? Or rabbit because they are cute?). Children being brought up not to eat certain things will have to come across it at some stage, so why not at a young age? My Muslim friend at school, has no problems with pork,being available and complained that it was 'PC gorn mad' when the ban was announced at school. Funnily enough they do serve something that is called 'ham' but I have no idea what the hell it it!

Obviously, small children will grab anything but I assume they are not unsupervised and the pork could be placed on say, a red plate to distinguish it? What about veggie children, would there be a ban on all flesh too, or would the children just be left to eat everything?

squoosh Tue 04-Dec-12 15:17:09

I agree with seeker, I fail to see why this request would bother anyone.

MrsHuxtable Tue 04-Dec-12 15:17:56

So they are not actually banning pork, are they...

dreamingofsun Tue 04-Dec-12 15:18:00

i believe in choice. if people don't want to eat pork for religious or any other reason then they should be allowed to bring something else in and eat that. m if others want to eat pork then they should be allowed to bring and eat that.

ethelmeaker Tue 04-Dec-12 15:18:54

But surely this comes down to choice. If you choose not to give your child pork you cannot expect that all others should also not be able to eat pork.
I have lived in Frankfurt over 10 years so I am aware of the number of Turkish immigrants especially in large cities. I don't think it is a sensible precaution as it unnecessary to ban products full stop. As one mother pointed out that her son is lactose intolerant and there are things that would actually be harmful if he ate them. They have not asked for all products containing lactose to be removed from the buffet.
The Catholic kindergarten near us had more Muslims than the state one.

Frontpaw Tue 04-Dec-12 15:18:59

This is the person who makes quorn sausage rolls so everyone can eat them. The meat eaters have not guessed yet. I also get gelatine free sweets but that's because gelatine is nasty stuff.

NulliusInBlurba Tue 04-Dec-12 15:19:44

"But surely the culture of the country ie Germany should be taken into consideration?"
<sigh> you seem to have fallen hook line and sinker for the right-wing propaganda which seeks to deny the multicultural reality of Germany today. I read recently that a quarter of children growing up in Germany today are in some way not from a German background - so surely you should concede that contemporary German culture includes the fact that a large number of them - and these were the people who fuelled the economic wealth of Germany - don't like eating pork. Just have a bit of respect, OK.
And well said Oaty and seeker. Beautifully expressed.

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 04-Dec-12 15:21:17

Another agreeing atheist here.

Oh, and you are BU to refer to German food as 'cuisine'. grin

If DD was in a Kindergarden in Vietnam, I would be happy if children were asked to not bring in dog for buffet. I wouldn't expect that but it would be nice if she didn't eat it. That's not even a religious need.

MrsHuxtable Tue 04-Dec-12 15:22:49

I repeat this again. I think the issue is being misunderstood.

Are they banning pork fullstop, as in never allowed, not even in a child's personal snack box on the other 4 days a week?


Do they just ask parents to not bring it in for the weekly breakfast buffet anymore that is shared by everyone?

That's two very different things...

Frontpaw Tue 04-Dec-12 15:22:53

Dog! DS would have a stroke. He loves dogs.

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