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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.

Viviennemary Tue 04-Dec-12 15:23:35

Well I can see both points of view. Regardless of what the reasons are for not bringing pork. If it is a shared buffet and a substantial number of chidlren can't eat pork then maybe it is sensible for no pork to be sent. But on the other hand if some children are vegetarians, lactose intolerant, wheat intolerant and the rest would all these products not be allowed to be taken. Hmm. Not sure on this one.

Frontpaw Tue 04-Dec-12 15:23:49

If its just the sharing then they ought to consider all dietary resrtictions too. That would be a monumental pita. All or nothing.

squoosh Tue 04-Dec-12 15:24:16

Little kids will pick up anything and give it a nibble, I presume the parents of Jewish and Muslim children would prefer to prevent any accidental pork chomping incidents. It would be different if it was a secondary school where Muslim and Jewish kids could see for themselves all the foodstuffs on offer and just ignore the pork based snacks.

marchwillsoonbehere Tue 04-Dec-12 15:24:24

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.

Yes choice is important for sure but consideration for others should get a look in too. Nobody, as far as I can tell, is being banned from eating pork at any other time, it's just that they are trying to make a communal breakfast entirely inclusive. What's wrong with that?

What Oatybeatie said is so wise I make no aplogy for shamelessly repeating it here:

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.

Frontpaw Tue 04-Dec-12 15:24:33

I though that German food was pretty pork-heavy anyway.

ethelmeaker Tue 04-Dec-12 15:25:23

None of the parents here are happy with it and for me that speaks volumes. In "considering" the minority the choices of the majority are restricted.

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 04-Dec-12 15:25:48

Frontpaw DD would agree. I think it would be worse in France, though. Her horse obsession is even worse than her dog obsession.

I just don't understand why anyone gets their knickers in a twist about this. Unless they have an issue with Jewish and Muslim people. I have an issue with compulsory worship in British schools. No pork in a kindergarden buffet = could not give less of a toss.

Frontpaw Tue 04-Dec-12 15:27:59

Are there Jewish or Muslim kids there though? As I've said, I have only known Muslim parents to be embarrassed when pork gets banned on their behalf. However, I used to go to a kids club in the local synagogue's basement. Nannies would pop a ham and cheese sandwich in front of their charges. I thought that was a little hmm.

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 04-Dec-12 15:28:29

Oh and ethel there is a principle that the needs of the minority should be protected, even when that interferes with the wants of the majority. It is to stop certain acts that happen in certain countries sometimes I'm trying to avoid invoking Godwin's Law.

marchwillsoonbehere Tue 04-Dec-12 15:29:34

Agreed Mrs Pratchett. Just a rider....

I just don't understand why anyone gets their knickers in a twist about this. Unless they have an issue with Jewish and Muslim people.

And if they DO have an issue with Jewish or Muslim people (or any other specific ethnic group) why the frig would you listen to them anyway?

Frontpaw Tue 04-Dec-12 15:30:19

DS gets annoyed when I tell him That I have eaten horse quite a few times, and fluffy bunnies too!

DH was born Muslim and managed to survive the English school system before things like pork were banned! His mum is very 'when in Rome, get on with it'.

ethelmeaker Tue 04-Dec-12 15:31:24

Hi Frontpaw, yes German food is pretty pork heavy and having looked at some of the cooked meats on iffer here, I would rather give my son slices of proper pork or ham than a lot of the "poultry" products on the shelves. I respect the German culture and often have to accept differences that I don't necessarily agree with but pork is an intrinsic part of the German culture.

Frontpaw Tue 04-Dec-12 15:31:27

So I have an issue with the pork ban but married to a Muslim. Aren't I confused then?!

ljny Tue 04-Dec-12 15:31:31

I'm usually the first to object to religion in state schools - but even I don't see the problem here. The school isn't telling them to pray, it's not indoctrinating any religion, it's not making some kids feel different.

They're simply saying, some kids don't eat pork - and these kids are too little to read labels - surely the great German culture has breakfast traditions without pork?

Reminds me - many moons ago - my primary school had fish on Fridays, because some of the kids were Catholic. When I asked, was simply told the Catholic kids didn't eat meat on Fridays. No biggie. Actually a bit of an eye-opener for a 6-year-old. Can't see the problem here.

squoosh Tue 04-Dec-12 15:31:33

Wow ethel you must really love pork!

Are there no other foods you could bring? It's hardly surprising that some Germans are going out of their way to accomodate the needs of minorities now is it?

squoosh Tue 04-Dec-12 15:32:42

pork is an intrinsic part of the German culture

It's hardly an affront to German culture to not chow down on pig meat on from time to time..

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 04-Dec-12 15:32:57

march I would understand why they had an issue then and respect their honesty more than the PA, "I'm not a racist but" crap that gets pulled. I most certainly wouldn't listen to them.

Jins Tue 04-Dec-12 15:33:08

Why would you want to spend good money on something that isn't going to be shared by everyone?

If I'm providing food for a group of children I tend to go down the vegetarian route in any case. Pork excludes vegetarians as well as those with religious restrictions.

Perhaps they've asked you all to stop because they end up with too much left over at the end and too many hungry children

marchwillsoonbehere Tue 04-Dec-12 15:34:43

Excellent point Mrs Pratchett

Frontpaw Tue 04-Dec-12 15:35:05

I would probably send sweet buns anyway. Much nicer than heavy meaty stuff for breakfast. I'd probably get told off for sending sugar.

marchwillsoonbehere Tue 04-Dec-12 15:35:56

pork is an intrinsic part of the German culture.

Intrinsic maybe, compulsorily eaten at every meal not so much!

TheUKGrinchImGluhweinkeller Tue 04-Dec-12 15:37:49

ethel does religion really not come into it at a state Kindergarten? We are in Bavaria, so I realise it is quite probably utterly different, but Catholicism runs right through everything the state Kindergarten does here - I can only wish they gave other religions a mention too, as I'm not too thrilled with my kids being taught Catholic/ Christian lore as absolute and unquestioned truth in a theoretically non faith setting ... but it comes with living in Bavaria.

We are asked not to bring oranges or strawberries in if we volunteer to provide the fruit as one child has an allergy - no uproar... one meal a week without pork will not kill even a German child, I don't personally see the problem - its not so restrictive a request that it makes it hard to find other options grin

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

"I just don't understand why anyone gets their knickers in a twist about this. Unless they have an issue with Jewish and Muslim people."
Unfortunately that applies to a great number of people in Germany, still. Society is underpinned by a deep-seated dislike of Muslim cultures, which are portrayed as somehow less worthwhile than all that is ethnically German. It's an almost aggressive racial hatred which I only notice in the UK when the talk is of Gypsy and Taveller communities.

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 04-Dec-12 15:44:15

Agreed, Nullius, it was my subtle way of suggesting that people might be kidding themselves about their motivation to be upset about this. I have also heard some casual Antisemitism from a couple of Germans. Shocked me to my core, I have to say.

deckthehouse Tue 04-Dec-12 15:44:59

I wouldn't have a problem with this. Processed pork is not very healthy anyway. But I wonder how serious it is for Muslims if their child accidentally eats pork? I was very nervous when I had some Muslim friend over for dinner.

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