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To get pissed off at nativity sets?

(145 Posts)
Cundtbake Mon 03-Nov-14 08:42:09

This is my second Christmas thread in a week blush sorry to everyone who isn't quite ready for it.

DS has decided he'd like us to have a nativity set after admiring one in a shop recently. I'm not particularly religious but his dads family is, and besides I have a fondness for nice little nativity sets.

But as I search online I'm getting increasingly pissed off at these white skinned blond haired sets. Do people really believe that this whole group of middle eastern people were ivory skinned with rosy cheeks and fair hair? Oh apart from perhaps a token black wise man.

Does it bother anybody else?

I've decided to just make my own.

AuntieStella Mon 03-Nov-14 08:55:48

Are anyof these Traidcraft ones any good?

bigbluestars Mon 03-Nov-14 08:56:51

That's christianity for you though. Male white supremacy.

I prefer a jesus free christmas.

Only1scoop Mon 03-Nov-14 08:58:43

No it doesn't bother me ....but if it did I'd make a few changes and create something I liked more....

mummyrunnerbean Mon 03-Nov-14 09:01:35

We have one we bought in Thailand where all the figures look Thai... Alternatively, Lego grin.

cricketpitch Mon 03-Nov-14 09:03:44

Some of those are lovely AuntieStella.

OP Mine is very old and is certainly not white/blond.

I also have a delightful miniature painted one bought in Mexico - not white/blond either - and 1950's one - not white blond either.

Cundtbake Mon 03-Nov-14 09:07:00

shock I love the Lego one! As would DS!

I'm not doubting that there ARE ethnically correct versions, but the default seems to be white skinned. That's what comes up when I search, unless I specifically search for a dark skinned one. Which seems so ridiculous.

FishWithABicycle Mon 03-Nov-14 09:08:31

I made my own, from beige unglazed clay, but that was more for economic reasons than seeking ethnic authenticity. The ethnically neutral olive-wood ones are much nicer than coloured ones anyway.

soupey1 Mon 03-Nov-14 09:18:36

I agree some of the ethically sourced olive wood ones are lovely - colour neutral and usually support good causes so it's win-win.

LegoAcquaintance Mon 03-Nov-14 09:19:05

Ours is made of unpainted wood.

I think it is because they are rather a European Catholic tradition, and often traditionally would have reflected local people in looks and style of dress etc. People that carved them hundreds of years ago in say, tiny alpine villages or wherever wouldn't have thought about not making them white - they would just make what they knew (including perhaps dressing them in contemporary-to-themselves clothing etc). Those sets have now become ingrained into the tradition, there is a feeling that is what a traditional nativity set looks like. It's a bit of a nostaligic item - they are deliberately made to look the way they always have, rather than updated and modernised. It doesn't mean people think that is actually what the scene looked like - they aren't going for a truthful depiction.

Firbolg Mon 03-Nov-14 09:20:50

Honestly, OP, I don't know why you're surprised. Walk into a church and look at all the white guys crucified or standing about as statues pointing to their hearts, or wrangling sheep. Or the rosy-cheeked, blue-eyed, slightly vacant- looking blondes cuddling baby Jesus or appearing to Bernadette.

I had a very devout childhood and the only time I remember any ethnically-accurate representations of Jesus/Mary etc was in one 'radical' illustrated bible I was given as a child, where Jesus, John the Baptist, the apostles etc were all slightly scruffy Middle Eastern-looking guys with dark curly hair and olive skin.

hackmum Mon 03-Nov-14 09:27:49

I dare you to buy a Catalan one that has the figure of a defecating boy in it. Always a talking point. smile

MollyBdenum Mon 03-Nov-14 09:29:43

We made our own when I was little, out of salt dough. They were all of appropriate ethnicities. You get good hair by pressing the through through a seive.

My current home made set is more modern, with polystyrene balls glue-gunned to paper cups.

CMOTDibbler Mon 03-Nov-14 09:34:38

I have a beautiful olive wood one from Lakeland which was v pricey, but is neutral and something I hope to keep for many years - mum bought it for ds the year he was born

Cundtbake Mon 03-Nov-14 09:41:02

I'm not surprised at all, just a bit pissed off. I have an Aunt who lives in a very close knit and very white tiny village. She tends to give all 'foreign looking' people a wide berth. She is also heavily involved in the local church. I hope heaven is real and she gets to meet the real Jeaus one day grin

Cundtbake Mon 03-Nov-14 09:41:25

That should of course read Jesus *

Espii Mon 03-Nov-14 10:55:35

the only reason why Jesus is white in England is the same reason he's black in Africa, or asian in the middle east.
Back then, when christianity first came about, we didn't know where he might have come from. they saw jesus as a white man as we did't know any different, and as religions don't like to change, this has always stayed the same. If we were a black family, I would be bothered as there really isn't any racial equality in christianity at all, afaik, but we are a white family so meh whatever, i really couldn't care less. but thats the reason why they're white. The nativity sets in Africa will be black!

Cundtbake Mon 03-Nov-14 11:16:34

Espii why should only black families be bothered about racial equality?

ExitPursuedByABear Mon 03-Nov-14 11:18:10

A Jesus free Christmas. confused

Enidblytonrules Mon 03-Nov-14 11:22:06

A Jesus free Christmas?????? Surely the clue is in the name 'Christ's mass
a celebration of Christ aka Jesus?

Firbolg Mon 03-Nov-14 11:24:04

Espii, what are you talking about? Back when exactly didn't people know where the Incarnation took place? The New Testament locates Jesus's birth in Bethlehem, and his upbringing in Nazareth, his career in and around Galilee and his death in Jerusalem pretty straightforwardly.

IamGrimalkin Mon 03-Nov-14 11:25:41

Erm.. Christmas is about Jesus.

AmeliaPeabody Mon 03-Nov-14 11:26:24

Our wooden set seems to be ethnically correct/neutral. However, the effect is spoiled by the blonde haired, blue eyed, baby Jesus!

bigbluestars Mon 03-Nov-14 11:26:53

enid- not for everyone. Thursday is named after the God Thor, it doesn't mean we all worship him on that day.

Most families in the UK have a jesus free christmas- think of all the ways we celebrate- christmas trees, hanging stockings, holly and ivy, santa claus, reindeers- I don't see any of that as being religious.

I am happy to celebrate a secular christmas- jesus just doesn't come into the equation.

Gatehouse77 Mon 03-Nov-14 11:27:12

a Jesus free Christmas?

Chanukah? wink

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