Voices from Russia

Saturday, 22 December 2012

22 December 2012. It’s Two Days to Western Christmas Eve… Can You Hear the Sleigh Bells Outside?

00 Christmas. Norwegian Santa. Julienisse. 16.12.12

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The jolly fellow in the picture isn’t Santa Claus per se, he’s the Norwegian Julenisse. He doesn’t come down the chimney; he knocks on the front door to leave his gifts. His reindeer don’t fly… they’re ordinary sorts. He doesn’t come from the North Pole; he lives in the forest near Pasvik in Sør-Varanger in the far north of the country (his home has the largest concentration of Brown bears in Norway). He talks with Santa and Dede (and all the other holiday wizards)… so, he KNOWS who’s who and what’s what.

My good wishes to all my friends, but especially to my secular friends… I bow before you and apologise for all the nastiness that “Christians” have heaped on you. My faith teaches me to love my neighbour… no matter what their faith, yes, even if their faith is in humanity, and not in a god. My God teaches me to accept you as you are… I have no warrant to “convert” anyone. Take my hand… come, it’s a joyful season, isn’t it?

BMD

 

Monday, 5 December 2011

5 December 2011. An Important Piece of Christmas Diplomacy: Ded Moroz Meets Julenissen… Are YOU Ready for the Holiday?

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In the image above, in an important and delicate holiday-time negotiation, Ded Moroz confabs with his Norwegian opposite number, Julenissen. God knows what’s on the agenda… no doubt, they’re discussing who’s been naughty or nice, and comparing notes. You’re not going to get away with it… they’re going to consult Father Christmas, Yamal Iri, Santa, Chishaan, and Père Noël as well.

Smile… it’s a magical time of year…

NB:

There’s very little in English on Chishaan, click here… there’s a picture of him in this series.

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