Eesti Elu
Political incorrectness
Rahvusvahelised uudised 20 Dec 2013 EL (Estonian Life)Eesti Elu
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Laas Leivat

We live in a co-op apartment building. This is different from a condominium since co-op residents are owners collectively of the actual real estate property. They do the decision making, rather than a management company, for the upkeep and all aspects related to the building as an owner would do.

For the past two years it was decided by the board of directors (voted in by all resident-owners) that no symbols of Christmas would be allowed in the foyer of the building. After protests, a Christmas tree was allowed, but a menorah had to be placed there also. This was acceptable to all. But, the decision had a caveat – no miniature manger could be placed there! This stipulation was accepted without much fuss, but it left many residents puzzled. A Christmas tree, although a purely non-religious symbol, but which is still associated with a Christian holiday, is OK but a manger is not. Rather inconsistent many residents thought. One would suppose that a manger would offend non-Christians, a tree would be non-offensive.

(One can note that Estonian folklorists and historians claim that the first Christmas tree was actually erected in Estonia, in front of Tallinn town hall in 1441 as part of a winter ritual where merchants and single women danced around the tree and later set it on fire.)

Here are some political incorrectness cases that are more baffling that the one above:

A widely recognized pedagogical theorist on a visit to a middle school in the US asked a girl about a crayon drawing the girl was working on and her black crayon, as the girl referred to it and which she had used liberally. The theorist was plenty annoyed when she said: “You know, here we call that the Crayon of Colour”. (Pikemalt Eesti Elu 20. dets. paberlehes)
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