Three days ago YLE ran the same long-winded #fakenews article (in Finnish) trying to impugn the traditional Finnish play about the gospel of Matthew.
Now they’re aiming for the English speaking world, trying to draw controversy to an innocent character deemed to be black, one of the kings who came to present a gift top the new born child. As I wrote three days ago:
It’s simply a play based upon the gospel of Matthew, the story of the Wise Men’s journey to honor the newborn child Jesus, and of King Herod, who orders his soldiers to murder all of the young Jewish males in hopes of getting this newborn.
State broadcaster YLE’s article on the Christmas play (in Finnish, Tiernapojat), tries to connect this play, in which a character playing the King of the East (thought to be of dark complexion) darkens his face, with other cultural Christian traditions using ‘black face’.
Most followers of this website already know about Black Peter of the Netherlands, a pixie, or sprite of a character that helps Santa deliver presents to the children for Christmas. That has been regularly attacked by the same forces in the Netherlands (as now here in Finland), annually making its way into the international press. The HS and YLE are now trying to do that with the Tiernapojat.
This is nothing but a #fakenews attack on this tradition by a fraud news organization which wants desperately, it would seem, to cause controversy….”hey look everybody, we too have a problem with institutionalized racism! It’s not racist to depict what is thought to be a factual historical figure.
It’s a highly respectful play in which one of the characters, a king no less, is played by an ethnic Finn, who through no fault of his own, happens to be white, and dresses accordingly to play the part. Depicting this play than any other way it was meant to be, is journalistic scumbaggery and intellectual dishonesty. It’s so transparent what YLE is trying to do, and they should be called out for it.
NOTE: A clue-bat for clowns at YLE, it’s rarely discussed because there’s nothing to it. Jerks.
The sight of a merry band of traipsing around in blackface and accompanying Santa Claus costumes is nothing new in the Netherlands, where the beloved age-old Zvart piet, or ‘Black Pete’ tradition continues, in spite of a growing conversation around the racist tone of the practice.
Finland has a similar tradition where whites blacken their faces as part of their Christmas celebrations. The Tiernapoika or “star boy” custom is deeply rooted in some parts of the country, more so in the Ostrobothnia region of western Finland.
It is based on medieval nativity plays in which the three wise men foretell the birth of Jesus Christ and travel to see the newborn. One of them is a Moor, therefore dark-skinned, hence the blackface. In other parts of Europe, the drama plays out around Easter time. However Finns adopted the ritual from their neighbours in Sweden.
Since then, it has become an intrinsic part of some Finnish Christmas traditions. In Oulu, organisers have held a Tiernapoika competition since 1933, and a foundation has been set up specifically to maintain the tradition. However Finnish schools are also doing their part to keep the practice alive, with one of the wise men in Christmas plays appearing in blackface.
Here’s my piece on it from three days ago:
In Holland, the pains of the local Black Pekka or Zwarte Piet tradition in the local Christmas tradition. In Finland there is still no debate about The Tiernapojat yet.
In that one line, YLE sets up it’s entire premise behind the story, to cause a commotion over a simple, cute, endearing Christmas play telling a gospel story. No one ever looked at it as ‘racist’, nor should they. YLE then interviews an obscure music teacher, Minja Koskela, and Muslim activist, Marya Abdulkarim to deliver what they think as the ‘coup de grâce’ to the play as a whole:
According to the music teacher, researcher Minja Koskela, Tiernapojat are no longer in school.
– Blackface is a racist practice, it has racist roots, and even if it is not understood as racist, it still is. Period.
According to Marya Abdulkarim, a national activist, blackface mocks the situation and characteristics of the subordinate. It caricatures minority representatives. The tradition is based on abuses of power and oppression, says Abdulkarim
So who are these people that YLE sought out to diss this traditional play, making them the go-to people on anything? Minja Koskela is a self proclaimed feminist, teacher, blogger & researcher who wants to end gender roles in school. So she’s a bona fide Leftist kook. Marya Abdulkkarim is a sharia supremacist who is supposedly female ‘Muslim rights’ activist and insists that Finland is inherently racist. Yet another kook.
I don’t need to dig deeper into the article, which basically has little to say about the Finnish Teirnapojat Christmas tradition (because there’s really nothing negative about it). The brunt of the article focuses on the Dutch tradition of Black Pete. This is simply ”guilt by association” when there’s absolutely no case for it. There’s no connection between an ethnic white kid playing the role of a black king, and Black Peter. They’re making something up out of whole cloth for a political agenda, and at the expense of the kids who love rehearsing the lines and acting for audiences during Christmas. Making these kids and the parents who support them into racists, is beyond the pale, and racist in itself. This is a gross attack of Finnish culture and its people, plain and simple.