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Old 01.12.2018, 23:39
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Schmutzli: Racist or not?

Just came back from a fun evening of wine and Schmutzlis. My friends from America insisted the Schmutzli was racist. I had to much wine to agree or disagree.... I knew I'd need a clear head for this topic.

What do you think?
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Old 01.12.2018, 23:40
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Re: Schmutzli: Racist or not?

Ask the Dutch..... years long discussion on that
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Old 02.12.2018, 00:04
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Re: Schmutzli: Racist or not?

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What do you think?
Wonder what they'd think of Krampus
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Old 02.12.2018, 00:05
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Re: Schmutzli: Racist or not?

Wiki: "Names for the "dark" or threatening companion figure include: Knecht Ruprecht in Germany,Krampus in Austria,Bavaria, Croatia, Slovenia,Friuli, Hungary (spelledKrampusz);Klaubauf in Bavaria, Austria;Bartel in Styria;Pelzebock;Befana;Pelznickel;Belzeniggl;Bels nickel in the Palatinate(and also Pennsylvania, due to Pennsylvania Dutch influence);Schmutzli in Switzerland;Rumpelklas;Bellzebub;Hans Muff;Drapp;Buzebergt in Augsburg and Little Babushka in Russia.

The corresponding figure in the Netherlands and Flanders is called Zwarte Piet or Black Pete, and in Swiss folklore Schmutzli, (schmutz meaning dirt).[1]In the Czech Republic, Saint Nicholas or Svatı Mikuláš is accompanied by the čert (Devil) and anděl (Angel). In France, Saint Nicholas' companion is called "Rubbels" in German-speaking Lorraine and Hanstrapp(in Alsace, East of France) [2] and the Père Fouettard (Wallonia, Northern and Eastern France)."

Lol. Little Babushka? So, is that a strong feminist figure or actually a sexist thing?

Why look for logical or pc stuff in traditions and mythology and kill all the magic and poetry?
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Old 02.12.2018, 00:06
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Re: Schmutzli: Racist or not?

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n

Why look for logical or pc stuff in traditions and mythology and kill all the magic and poetry?
My thoughts exactly
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Old 02.12.2018, 00:14
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Re: Schmutzli: Racist or not?

They did mellow down the tradition back in my old land, Nicolas and co. used to be "paid" in shots by parents (and the equivalent of a couple francs) so by the final doors they knocked on they traumatized enough little kids to have communities supervize the trios of Nicks, Angel and Devil. I was scared I remember.



A chic modern version
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Old 02.12.2018, 00:15
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Re: Schmutzli: Racist or not?

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Wonder what they'd think of Krampus
Sounds like a heavy metal band.
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Old 02.12.2018, 00:17
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Re: Schmutzli: Racist or not?

It wasn´t scary in the Netherlands and never did we think that Zwarte Piet (black peter) was anything else than an aid/helper to Sinterklaas/Samichlaus.

For me a case of interpreting to much into a tradition.....

But then, hey, that is how it is nowadays...
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Old 02.12.2018, 01:49
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Re: Schmutzli: Racist or not?

I've never seen the Schmutzli being presented by a black person or someone made up as a black person ever in my life. It was simply the helper of St. Nikolaus, wearing a black robe unlike the red one of Nikolaus.

Don't know where this black-guy-figure comes from but in my enviroment it never existed - I still haven't seen one.
The only black person in the Christmas stories/habits was King Balthasar, one of the Three Wise Men.

And I grew up in a vicar's house for a big part of my childhood!
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Old 02.12.2018, 01:52
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Re: Schmutzli: Racist or not?

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Just came back from a fun evening of wine and Schmutzlis. My friends from America insisted the Schmutzli was racist. I had to much wine to agree or disagree.... I knew I'd need a clear head for this topic.

What do you think?
Schmutzli is black because he is "schmutzig" (dirty) from all the slave work he has to do for Samilchlaus.

So, yes, what is racist about this fellow:
Name:  4195227036_a13e5938ca_b.jpg
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by kookykrys

There seem to bee some black faced Schmutzli. But also here it seems to come from soot and dirt: https://swissrunningbunny.blogspot.c...amichlaus.html
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Old 02.12.2018, 02:18
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Re: Schmutzli: Racist or not?

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My friends from America insisted the Schmutzli was racist.
How many have they seen in action? How many thereof have used negroid stereotyping?

I bet next time you see them they'll call the "Schwarze Brüder" racist as well.
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Old 02.12.2018, 06:15
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Re: Schmutzli: Racist or not?

Sounds like your off the shelf chimney sweep is going to be the next big racist thing over there? Back in my days in Switzerland, seeing a chimney sweep was meant to bring good luck!

The word "Schmutzli" alone should clear things up, unless you really look for pc trouble and find nothing better
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Old 02.12.2018, 09:59
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Re: Schmutzli: Racist or not?

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Sounds like your off the shelf chimney sweep is going to be the next big racist thing over there? Back in my days in Switzerland, seeing a chimney sweep was meant to bring good luck!

The word "Schmutzli" alone should clear things up, unless you really look for pc trouble and find nothing better
And these guys are just taking the piss after every shift...
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Old 02.12.2018, 11:38
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Re: Schmutzli: Racist or not?

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Just came back from a fun evening of wine and Schmutzlis. My friends from America insisted the Schmutzli was racist. I had to much wine to agree or disagree.... I knew I'd need a clear head for this topic.

What do you think?
I love it how Americans, coming from the land where they all but wiped out the natives and where racism is more than rife still, come here and claim European traditions are racist!

Black coffee will be next, we'll have to call it an 'Americana without cream'. Black Forest Gateau will be 'The gateau from the forest in southern Germany' etc etc.

EDIT - I guess this post is racist too...
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Old 02.12.2018, 11:46
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Re: Schmutzli: Racist or not?

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I love it how Americans, coming from the land where they all but wiped out the natives and where racism is more than rife still, come here and claim European traditions are racist!

Black coffee will be next, we'll have to call it an 'Americana without cream'. Black Forest Gateau will be 'The gateau from the forest in southern Germany' etc etc.

EDIT - I guess this post is racist too...
So true....and how they have "solutions" for everything...
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Old 02.12.2018, 11:48
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Re: Schmutzli: Racist or not?

Funny to have this coming from someone who his "President" is THE definition of being a racist a**hole..
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Old 02.12.2018, 11:50
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Re: Schmutzli: Racist or not?

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I love it how Americans, coming from the land where they all but wiped out the natives and where racism is more than rife still, come here and claim European traditions are racist!

Black coffee will be next, we'll have to call it an 'Americana without cream'. Black Forest Gateau will be 'The gateau from the forest in southern Germany' etc etc.

EDIT - I guess this post is racist too...
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So true....and how they have "solutions" for everything...
Y’all really need to preface your stereotypes with the word “some”. Not all Americans are PC-junkies, not all Brits have hideous teeth, not all Dutch are cheap, and not all Irishmen are drunks (ok, I admit, that last is close enough to an absolute for the preface to be irrelevant...).
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Old 02.12.2018, 11:53
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Re: Schmutzli: Racist or not?

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Y’all really need to preface your stereotypes with the word “some”. Not all Americans are PC-junkies, not all Brits have hideous teeth, not all Dutch are cheap, and not all Irishmen are drunks (ok, I admit, that last is close enough to an absolute for the preface to be irrelevant...).
Don't spoil our pleasure...of course. C'mon, on this forum the Americans were always fair game..
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Old 02.12.2018, 11:58
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Re: Schmutzli: Racist or not?

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EDIT - I guess this post is racist too...
Only if you imagine there's such a thing as the American race.

Back in topic, the are cultural references going back millennia that use light or white for 'good' and dark or black for bad. Sadly some of these have been used historically to reinforce or foster racism against darker-skinned peoples, but to try to paint the original use as racist is to try to rewrite history.

In some cases, golliwogs, for example, this revisionist approach has been accepted and is seen by most as justifiable, but people like the OP's American friends really should be encouraged to think a little before making such stupid assumptions.
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Old 02.12.2018, 12:24
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Re: Schmutzli: Racist or not?

Background information, attitudes and political issues... it all forms what we see when we don't grow up with the local traditions.

Being here for so long, I forget how some of the traditions may appear to friends visiting abroad. We had an enlightening conversation but in the end, they still saw Schmutzli as white person painted black. And to be fair, that's what they look like in the dark and quite often, in light as well.

If I had a solution to this, I would suggest that all Schmutzlis should refrain from painting their whole face black in the future so as it give the impression they are just dirty, and not black.

Racism is a tricky subject and can be trickier when it comes to local customs. I truly see a time when the Schwingerkönig is dark-skinned. I certainly hope we'll have a dark-skinned in my lifetime. However, I wonder how comfortable a dark-skinned person would be dressed up as Schmutzli, simply because Schmutzli is not only "black with soot" but also scary as hell.
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