Monday, December 21, 2009

Bigger is Better

According to a recent report, this small and (somewhat) insignificant country has shown small but not insignificant growth in the last year. The population has grown 0.8% to a whopping 2,042,335, and about 9,000 foreigners have moved to the country in the past year.

Welcome to all the new born and newcomers who contributed to the growth of this little slice of the planet. May we all make something more of this place!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Holiday Devil

So today I went to the supermarket and there were just finishing up some big children's party. As I walked out of the story I noticed several children's drawings of what appeared to be the easter bunny. I wondered why in the world they'd hang pictures of him at a time like this. I came home to find The Captain's niece and nephew gnawing on a bread version of what appeared to be the rabbit from Donnie Darko.

I neared this baked monstrosity for a closer inspection and was informed that this creature was called "Parkelj". Grandma went on to inform me that he was some bad guy who hung out with St. Nicholas (or Miklavž as he is called here) came after bad kid on St. Nicholas's holiday (which is actually today).

Internet research revealed more about this Parkelj guy who is known to our cousins the Austrians as Krampus....

Krampus is a mythical creature who accompanies Saint Nicholas in various regions of the world during the Christmas season. The word Krampus originates from the Old High German word for claw (Krampen). In the Alpine regions, Krampus is represented by a demon-like creature accompanying Saint Nicholas. Krampus acts in conjunction with Saint Nicholas; the latter gives gifts to good children, while the Krampus gives warnings and punishments to the bad children.

What...the...hell? Catholicism is wild, this shit is scarier than Freddy Krueger....and at times it's very near the line (over the line?) towards racist.

I have more questions than answers. Why would anyone let their kids accept anything from St. Nick if this is the kinda company he keeps? What in the world have I gotten myself into? This is supposed to be a jolly time of year....isn't it?