German Of The Day: Weihnachten

That means Christmas. You know, like the word for Christmas that the German Integrationsbeauftragte (Integration Commissioner) purposely left off of her official Christmas card greeting this year?

Weihnachten

“No matter what you believe in…” She writes, “We wish you a peaceful holiday season and a good start in the coming year.” But no mention of the word Christmas. You know, for like, I dunno, Christians?

You certainly couldn’t call Weihnachten a dirty four-letter word. It’s way bigger than that. But it’s sure dirty enough because in the Germany of 2018 it’s the kind of word you do not to want to put into your mouth, much less into writing, during the Christmas, I mean holiday season. At least not when you’re the Integration Commissioner here.

But wait. Shouldn’t that be one of the first words somebody interested in integration in Germany would want to use?

“Es ist bedauerlich, dass falsch verstandene Toleranz augenscheinlich dazu führt, dass Weihnachten, das Fest der Liebe, unsichtbar wird.”

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