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Sunday, February 18, 2007
Oink Oink!
Happy Chinese New Year!!!!!

Today is Chinese New Year and this year is the Year of the Pig. According to some fortune-tellers, it is going to be the "Year of the Golden Pig" which comes every 60 years. It ends the 12 year cycle of the Chinese zodiac. It's supposed to be a very, very special year and I've been gearing up for it for months now!!! According to Chinese astrology, this year is going to be MY year so I've been really excited about this day.

Last month boyfriend and I were walking around in the city and made our way into this delectable chocolate shop. I'm not big on chocolate. I LOVE white chocolate, but I don't really care for chocolate so much. It used to infuriate my would-be mother-in-law so many years ago. For each big occasion she would get me a box of chocolate. I'd accept it graciously, but the fiance would always tell her that I didn't like chocolate. She'd look at me and ask me if I liked chocolate, I'd say yes, he'd tell her I was just being polite, and then I'd tell her that chocolate really isn't my thing. "Rubbish," she'd say, "ALL women like chocolate".

Anyway, this isn't about that. Boyfriend and I walk into this chocolate store and all of a sudden I started to salivate. The chocolate looked so..........no words can describe it. We weren't planning on buying anything, but we saw that they were displaying pig boxes with a piece of chocolate inside. And since we'd been talking about celebrating the year of the pig, he bought the little box for me. Cute, no?

I put cochinito on the dashboard of my car. Last week I took my girls to McDonald's after school and as we past my car one of my Muslim girls said, "MISS! You have a pig in your car!" Here we go. "Yeah Y, it's a pig". "But Miss, you're Muslim! You shouldn't have a pig!"

I knew when he bought me the little piggy someone would have a comment eventually.

China, a couple of weeks ago, banned any ads that contained images of a pig so as not to offend Chinese Muslims. Photographs, cartoons, paper cutting silhouettes, and even "Happy Year of the Pig" slogans were banned. Advertisers scrambled to figure out a way to represent the year of the PIG without mentioning, referring to, or showing a pig. How in the world is one supposed to celebrate the year of the p-g without the p-g???

Seriously guys, isn't this a bit too much?? Are we really going to have the "pig" debate? I appreciate that China, who has often oppressed religious groups and violated even the most basic of human rights, is trying to "protect the harmony between different religions and ethnic groups". But is this not a little ridiculous?

Are we Muslims really going to have to talk about the "pig"??? Last year I went with my friend and her kids to a farm in Queens (YES, Queens still has farms), her daughter wanted to feed the animals, but when she came near the pig my friend grabbed her and told her that pigs are disgusting, dirty animals. We should not feed them. The poor little girl, who had just read Charlotte's Web and thought the pigs were cute (albeit making horrid noises), was traumatized. When she saw my little pig in my car last week she seemed very uncomfortable.

Seriously, the pig? Can we please not have a dialogue about the pig?? Aren't there other issues we should be worrying about? We're not allowed to EAT the pig. Why the big hoopla over the actual creature? Did not God create the pig with love? Is the pig not one of God's perfect creations? I say we all go out and pet a pig. Take pictures and send it China. Send them to all the newspapers who think we Muslims are a bunch of freaks because of the acts of a few nutty ones.

Oink oink guys...HAPPY YEAR OF THE PIG!!!!!!!
Thoughts shared by Carmen at 8:45 AM
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Who: Carmen

Mini-Bio:
xx-something egyptia-yorker who's spent over half her life stuck in two worlds not of her own making. unable and unwilling to fully embrace one identity over the other, she created (is trying to create) her own place in the world where people love each other unconditionally, irrespective of artificial boundaries, and where dancing merengue is as necessary to life as breathing air.

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