What is the world coming to?
The Central Asian country of Uzbekistan has banned local version of Santa Claus from the airwaves.
UzMetronom says President Islam Karimov's government imposed the informal ban on Father Frost and his snow maiden sidekick.
Ded Moroz (Father Frost, or Grandfather Frost) who arrives to ring in the Russian New Year clad in a red caftan - decorated with traditional embroidering and edged with snow-white fluff, a red cap, white mittens and felt boots. He sports a luxuriant snow-white beard, ruddy nose and cheeks, and cordial smile, as he leans on his icy staff topped with a sparkling star - carrying a huge red sack with presents for kids.
Ded Moroz is often accompanied by his fairy granddaughter Snegurochka (Snow Maiden), who helps him play with kids and present the gifts. She is a unique attribute of the image of Father Frost – none of his foreign colleagues like Kris Kringle or brother Santa Claus has such a cute companion. For decades. the beloved characters have been part of the Holiday Season throughout the Old Soviet Union.
The ban is similar to the semiofficial 2005 ban against celebrating New Year's Eve.
Uzbekistan has proven hostile to other holidays deemed insufficiently native. In February, authorities canceled concerts for Valentine's Day and instead organized readings of poems by medieval Mughal emperor Babur. It sucks to be Uzbekki!