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Jokes about refugees 'banned' during carnival

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Fasching celebrations in Upper Austria. Photo: Austria.info
13:24 CET+01:00
The Austrian Carnival Guild has released a set of guidelines for Fasching, the Catholic carnival celebrations which run up until Lent. Jokes about refugees, foreigners, and minorities are out, as are “hurtful attacks on defenceless people, mockery and malice”.

The Guild's code of ethics also cautions against the use of ‘misplaced' irony and sarcasm.

“People should be aware of the effect of such jokes. Anything which drags human dignity or faith in the dirt is not allowed,”  Adi Mittendorfer, president of the Austrian Carnival Guild, said. The new guidelines are now in line with those in Germany and Switzerland.

Carnival Guild deputy head Alfred Kamleitner from Wiener Neustadt said that inappropriate jokes about women are also frowned upon. "I don't think it's funny to see scantily clad nuns running around on stage."

However, Carnival Guild members said they are not encouraging self-censorship or excessive political correctness and that complaining about the “fools” in Austrian politics and society was still perfectly OK.

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Costume balls, masks, parades and apricot doughnuts (Marillenkrapfen) are all features of Fasching in Austria. Festivities usually begin on January 6th, and end on Shrove Tuesday.

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