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Jokes about refugees ‘banned’ during carnival

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”.

Jokes about refugees 'banned' during carnival
Fasching celebrations in Upper Austria. Photo: Austria.info

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.

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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Tell us: What was your experience like dealing with Vienna’s MA35?

The office for immigration and citizenship in Vienna is for many immigrants their first encounter with Austrian bureaucracy. We want to hear from you about your own experience dealing with officials and the process.

Tell us: What was your experience like dealing with Vienna's MA35?

Vienna’s MA35 is a well-known office for immigrants in Austria, particularly those who live in the capital. It has received plenty of criticism for long delays, mistakes and even mistreatment of those seeking services from renewing a visa to applying for Austrian citizenship.

Yet, it is an integral part of life for immigrants and their family members, as the office is responsible for residence permits (from visas to the Anmeldebescheiningung for EU citizens), naturalisation applications and more. In short: there is no escaping it.

So, we want to hear from you: What has been your experience and importantly do you have any advice for others?

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