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Christmas vs Holiday

edited December 2005 in Buddhism Today
Very Happy that Rohatsu has passed quietly as usual. Now, when the local Fundos start ranting about "Christmas" vs "Holiday" I can wear my best "puzzled look" and sincerely ask

"Why all the ruckus? The Holiday is over."


gassho
-fa dao:cheer:
«1

Comments

  • bushinokibushinoki Veteran
    edited December 2005
    Rohatsu, that sounds Japanese, which makes sense due to your name. Now to prove my newness to Buddhism, and my limited resources, what exactly is Rohatsu celebrating?
  • edited December 2005
    Rohatsu celebrates the day that the Buddha attained enlightenment, specifically dawn on the morning of December 8th. At that moment he exclaimed, "How wondrous ! How wondrous! All Beings are endowed from the origin with this bright clear mind to which I have just awakened!".
  • SabineSabine Veteran
    edited December 2005
    THAT'S what it's called, Rohatsu!!! I've been looking for that word FOREVER! My friends and I were discussing random holidays, from Solstice to Hanukkah, and I said something about Vesak (Theravada). Then I realized that it also had another name, in Zen, and was about to say it, and...and...totally forgot.

    Thanks! I do believe I've experienced a momentary enlightenment! :rocker:
  • edited December 2005
    I still don't understand the ruckus about "Happy Holidays" being derogatory towards Christians. Isn't New Years a holiday celebrated by Christians?!?! I used to watch Bill O-Reilly (mostly for the laughs) but he's gone nuts with this "War against Christmas" crap. What a Scrooge!
  • edited December 2005
    Bushinoski- "Rohatsu" is the Nipponized pronunciation. However, (as in many cases) the ideogram representing the word is the same in Japanese and in Chinese. I practice Chinese "Ch'an" -- which is pronounced "Zen" in Japanese.

    Sabine- Vesak is actually in May and celebrates the birth and death of Gotama Buddha. Rohatsu is the Day he became enlightened / awakened.

    Kitten- if the Fallwell / O'Reilly orchestrated whining and demanding continues from year to year to year, people are likely over time to abandon the reconition at all as something too unpleasant to consider. If the holiday is not for the nation as a whole, it shouldn't be a national holiday.
  • bushinokibushinoki Veteran
    edited December 2005
    Ok, I do have SOME sympathy for this whole "war on Christmas" thing, in that what is being referred to is stores specifically PROHIBITING use of the phrase "Merry Christmas". The problem is that Christians, while not "persecuted" are being relegated to a role of second class citizens. Basically, the elevation of other groups of people is coming at the cost of one.
  • edited December 2005
    bushinoki wrote:
    Ok, I do have SOME sympathy for this whole "war on Christmas" thing, in that what is being referred to is stores specifically PROHIBITING use of the phrase "Merry Christmas". The problem is that Christians, while not "persecuted" are being relegated to a role of second class citizens. Basically, the elevation of other groups of people is coming at the cost of one.
    The problem appears to be that Christianity is being relegated to the same "status" as the other religions -- and it pi**es them off. See http://www.reformation.net At the same time, many of the fundamentalist churches will not even hold services on this Christmas Day (despite the fact that it falls on a Sunday) because they feel it is a "famiy day" rather than a Holy Day. see: http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/12/06/churches.closed.christmas.ap/

    It appears that Falwell et al are declaring the "War On Christmas" by demanding that recognition of the common holiday period be phrased in Christian terms only.

    Peace On Earth, Goodwill Toward All
    -fd-
  • SimonthepilgrimSimonthepilgrim Veteran
    edited December 2005
    I find the argumentative and divisive tone of the debate very interesting. There is an ancient struggle going on, I believe, for the possession of Midwinter.

    History seems to suggest that control of the Midwinter/Solstice celebrations is symbolic of the deep nature of the society celebrating and demonstrates who is top of the mythic heap at any given time. In contemporary Market-worship, overconsumption of purchased artefacts is an entirely appropriate sacrifice to the deity. Similarly, when the Church was in charge of society, the Rituale prescribes three, distinct services in church.

    What remains constant, throughout all Midwinter celebrations, is the underlying chaos. This is a time of disorder. Whichever deity/philosophy temporarily dominates the festivals, the real driver is the 'jester'.
  • ECMECM
    edited December 2005
    Nice humor Simon!

    Just one addition to the topic of Rohatsu Day -- in China it is celebrated according to the LUNAR calendar, not the solar calendar. So the day varies each year.

    EM
  • PalzangPalzang Veteran
    edited December 2005
    I find it fascinating that the world is falling apart and people still have the energy to argue about stupid stuff like Christmas! How about focusing on peace and love and compassion and all such outmoded, outdated notions?

    Palzang
  • edited December 2005
    Perhaps it is easier to keep ritual than it is to keep principles?

    Namo Amitofo
    -fd-
  • PalzangPalzang Veteran
    edited December 2005
    fersure
  • bushinokibushinoki Veteran
    edited December 2005
    "Can't we all just get along???"
  • SimonthepilgrimSimonthepilgrim Veteran
    edited December 2005
    I wasn't joking. "Peace, goodwill to all people" is a notion that has been grafted onto the days of Misrule.
  • SimonthepilgrimSimonthepilgrim Veteran
    edited December 2005
    On the subject of calendars, it is interesting to notice that the Christian churches mix the solar (Julian/Roman) and lunar (Jewish/pagan) calendars.

    The most significant date in the Christian year is, surely, the Paschal festival, whose date is regulated by the Spring New Moon, like Pesach. This demonstrates that it is probably an original dating, although there have been many arguments about the exact date (cf. Synod of Whitby 664 CE). The 'Christmas' festival is an entirely solar-based date, suggesting that it is a Roman invention. This confusion also reminds us of the long-forgotten debate as to whether the Incarnation or the Resurrection is the more important aspect of the Jesus Reconciliation.
  • edited December 2005
    Being that I work in retail, I thought I would comment on this subject. I find it extremely funny, that the term Happy Holidays has been used in retail for a number of years now, and until recently brought up by certain people in the media to boost their ratings and create a controversy. :scratch: That it was quite acceptable to all involved to say happy holidays.
    This way an employee didn't have to guess at what holiday, being it Kwanza, Hanukkah, Christmas or even the Winter Soltice, that a person celebrated. And run the risk of getting totally chewed out by getting the wrong Holiday.

    I myself along with my family, celebrate this time, just as we celebrate every other season, as a time of joy and wonder in life.:o
  • buddhafootbuddhafoot Veteran
    edited December 2005
    MoonLgt wrote:
    I myself along with my family, celebrate this time, just as we celebrate every other season, as a time of joy and wonder in life.:o


    I'll second that.

    -bf
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited December 2005
    So what are MFATP* going to do with wonderful songs like Nat King Cole's "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...." Or Judy Garland's 'have yourself a
    little...... what?" Not to mention Bing Crosby and "I'm dreaming of a White....." er?

    Ah. I guess you won't be mentioning that!




    (* My Friends Across The Pond)
  • MagwangMagwang Veteran
    edited December 2005
    TexZen wrote:
    ...Chinese "Ch'an" -- which is pronounced "Zen" in Japanese...
    ...
    And "So-an" on Korean.
    ...
  • bushinokibushinoki Veteran
    edited December 2005
    Fede, I just don't know. One of the problems with this is the politicizing of the issue and the polarizing involved. It used to be the argument was about having a Nativity scene on city/county/state property, but alot of localities that have Jewish populations would do something to balance it out, so as to negate the issue. Mennorahs and six pointed stars would be shown alongside Nativity scenes. This is where my sympathy comes into play. Secularist Groups are overtly assaulting the Christian themed things, but not the Jewish themed things. I have heard of actual PROTESTS against churches which put on their own private Nativity Displays. This might be exaggerated some on Fox news, not quite being a WAR on Christmas, but there is some obvious reverse discrimination going on these days against Christianity in this country.
  • buddhafootbuddhafoot Veteran
    edited December 2005
    federica wrote:
    So what are MFATP* going to do with wonderful songs like Nat King Cole's "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...." Or Judy Garland's 'have yourself a
    little...... what?" Not to mention Bing Crosby and "I'm dreaming of a White....." er?

    Ah. I guess you won't be mentioning that!




    (* My Friends Across The Pond)

    Chestnuts!?!?!?!?!

    It makes so much more sense now!

    I was wondering why Chet would be roasting his over an open fire.

    Never made sense until today.

    And now I don't have this image of Chet screaming in agony when I hear people sing this song.

    -bf
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited December 2005
    ....Only you, BF, only you.....!:o :rolleyes: :lol:
  • edited December 2005
    federica wrote:
    So what are MFATP* going to do with wonderful songs like Nat King Cole's "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...." Or Judy Garland's 'have yourself a
    little...... what?" Not to mention Bing Crosby and "I'm dreaming of a White....." er?

    Ah. I guess you won't be mentioning that!



    How about "I'm dreaming of a White Rohatsu" ?

    Or maybe "Have yourself a happy little Hanukkah"?

    Or even, at a push "Walking in a Winter Solstice Wonderland" ?!
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited December 2005
    And to be honest, Nat King Cole did say
    'Merry chris - ma - haus, to you!!' Maybe 'Chris-ma-haus' is an obscure Peruvian festival..... or perhaps we're all invited round to his pad.... (ma house....??)








    Frizzer, Vic Reeves is doin' my head in....!
  • buddhafootbuddhafoot Veteran
    edited December 2005
    I know this is a stretch for the whole holiday song thing going on, but did you hear this one?


    Mahatma Gandhi, as you may know, walked barefoot most of the time. This produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. Towards the later years of his life, he ate very little which made him rather frail. Plus, with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. That is why, in India, he is referred to as "a super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis".

    -bf
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited December 2005
    Buh-boom! BF, with your talent and my good looks, we'll go far....!
  • edited December 2005
    buddhafoot wrote:
    That is why, in India, he is referred to as "a super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis".

    -bf


    Ha ha ! Genius !!

    And just for you Fede, I've swapped Vic for another great character!! :ukflag:
    I must admit, Vic's trouser rubbing antics are a bit off putting for an avatar ! :grin:
    vic.gif 21.4K
  • SabineSabine Veteran
    edited December 2005
    I'm going to just run around yelling "Joyous Chris-ma-kah!" and pelting random innocent bystanders with candies. THAT will surely shut them up.
  • edited December 2005
    I just found this great article regarding being a Buddhist and celebrating Christmas:

    http://www.yogajournal.com/wisdom/514_1.cfm?ctsrc=nlv182

    Thought you might all like to read it!

    Enjoy!

    Kim
  • edited December 2005
    I try to write an "alterntive Christmas Carol" every year. The first one was "We wish you a Mahavishnu and a Hari Krishna" sung to the tune of "We Wsh You a Merry Christmas."

    Then I worte "Rudolf the Red Haired Drag Queen" (had a very shiny nose).

    My favorite was written during the Kosovo Conflict (sung to the tme of "Winter Wonderland"
    In the meadow we can build a snowman
    and pretend that he is Slobodan.
    He'll say "are ya wounded"
    we'll say "no man,
    but you can do the the job when you're in town"

    Later on we'll conspire
    as we sit by the fire.
    Grandma and Gramps
    are off to the camps....
    fleeing with Kosovan refugees.


    My son and I are presently working on the screenplay for our soon-to-be Christmas/Horror/Satire cult classic movie "Night of the Living Christmas Tree".....

    gassho
    -fd-
  • edited December 2005
    bushinoki wrote:
    Fede, I just don't know. One of the problems with this is the politicizing of the issue and the polarizing involved. It used to be the argument was about having a Nativity scene on city/county/state property, but alot of localities that have Jewish populations would do something to balance it out, so as to negate the issue. Mennorahs and six pointed stars would be shown alongside Nativity scenes. This is where my sympathy comes into play. Secularist Groups are overtly assaulting the Christian themed things, but not the Jewish themed things. I have heard of actual PROTESTS against churches which put on their own private Nativity Displays. This might be exaggerated some on Fox news, not quite being a WAR on Christmas, but there is some obvious reverse discrimination going on these days against Christianity in this country.

    LOL!!!!!!!

    There is something intriguing about the concept of these American Fundamentalists Mullahs pewling that they are a persecuted majority.

    Here's some info that always sets the hawks au droit to screaming. The motto on the Great Seal of the United States is (and has always been)
    Annuit Coeptis
    (Under the eye of Providence -- not "god" which would "Annuit Deus")
    Novus Ordum Seclorum
    (A new world / worldly / secular order).
  • edited December 2005
    I suspect that the so called campaign against Christmas was actually orchestrated by the Fundie Right Wingers, to try and turn public sentiment in the US against 'godless atheists'. They forgot of course that Jews, Muslims and others don't celibrate Christmas.
  • edited December 2005
    Just another great example of how our relative concepts and beliefs serve to separate and divide the whole. Merry Christmas all :)
    Mike
  • PalzangPalzang Veteran
    edited December 2005
    I suspect that the so called campaign against Christmas was actually orchestrated by the Fundie Right Wingers, to try and turn public sentiment in the US against 'godless atheists'. They forgot of course that Jews, Muslims and others don't celibrate Christmas.

    Well, I do - because I'm a celibrate monk!

    Palzang

  • edited December 2005
    As I've said before, I celebrate Christmas with my family. When someone says "Merry Christmas", I say it back. When someone says "Good Yule", I say it back. The same way I say "Hello" back to someone who has greeted me in a friendly manner.

    If I am initiating the greeting usually I say "Happy Holidays" if I don't know the person, or whatever is appropriate to them, not myself. So with my family it's "Merry Christmas", but it's different for my Jewish friends, or my Hindu friends, or my Wiccan friends.

    My feelings on it are that it is meant for them, not myself. When you greet someone you are wanting to express that you wish them to be happy and to have a good time this time of year.
  • edited December 2005
    Palzang wrote:
    Well, I do - because I'm a celibrate monk!

    Palzang


    That reminds me of a joke I heard somewhere, which I've just found on a quick google search, from some church website :)
    The monk, upon his arrival at the Pearly Gates, was told that any desire of his heart would be granted. As he had spent his life studying the Bible, his request was that he might be allowed to read the original manuscripts actually written by God's own prophets and apostles. A few hours later from within the library there was heard a most anguished scream. "Aaaaarrrghhh! There is an "R" in it. The word was 'CELEBRATE'!!!"
  • edited December 2005
    That was great! I'm going to be laughing about that one all night, thanks!
  • bushinokibushinoki Veteran
    edited December 2005
    Tex, I do agree, the "Religious Right" in this country do go to extremes as well. Genryu, I wouldn't be surprised if this was another bright idea that backfired (can we say "Crusades" people). I'm just saying there's a reasonable point to take things in regard to social tolerance, and then there's reverse discrimation, which is indeed known to happen in this country. Personally, I feel the whole issue has gone way to far altogether now. It's just another point to polarize people on, and divisiveness is the last thing this nation needs right now.
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited December 2005
    People are gregarious. People like to belong. People like tradition and ritual. We use tradition and ritual in almost every aspect of life, even at the most mundane levels....what we have for breakfast and when, which way we go to the park and go round the shops, and of course, some of us have a routine and ritual when it comes to our practice of Buddhism....
    Where the edges have become blurred, is through the elimination of clear and distinct confines of borders.... So many cultures and societies have overlapped and integrated, that the edges are now indiscernible... it is said that frontiers are invisible from space, but when a society becomes multi-cultural, there is the danger that whichever culture or populace becomes the minority, their values, traditions and habits will also not only come unders crutiny, but may well be inadvertently replaced or relegated in the interests of cultural 'equality'. And actually, the indigenous population doesn't have to be the minority. But we so want to bend over backwards in an effort to keep everyone happy, that nobody ends up being happy!
    The same can therefore be said of Religion.
    Surely, as a member of Western society, a person has a right to express themselves and do what they feel makes them happy - providing of course it respects the overal Human Dignity of others? Political Correctness is all very well, but boy, does it ever need re-defining! My take on it would be, "When in Rome....."!


    (Lights blue touchpaper and stands well back....... post-771-1128846375.gif )
  • edited December 2005
    I still recieve messages from a pagan group I haven't disconnected myself from yet and they are having a similiar discussion at the moment. It was brought up that appearently in fact, that places were refusing to even call Christmas trees, well, Christmas trees.

    That, I have to say is ridiculous. What else are you going to call it? A yule log with branches? The multi-cultural holiday pine?

    Even if it doesn't really have to do with the original intent of the holiday itself... it's called a Christmas Tree, changing the name is not something I can agree with. I can't even understand who it is exactly that they are trying to appease with this. It just makes no sense to me at all.
  • bushinokibushinoki Veteran
    edited December 2005
    Critter, thank you. That's exactly the point of this. I do understand the part of retail establishments using a phrase like "happy holidays" so as to not play the guessing game with customers, but trying to phase out a particular holiday altogether is going too far. The US was founded on tenets involving personal freedoms, one of which is the free exercise of religion. This isn't much different than the case involving prayer before football games out of Texas. With football being an extracurricular activity, there is no reason the majority of the people can't pray, while the minority stand by. In fact, have the prayer at a set time, with plenty of time before the game, so that people who wish to pray may do so without "infringing" the rights of others.

    Interesting point, have you noticed it's only the Atheists who have a problem with things like this. I've never seen anything in the news about a Buddhist or Pagan organization suing over such matters.
  • edited December 2005
    Like Palzang said earlier in this thread....it's amazing that this is such an issue to people when there are SO many other things in this world that we should be focusing on.
  • edited December 2005
    Exactly so. Like who will be the next 'American Idol'. Let's sort out our priorities here folks. :winkc:
  • edited December 2005
    bushinoki wrote:
    Interesting point, have you noticed it's only the Atheists who have a problem with things like this. I've never seen anything in the news about a Buddhist or Pagan organization suing over such matters.

    I don't know for sure that no Buddhists or Pagans have sued over these sort of things, but I do know for sure that plenty of them have problems with the special privileges given the Christanity in the U.S. - I know because I am married to a Pagan and have many Pagan friends. And in addition to being an atheist, I am also a Buddhist, and yes I have problems with things like this. A lot of Buddhists, Pagans, and atheists probably don't sue since they fear reprisal from both their family and the public. Personally, I have great respect for those who have stood up to the Christian majority in order to ensure equality for the minority.
  • bushinokibushinoki Veteran
    edited December 2005
    Dharmakitten, don't get me wrong, I do admire courage. Obviously, Atheists have a right to not be forced to do anything, let alone believe in a god and take part in active worship of a deity. I'm just saying that it goes too far sometimes. And besides, a borderline act of hypocrisy I've seen in many avowed Atheists (many, not all, not necessarily the majority) is that they are lined up next to the Jehovah's Witnesses in the Dept. Stores in December buying extra toys and such for their kids, even if they didn't save all year to do it, or mount a humongous credit card bill.
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited December 2005
    On one occasion Ven. Ananda was staying near Rajagaha, at Tapoda monastery. Then, as night was ending, he got up & went to the Tapoda Hot Springs to bathe his limbs. Having bathed his limbs and having gotten out of the springs, he stood wearing only his lower robe, drying his limbs. Kokanuda the wanderer, as night was ending, also got up & went to the Tapoda Hot Springs to bathe his limbs. He saw Ven. Ananda from afar, and on seeing him said to him, "Who are you, my friend?"

    "I am a monk, my friend."

    "Which kind of monk?"

    "A son-of-the-Sakyan contemplative."

    "I would like to ask you about a certain point, if you would give me leave to pose a question."

    "Go ahead and ask. Having heard [your question], I'll inform you."

    "How is it, my friend: 'The cosmos is eternal. Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless.' Is this the sort of view you have?"

    "No, my friend, I don't have that sort of view."

    "Very well, then: 'The cosmos is not eternal. Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless.' Is this the sort of view you have?"

    "No, my friend, I don't have that sort of view."

    "Very well, then: 'The cosmos is finite... The cosmos is infinite... The soul & the body are the same... The soul is one thing and the body another... After death a Tathagata exists... After death a Tathagata does not exist... After death a Tathagata both does & does not exist... After death a Tathagata neither does nor does not exist. Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless.' Is this the sort of view you have?"

    "No, my friend, I don't have that sort of view."

    "Then in that case, do you not know or see?"

    "No, my friend. It's not the case that I don't know, I don't see. I do know. I do see."

    "But on being asked, 'How is it, my friend: "The cosmos is eternal. Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless." Is this the sort of view you have?' you inform me, 'No, my friend, I don't have that sort of view.' On being asked, 'Very well then: "The cosmos is not eternal... The cosmos is finite... The cosmos is infinite... The soul & the body are the same... The soul is one thing and the body another... After death a Tathagata exists... After death a Tathagata does not exist... After death a Tathagata both does & does not exist... After death a Tathagata neither does nor does not exist. Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless." Is this the sort of view you have?' you inform me, 'No, my friend, I don't have that sort of view.' But on being asked, 'Then in that case, do you not know, I don't see?' you inform me, 'No, my friend. It's not the case that I don't know or see. I do know. I do see.' Now, how is the meaning of this statement to be understood?"

    "'The cosmos is eternal. Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless,' is a viewpoint. 'The cosmos is not eternal... The cosmos is finite... The cosmos is infinite... The soul & the body are the same... The soul is one thing and the body another... After death a Tathagata exists... After death a Tathagata does not exist... After death a Tathagata both does & does not exist... After death a Tathagata neither does nor does not exist. Only this is true; anything otherwise is worthless,' is a viewpoint. The extent to which there are viewpoints, view-stances, the taking up of views, obsessions of views, the cause of views, & the uprooting of views: that's what I know. That's what I see. Knowing that, I say 'I know.' Seeing that, I say 'I see.' Why should I say 'I don't know, I don't see'? I do know. I do see."

    "What is your name, my friend? What do your fellows in the chaste life call you?"

    "My name is Ananda, my friend, and that's what my fellows in the chaste life call me."

    "What? Have I been talking with the great teacher without realizing that it was Ven. Ananda? Had I recognized that it was Ven. Ananda, I would not have cross-examined him so much. May Ven. Ananda please forgive me."

    - Kokanuda Sutta: AN X.96
  • PalzangPalzang Veteran
    edited December 2005
    Critter wrote:
    I still recieve messages from a pagan group I haven't disconnected myself from yet and they are having a similiar discussion at the moment. It was brought up that appearently in fact, that places were refusing to even call Christmas trees, well, Christmas trees.

    That, I have to say is ridiculous. What else are you going to call it? A yule log with branches? The multi-cultural holiday pine?

    Even if it doesn't really have to do with the original intent of the holiday itself... it's called a Christmas Tree, changing the name is not something I can agree with. I can't even understand who it is exactly that they are trying to appease with this. It just makes no sense to me at all.

    Of course they're not called Christmas trees - they're called Buddha-bushes!!!!

    Palzang

    HO HO HO
    HRI HRI HRI
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited December 2005
    ....And news just in... it turns out that the dyslexic Devil-worshipper actually sold his soul to Santa.....
  • SabineSabine Veteran
    edited December 2005
    federica wrote:
    ....And news just in... it turns out that the dyslexic Devil-worshipper actually sold his soul to Santa.....
    :vimp:
    At my school, we have two little shrubs with lights wrapped around them in front of the office. We call them the "non-denominational light-bearing hedges."
  • edited December 2005
    When it come down to it...who care :) Is this of some great importance? Does it matter? Does it harm anyone? Days that bring joy to anyone regardless of religion or non-religion are a wonderful thing. None of this should concern a Buddhist. Our view is much wider. Some things matter some don't.

    "If a tree falls in the forest, and there is no one around to hear it, does it make a sound? Who cares :)"
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