Locals Express Frustration as Shopping Centre's 'Merry Everything' Approach Ignites Controversy
Pacific Werribee, a prominent shopping centre in Hoppers Crossing, has ignited a local uproar by presenting what some residents perceive as a diluted version of the Christian celebration of Christmas in what is believed to be an attempt to accommodate diverse cultures. The shopping centre has adopted a ‘Merry Everything’ approach, even changing the traditional Santa chair to feature the controversial phrase.
The move has drawn criticism from locals who feel that the alterations undermine the traditions of the Anglo, Catholic, Christian, and Orthodox communities. Wendy, a resident, questioned the double standard, stating, “Why is it acceptable for every other culture to celebrate their events, but not if you’re Anglo, Catholic, Christian, or Orthodox? It’s absolutely ridiculous.”
Werribee, known for its multicultural makeup, has a history of diverse immigrant communities, including Greek, Italian, Maltese, and UK immigrants. Wendy argued that if new communities can freely celebrate festivals like Diwali and Holi, the same courtesy should be extended to Christmas without diluting its essence.
“They are watering down displays regarding Christmas. I want to celebrate Christmas, not ‘merry everything.’ When my kids get Santa photos, I want to see the word Christmas,” Wendy asserted.
Christmas observed on December 25th, commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ and is a significant religious and cultural celebration globally. While celebrated by a majority of Christians, it also holds cultural significance for many non-Christians.
However, some residents, like Scott, expressed frustration, seeing the alterations as another blow to Australian culture amid broader challenges like mass inflation, immigration, and societal shifts. “We’re living in dystopian 2023, and this is just another kick in the guts for Aussie culture. Sick of this crap,” Scott remarked.
The discontent intensified as the shopping centre continued to promote a Diwali celebration without adjustments, further fueling residents’ anger. Gary criticized what he perceived as wishy-washy political correctness, asserting that authorities and management are overly cautious about offending anyone.
“Wishy-washy political correctness, officials, management, and government—all too scared of offending anyone because they think we’ll just cop it… not much longer,” Gary declared.
The controversy raises questions about the balance between cultural sensitivity and preserving cultural traditions, as communities navigate the complexities of celebrating diverse festivities in a multicultural society.