Writing letters to Santa Claus is a popular annual tradition, but some concerned citizens suggest that the program isn’t as language-inclusive as it needs to be.
One of the features of the letters to Santa program from Canada Post is that you can write to Santa in several languages, and “Santa” would respond in the same language.
But, some folks are pointing out that significant languages that many Canadians speak, like Punjabi, Tagalog and Farsi, aren’t included in the list of official languages.
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Gurdip Singh Sahota, a Metro Vancouver resident, raised the concerns on Twitter, citing StatsCan figures that show over half a million people speak predominantly Mandarin or Punjabi at home. While traditional and simplified Chinese is included in the list of languages, Punjabi is not.
@canadapostcorp is there a reason why Santa can’t reply back in Punjabi? Why is Punjabi not included in the list of languages for #LettersToSanta? @StatCan_eng 2021 Census results clearly show the number of Canadians speaking #Punjabi. @randeepssarai @rubysahotalib #HOHOHO #Santa pic.twitter.com/gmoCj35GuL
— Gurdip Singh Sahota (@gurdipsahota) December 5, 2022
Other Indian languages, like Hindi and Urdu, made the list, so why not Punjabi? We’ve asked Canada Post that same question and are waiting for a reply.
Canada Post did respond to concerns about the lack of specific languages in its initial Instagram post, claiming that the team is working on adding other languages as part of the program.
“We help Santa respond in your language, so apologies for any confusion. The spirit of the Santa Letter program is that any child who writes to Santa in their language will receive a response in their language. So please send your letters to Santa and we’ll be proud to help him respond. And make sure to include a return address!”
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The initial tweet from Sahota prompted responses from those supporting his concerns.
This is not okay… come on @canadapostcorp! https://t.co/syVYvatBiG
— Lynda Steele 🎙🌻 (@steeletalk) December 5, 2022
There were also mentions of other languages not included in the list, like Turkish and Nepali.
In response to our request for comment, Canada Post says Santa will reply to letters in the language they were written in, no matter the language, despite it not appearing on the list.