PC Free NZ points to this Herald article:
Playdough, potato stamps and the use of other food for art and play has been banned by some kindergartens because it is considered offensive to Maori and other cultures.
Pre-school teachers say the ban is out of respect to Maori beliefs that food should be respected for its nutritional qualities and not used "as a plaything".
This is just plain stupid. Having respect for other cultures does not mean letting them run roughshod over our own. As Dr Muriel Newman wrote in her emailed newsletter:
At the heart of this issue is whether or not it is right and proper that in a society which is increasingly culturally diverse, one minority group should be able to impose their will on the majority? Under normal circumstances minority views do sometimes take precedent over accepted ways, but such outcomes are normally achieved through persuasion not coercion.
In the playdough case, political correctness has been used as a weapon to silence and intimidate opposition. By claiming the use of food in play is culturally offensive to Maori, [they...] can call anyone who speaks out in opposition, a racist. It is a classic example of the modern-day tyranny that is constantly being wreaked by minority groups over the majority of New Zealanders, through the use of political correctness.
Now, I'd happily agree that children should not be forced to partake in activities that are offensive to their own culture (at least, not without good reason). I hope nobody is forcing Maori kids to play with playdough, if it's really that traumatic for them. But part of living in a multicultural society is co-existing with other cultures. We should be teaching kids to respect cultural differences, and not to force their own parochial values on others. And in my culture, there is nothing wrong with such play. Frankly, I find the contrary suggestion to be culturally insensitive. But hey, I don't have brown skin, so I guess my culture doesn't count, right?
[Psst, fellow leftists, what do you think of all this?]