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Ep.139: Un'alternativa online per le visite a Babbo Natale

A Father Christmas performer taking a video call. Source: AP

La visita annuale a Babbo Natale nei centri commerciali è una tradizione di Natale per molte famiglie, ma in tempo di distanziamento sociale e precauzioni anti-virus quest'anno sarà probabilmente un po' diverso.

SCARICA la trascrizione col testo a fronte in inglese.   

Italian

MUSIC 

Gli elfi di Santa Klaus dovranno migliorare le loro credenziali cibernetiche quest'anno, dato che l'epidemia di coronavirus limita le tradizionali visite di persona a Babbo Natale.

Un'agenzia di spettacolo di Londra ha lanciato un'alternativa digitale, sostenuta dall'enciclopedia digitale Wikipedia.

"Santa is very old and crotchety sometimes, and this new IT can be a little bit difficult for an old dog to learn, but I've got there, and every child can have a visit. So, I'm very pleased to be able to say that."

Questo è Santa John, che fa parte di un gruppo di impersonatori di Babbo Natale uniti in una nuova esperienza digitale, chiamata SANTA HQ.

Stanno venendo addestrati ad una competenza che è diventata essenziale nel 2020 -fare video chiamate online.
Il lockdown nazionale in Inghilterra terminerà alla fine della settimana.

Molte persone però continueranno ad affrontare restrizioni severe per quanto riguarda la socializzazione e la gestione degli affari, con pub e ristoranti che hanno ricevuto l'ordine di rimanere chiusi in gran parte del densamente popolato Midlands e nel nord.

Matt Grist è il direttore dell'agenzia di spettacolo basata a Londra The Ministry of Fun.

"I would be surprised if we do much more than 10, 15 percent of normal bookings this year, which is huge. It's huge for the events industry, it's huge for the entertainment industry, as the whole year has been, and certainly for all those Santa performers that usually go out and meet children from the end of November every day, all the way up to Christmas, that's obviously a big change. So, we wanted to make sure that that wasn't the case for their benefit, but also and mainly for the children, obviously."

A SANTA HQ, i giovani utenti possono accedere a contenuto giornaliero per tutto dicembre, tra cui canzoni, balli, arte e lavori fatti a mano.

Una video chiamata personale con Babbo Natale è uno dei pezzi forti.

Ancora Matt Grist:

"It became very apparent that as well as live events, there needed to be something as well, there needed to be an alternative offering. And the obvious way, obviously, for Santa to still be able to meet as many people as possible was to also enable him to communicate online. So, that's where Santa HQ was born. So, he can talk to children actually all over the world, direct into their homes from his home in the North Pole."

Il costo delle chiamate a Babbo Natale partono da 30 sterline - circa 55 dollari australiani.

Grist sostiene che il prezzo non si allontana tanto da quello di una visita di persona alla sua caverna, tenendo in considerazione i costi di trasporto ed altre spese.

Il progetto è sostenuto dall'imprenditore internet e fondatore di Wikipedia Jimmy Wales, che aveva avuto un'idea per un progetto simile quest'estate.

"I started thinking about how everybody was moving onto Zoom and doing all these things virtually, and it just struck me that, wow, actually this year it's really important that we give kids a great Christmas. It's been a tough year for everybody. And a lot of bad news is quite scary to young children. And I realised we also shouldn't be congregating in the shopping malls and department stores to visit Santa Claus, and it should all just move online."

Questo interprete di Babbo Natale non vede l'ora invece di parlare con i bambini attraveso la sua caverna connessa ad internet.

Ritiene che molte persone abbiano bisogno di un Natale magico, dopo un anno difficile.

"Christmas hasn't changed Christmas. There's still going to be people wanting to talk to Santa, there's still people going to want to celebrate Christmas. The fact that there aren't any grottos is just simply one factor in what we might call the entire portrait of Christmas, the entire spirit of Christmas. The fact of the matter is, Santa is still as much, possibly more needed, this year than ever before."

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English

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Santa's elves are having to upskill their cyber credentials this year as the coronavirus outbreak limits traditional physical visits to Father Christmas.

A London entertainment agency has launched a digital alternative, backed by the founder of online encyclopaedia Wikipedia.

"Santa is very old and crotchety sometimes, and this new IT can be a little bit difficult for an old dog to learn, but I've got there, and every child can have a visit. So, I'm very pleased to be able to say that."

That's Santa John, one of a group of Father Christmas performers who are part of a new digital online experience, called SANTA HQ.

They're being schooled in a skill that's become essential in 2020 - conducting online video calls.

England's nationwide coronavirus lockdown is set to end next week.

But most people will continue to face tight restrictions on socializing and business, with pubs and restaurants ordered to remain shut across much of the country's densely populated Midlands and north.

Matt Grist is the managing director of the London-based entertainment agency The Ministry of Fun.

"I would be surprised if we do much more than 10, 15 percent of normal bookings this year, which is huge. It's huge for the events industry, it's huge for the entertainment industry, as the whole year has been, and certainly for all those Santa performers that usually go out and meet children from the end of November every day, all the way up to Christmas, that's obviously a big change. So, we wanted to make sure that that wasn't the case for their benefit, but also and mainly for the children, obviously."

At SANTA HQ, young users can access daily content throughout December, including singalongs, dancing, arts and crafts.

A one-on-one live video call with Santa is one of the highlights.

Matt Grist again:

"It became very apparent that as well as live events, there needed to be something as well, there needed to be an alternative offering. And the obvious way, obviously, for Santa to still be able to meet as many people as possible was to also enable him to communicate online. So, that's where Santa HQ was born. So, he can talk to children actually all over the world, direct into their homes from his home in the North Pole."

Santa video calls start from 30 British pounds - around 55 Australiandollars.

Mr Grist says the price isn't far removed from the cost of physical grotto visits, taking into account travel costs and more.

The project is backed by internet entrepreneur and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, who had an idea for a similar project this summer.

"I started thinking about how everybody was moving onto Zoom and doing all these things virtually, and it just struck me that, wow, actually this year it's really important that we give kids a great Christmas. It's been a tough year for everybody. And a lot of bad news is quite scary to young children. And I realised we also shouldn't be congregating in the shopping malls and department stores to visit Santa Claus, and it should all just move online."

This Father Christmas performer is looking forward to speaking to children from his connected grotto instead.

He says many are in need of a magical Christmas, after a difficult year.

"Christmas hasn't changed Christmas. There's still going to be people wanting to talk to Santa, there's still people going to want to celebrate Christmas. The fact that there aren't any grottos is just simply one factor in what we might call the entire portrait of Christmas, the entire spirit of Christmas. The fact of the matter is, Santa is still as much, possibly more needed, this year than ever before."

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Report by SBS News

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