The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, November 22, 1999, Holiday Guide, Page 2, Image 14

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    ■ Pocket
monster is
one of the
most in
By Sara Gardner
Staff writer
Every holiday sea
son, a new toy item
comes along and adds
to the holiday spirit.
Nearly every child
that year is filled with
excitement and yearn
ing for that toy. At the
same time, nearly
every adult is filled
with anxiety and fear
trying to get his or her
hands on that toy.
This year, all of
those emotions center
POKEMON trading cards are expected to
become this year’s hot holiday gift.
around a little monster.
Pokemon began as a Japanese cartoon but is quickly becoming a pop
ular commodity all over the United States.
The little character called Pokemon, which in Japanese means pocket
monster, can be seen in nearly any store in the form of Nintendo games,
movies, plush toys and cards.
The Pokemon cards are, by far, the hardest items to keep in stock, said
Robert Holmes, store manager at Kay-bee Toys in Gateway Mall, 61st and
O streets.
‘‘The cards are jmrd to come by,” Holmes said. “Two boxes containing
144 packs are usually gone within two days.”
The cards made by Nintendo and Wizards of the Coast can not only be
collected, but played as a card game as well.
That’s one of the reasons Pokemon has become so popular, said
Patrick Dolan, owner of Pat’s Sports Cards and Collectibles, 48th and O
“It’s a fad. The kids have fun collecting, playing and trading the
cards,” Dolan said. “The game offers a new twist. It involves playing a
game and thinking.”
Children enjoy collecting the cards, but that is not the only reason
Pokemon has become so famous, said Merlin Hayes, co-owner of
HobbyTown USA at Eastpark Plaza, 66* and O streets.
“Since it began as a cartoon, it gained a lot of popularity with the
kids,” Hayes said. “They really enjoyed the show, and now they can col
lect it”
The game requires 61 cards, but some cards are not as valuable as oth
ers, Holmes said.
“Just because someone owns 61 cards, it doesn’t necessarily mean
they have a good deck,” Holmes said. “The card game is like rock, paper,
scissors. Some are more valuable.”
Every Sunday, HobbyTown USA holds a tournament for the card
game, Hayes said.
“We see between 25 and 50 people here every week.” Hayes said. “Not
just kids are playing, either. It is a game that Mom and Dad can play and
enjoy because it requires light strategy.”
Store owners are also seeing some adults buying the cards for them
“Junior high students mainly buy the cards,” Dolan said. “But some
adults are looking for them, too.”
The cards are not the only hot Pokemon seller.
“We are selling a lot of other Pokemon toys,” Hayes said. “We have
Pokemon animals, backpacks, keychains and clocks.
‘Anything Pokemon is very popular right now.”
Sharon Kolbet/dn
RAM BISHU, a professor of industri
al and management systems engi
neering, sits in front of a postcard
of the Hindu goddess Shakti. Bishu
has found ways to celebrate his
Hindu beliefs as well as traditional
Christmas rituals.
Students honor variety of holidays
By Michelle Starr
Staff writer
Not everyone’s holiday season
twinkles red-and-green Christmas
lights, celebrates baby Jesus or has a
fat jolly man as its mascot.
Some University of Nebraska
Lincoln students celebrate this sea
son in different ways or take part in
the Christian holidays only for fun.
Including enjoyment and annoy
ance, mixe4 feelings surround the
holiday season for non-Christians.
“I’m not a Christian, but we
accept the holidays,” said Jiong Yu, a
graduate chemistry student from
Youngtag Jang, a doctoral busi
ness management student from South
Korea, agreed that even though he
was not religious, he still practiced
the Christian holidays.
“We celebrate Christmas for fun,”
Jang said.
ror some students, tins time oi
year might be fun, but others said
they feel uncomfortable or isolated.
“It’s a very hard time fotJews. It’s
my least favorite time of year. You’re
constantly bombarded by another
person’s religion,” said Melanie
Richter, a UNL graduate student
from Lincoln.
Some people forget that there are
religions other than Christianity,
Richter said, and she wants to make
these people aware of other religions.
When greeted with the holiday
welcome, “Merry Christmas,”
Richter said sometimes she took the
time to say, “Thank you, but actually
I’m Jewish.”
David Wiesser, a Jewish graduate
student from Lincoln, doesn’t feel the
same way.
The Christian greetings are meant
with good intent, Wiesser said. .
He also said he understood the
assumption that he was Christian and
automatically assumes others he
meets in Lincoln are Christian
because of the high population of
Christians, Wiesser said
Other non-Christians accepted
Christian celebrations as part of the
Ram Bishu, a Hindu from India
and UNL professor of industrial and
management systems engineering,
socially in
Christian holi
Bishu will
string lights on
his Christmas
tree and place
presents under
neath it, but he
will not attend a
church service,
he said.
Among Hindus, Christmas is
accepted and respected as a religious
holiday, Bishu said, adding that about
3 percent of India’s population is
“I come from a country with a
background of religions and respect
ing religions of all the world,” Bishu
Jang agreed and said Christianity
and Buddhism are practiced in South
Baha’is have a slightly different
view of the Christian holidays, said
Katie Bodie, a freshman undeclared
major at UNL.
Baha’is believe each religion has
had a different prophet, Bodie said.
With Christ being the Christian
prophet, people therefore recognize
Christmas as an important holiday,
Bodie said.
Though they believe in the impor
tance of Christ to Christians, the
Baha’i’s have their own prophet,
Baha’u’llah, which means the glory
of God.
Whether a Baha’i celebrates
Christmas and to what extent they
celebrate is up to the individual.
"I'm not a
Christian, but we
accept the holidays."
UNL graduate chem
istry student
Regardless of the religion,
Christian holidays have affected non
Christian holidays.
Though Richter celebrates
Hanukkah, she said it was a minor
Jewish holiday, intensified only by its
time of celebration.
“The holiday just happens to fall
in December. It’s not on the same
scale as
Richter said.
Gifts might
not even be a
part of
Hanukkab if it
weren’t for
Richter said.
W i e s s e r
agreed that pre
sents weren’t
important to Jews during Hanukkah.
Wiesser said although he stopped
celebrating Hanukkah with gifts a
long time ago, gift-giving is a nice
gesture at any time of the year.
If someone offered him a gift on
Dec. 25, he said he would accept it
and not be upset that the gift was not
given during Hanukkah.
The more important Jewish holi
days, Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur,
are celebrated 10 days apart in
September and signify the Jewish
new year.
Both Richter and Wiesser agree
that people should learn about other
people’s religions, but Wiesser did
not expect people to be experts.
“I’m a realist, and I don’t expect
anyone to know the ins and outs of my
theological preference,” Wiesser
Wiesser said the marketing issues
surrounding the holidays might over
shadow the holiday.
“The commercialism generated
by Christmas is astounding,” Wiesser
said. “I think a lot of times Christians
have an Easter Bunny and a
Christmas tree, and that’s the extent