17:43 GMT18 January 2021
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    People are bombarding social media with furious messages after seeing photographs from an annual Belgian carnival recognised by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

    Social media users were shocked and appalled to see grotesque puppets of Orthodox Jews in pink suits and giant hats, and a rat atop money bags at the world-famous Aalst Carnival in Belgium.

    READ MORE: Explosion of Colour: Brazilian Carnival Kicks off With Enchanting Street Parade

    Many accused Belgium of showing the “ugly face of anti-Semitism”, while several groups representing Flemish and French-speaking Jews in the country complained to the federal UNIA watchdog: “In a democracy like Belgium, there is no room for such things, carnival or not”.

    Aside from floating Jewish figures, the procession also featured people wearing Ku Klux Klan (KKK) outfits and blackface:

    The fact that the Aalst Carnival, the origin of which can be traced back to the Middles Ages, was included in UNESCO’s list of intangible world heritage in 2010, has become another reason for netizens to vent their anger:

    Some social media users, however, thought there was nothing wrong with poking fun at such things, and that it was the whole point of the carnival by definition:

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