Santa brings Christmas cheer in six languages
It could be a scene straight out of the Christmas classic 'Miracle on 34th Street': Ireland's first multi-lingual Santa Claus is bringing smiles to the faces of children from countries like Poland, Hungary and Romania in Dublin this Christmas season.
All this month, hundreds of children were able to tell the Moore Street Mall Santa what was on their Christmas wish lists - in their native tongue
While Santa himself can speak English, Romanian, Hungarian, Italian, and German fluently, his helper elf speaks Polish.
Originally from Romania, the multi-lingual Santa works in a sign company and does security work when he is not in his red suit.
The multi-cultural shopping centre found their Santa through a national ad campaign, which generated quite a few applicants.
But their Santa stood out from the pack because of his bubbly personality and the number of languages he could speak.
Moore Street Mall's manager Darren Morrison says he has received a lot of positive feedback from parents who have brought their children in to see Santa.
Mr Morrison said parents have said their children feel much more at home in Ireland after seeing the Santa and conversing through their native language.
'Kids can converse directly so they know that Santa knows what they want for Christmas,' Mr Morrison said.
Parents have told Mr Morrison that in the past they have had to translate into English what the child wants to ask Santa for.
Visiting multi-lingual Santa is free and he hands out sweets to each child who comes to see him.
'A lot of foreign nationals are on a budget paying rent in apartments, so free is a big thing to them,' Mr Morrison said.
There is a €5 fee if parents want to take a Polaroid photograph of their child with the Moore Street Santa, but no charge if parents take a photo with their own camera.
The shopping centre, itself a symbol of Ireland's changing demographics, is very happy with the number of people and the broad mix of nationalities that came to see Santa. They hope to bring him back next Christmas and may even build him a grotto.