December 23, 2011 By: Saani
Christmas is right around the corner and I have a few things to say about how Christmas is celebrated in Nepal. Actually, I have one main point I’d like to bring to light: The root of Christmas is not based in an excuse to have shitty parties and over indulge in alcohol.
Let me begin this point by saying whether I’m a Christian and celebrate Christmas (or not) is irrelevant because it comes down to one basic thing: respect.
Christmas, if someone takes a minute to do their research, is about the birth of Christ. If you do further research, it isn’t even actually Jesus’s birthday - it’s a symbolic day to celebrate the birth of the savior. There’s an entire Christmas story with shepherds, wise men, angels and a virgin birth that goes along with it.
For those of you who only know the modern day Christmas, you should know that the world has taken Christ out of Christmas and replaced it with Santa and mass consumerism – something along the lines of what Dashain is like these days.
Suffice to say, most people in and out of Nepal either do not know, or have forgotten, what Christmas is about (let’s not even bring up all the misconceptions people have about the faith). In Nepal, as of recent years, Christmas is another excuse to advertise booze and to have ‘Christmas parties’ with a shit ton of booze.
I find this rather offensive. If a group of people have set apart a day to be filled with love and family and sharing to remember a pivotal part of their faith, it’s not tragic that others have adopted, but it is horrible that others have taken something sacred and trashed it.
Instead of going to churches to find out what the real deal is, people will accept Facebook invites that are decorated in red, green and lots of glitter…and most go for reasons unknown.
While there are those that celebrate Christmas within their homes – it’s merely another way to imitate the West. There is something to be said of globalization but I don’t know why people here attempt to mirror the hype that’s made out of it in the West. I mean, you don’t hear of Caucasian families who have lived in Nepal cutting a khashi (or an adapted version of a goat) to commemorate Dashain in their home countries. Why do people who are oblivious to the implications of Christmas try to make it another cheap event?
So again, my major issue is with all of the alcohol ads that come up and the lame parties. Because if you fail to see how this is offensive and so incredibly disrespectful to a faith and cultures that others revere, try to imagine how you’d feel if other nations started slaughtering cows and serving up huge platters of beef under the guise of Dashain or other Nepali festivals.
Obviously a lot of people would be angered by that, so this Christmas think about what you’re doing when you’re “celebrating” a faith or tradition that is not your own. Learn the difference between the religious part of it and the traditional Western ideas of Christmas.
For goodness sakes, with globalization and the internet you have to make an effort to remain ignorant. Learn a little so you can be less offensive to those who are trying to enjoy the heart of Christmas.
Saani has no real goals and aspirations but she sees opportunity in everything and goes with the flow. This is probably because she loves exploring and discovering. She writes for fun but for the same reason she also cooks, reads, and spends a lot of time on random websites that offer a chance to learn all sorts of tid-bits on life.