I pulled the first one I found for our Middle Eastern perspective. Enjoy….
Christmas in Pakistan
In Pakistan, December 25th is a public holiday, but it is in memory of Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. Like in India, Christians make up a very small part of the population. But as Pakistan has a population over 162 million people, there are more than 5 millions Christians! Most Christians in Pakistan live the country and are quite poor.
At Christian festivals, like Christmas and Easter, a big procession takes place, in Lahore, from St. Anthony’s Church to the Cathedral. It takes hours to reach the Cathedral for the services. These are then celebrated with lots of enthusiasm! Before and during Advent, spiritual seminars take place to help people to prepare for Christmas or ‘Bara Din’ (which in Urdu and Punjabi means the ‘Big Day’). This expression is very popular, even among Muslims in Pakistan.
During the last week of Advent, in many Christian areas, carol singing is performed by various groups. They go from house to house singing carols and in return the family offers something to the choir. Mostly the money collected from such carols is used for charity works or is given to the church.
In the big Christian areas, each house is decorated and has a star on the roof. The streets are also decorated and lit. The crib and Christmas tree are also important decorations. Sometimes there are crib competitions! Christians also sometimes exchange Christmas cakes.
On Christmas Eve, Churches are packed for the midnight or vigil-mass services. The choirs sing very special hymns. After the vigil-mass, in some places, there are fireworks which help celebrate the start of Bara Din. People dance, exchange presents and enjoy the special night.
On Bara Din or Christmas Day, Christians go to Church again for the Bara Din celebrations. People wear their best, colorful clothes. They can stay in the Church courtyard for hours, enjoying various food from the different stalls. The evening is usually celebrated with immediate family or relatives where special food is enjoyed. Adults often visit their parents.
In Pakistan Santa Claus/Father Christmas is known as ‘Christmas Baba’.
As the madness of the holidays sets in I found this note to gently remind us to stay grounded in all the holiday insanity. I can’t find my note on who wrote this but I thank them for this gentle reminder…Namaste, The Queen Cronista
If you think people are crazy, are you one of them? If you think you are not one of them, someone else might think that you are crazy!
In this world there is all types of craziness. If an alien comes to this planet and goes to a soccer stadium, he would find it to be an absolutely crazy place! He will not be able to understand why the 11 players are chasing one ball and are trying to get the ball into the net, and why are there 11 others on the other side stopping them, that too for one little ball. He would say, ‘Why are they all fighting over a ball?’
An alien would say, ‘Let me give 22 balls to 22 players. Let them kick their balls and keep them in the net!’
If their goal is to put the ball in the net, he would say, ‘Okay, let us all go and keep it there.’ He will fail to understand why people are kicking the ball and falling over each other and 50,000 people around are clapping and crying and howling!
It sounds absolutely crazy!
Like that there are many such crazy things in the world. I used to find English language very crazy. You write, ‘know’ and pronounce it as ‘no’. I would say, ‘know!’ (pronouncing it with the k sound) You should speak the way you write and read. You write ‘knowledge’ and put a ‘k’, I would say, ‘knowledge’ (pronouncing with the k sound). Everyone found it absolutely crazy.
My mother tongue is such that the way we write is the same as what we speak. In English, several letters become silent and you don’t know which is silent and which is not silent. It was so difficult. I had to write in English and then write in Kannada below that. Once my class teacher looked at my notebook and asked me, ‘What are you writing? It is wrong’.
There is no match between speaking and writing. You say something and you write something else.
Like that there are different crazes in the world. Everything is a craze and people are crazy for different things. Some are crazy about games, some for politics, some for money.
Do you know what happened in China? On New Years, in Shanghai, somebody threw fake currency from the top of a tower and 35 people died in a stampede. Is this not crazy,? People going to get free money falling from some building onto the street? There is no limit for being crazy. At least here it is good crazy! Some people are crazy about mediation and some are crazy about singing. It is okay! ‘Accept people as they are’. Sometimes I wonder, ‘Why did I put this point! I have been trapped by it!’ I have never said anything in my life which I have not practiced, so since I have said this, I have to practice it and I have been practicing, carrying on and accepting all sorts of craziness. I tell you, there is hope! I am still happy!
…“I truly meant to behave but there were just too many other great options.” T-Shirt Philosophy
Welcome to my world. Someone once sent me a book “When You Can Walk On Water Take The Boat.”
They fell into my friends philosophy that I am one of the most predictably unpredictable people he had ever met. Choosing you own “ignore the box” options does not mean you really are misbehaving…(only to little uncreative minds) maybe. But who give a hoot. God gave us each incredible gifts many never use because they are afraid of being labeled by the world of Judgey Smurfs, as different. Really??? Gifts you have and do not share are sad to a world that needs you. No one is anything like you. You were specifically programmed by the Universe to be YOU!!! Not some coloring book numb nuts. Don’t waste your precious gifts. My daughter is a comic and I tell her all the time her gift to the world is to make people laugh. What a gift! What is your gift? Share it with our world today. We love you just the way you are. Namaste, The Queen Cronista
“You know that little thing inside your head that keeps you from saying things you shouldn’t? Yeah, I don’t have one of those. “ T-Shirt Philosophy
I think you know by now if you’ve been around the Crones for any length of time we tend to tell it and not need to sell it. Getting older and wiser is very freeing. I never want to say anything to anyone that intentionally insult or hurts them. However, bullies, biatches, parvenus, just all around mean spirited people….you do not want to take us on. We will knit your britches to your ass and still have time to cook dinner. Standing ground is not so fearful once you’ve practiced it a bit. The “better thans” noted above are not use to bravery. Once you stand ground they are not as interested in taking you down. They’ll move on to some other innocent they can mow down with impunity. Let them know you are not one of them. Namaste, The Queen Cronista