Friday, December 24, 2010

Celebrating An African Christmas

Surfing in Durban two days before Christmas.
 Christmas is a time of year when many would listen to Boney M in the past and learn every Christmas Carol there is because is just seemed normal. As I grow up I realise that certain things we did as kids matter less and our parents don’t encourage Boney M sing alongs anymore.
I have been reading people’s facebook status updates and have realised that many have been drinking since the beginning of the festive season. Some say they will be in Durban and will be mixing their favourite alcoholic drinks with sea water.
I just wonder whether the true meaning of Christmas still exists in young people who are in their twenties. I wonder whether they ever spare a moment for “Mary’s Boy Child” or whether they have given all that up.
Then again maybe this is what the festive season should be like in a country like ours with people who are from many different religions. The Shembe, Muslims, Hindu and Rastafarians don’t believe in Christ the way Christians do so the fuss about Christmas is really unfair to them. Their holy days are also not as valued as Christmas holy days.
Christmas images we grew up seeing as children are also not the true reflection of the African continent. We never get snow on Christmas here. In fact temperatures are likely to be above 30 degrees Celsius with unbearable humidity to accompany it. The rain might come in the afternoon but it will hardly take the heat away.
Everyone does get in a celebratory mood, it’s just not the same celebratory mood that the Americans have fed us through their multi-million dollar film industry. So I say let’s ignore those messages about strange foreign trees and weather temperatures we are not used to and define our own Christmas as Africans - the one of church, the sun and the beach.

No comments:

Post a Comment