Having lived in
Don’t get me wrong. Turkish people know about Christmas. You can see Xmas decorations in shops while you stroll along the malls looking for presents to the tune of ‘Jingle Bells’. You even start praising Americans for building Starbucks. The majority of Turks I know decorate Christmas trees, called here ‘the New Year’s Trees’ and give each other presents on December 31st.
Still the most important thing is generally missing – the Christmas spirit. Those of you who are Christians or were raised in a Christian country should get my point. The feeling of anxiety, the desire to be kind to people, the shopping frenzy and the overeating I disliked before are all absent. The worst thing is that it is a regular working day for a great majority of people.
I don’t blame Turks for that. In the end, Christmas is not part of their culture. It reminds of my own attitude to Halloween – a tradition absent from Polish culture. No matter how hard I try, I simply cannot start getting excited about it.
A South African colleague of mine has been living in
My friend Yolanda is a wise lady. ‘Your friends don’t get presents from Santa because they don’t believe in him. Santa comes to you because you wait for him’, she always says. In a country where Christmas spirit is rare, the one you can find melts even the coldest hearts.
Merry Christmas everyone J