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Linking Young Minds Together
     Volume 2 Issue 98 | December 21 2008|


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Christmas frenzy of the youngsters

Edward Apurba Singha

THERE is no doubt that youngsters are the main spirit and motivational force to each year’s Christmas celebration in Bangladesh. From street carols to home decoration everywhere Christian adolescents give their best possible effort to turn this year end event into an occasion of celebrating their life.

Christian community around the world celebrates Christmas on December 25 to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. Christians consider Jesus as a son of almighty God who was born in Bethlehem more than two thousand years ago. According to Holy Bible, God send Jesus to this world to rescue mankind from sin and spread the message of eternal life.

So, the birthday of Jesus has a great significance among the Christ believers which in practice turns this event into a grand seasonal celebration. Despite cultural divergence Christians around the world on this day offer prayers for the welfare of the entire human race, share feelings with loved ones, donate essentials to poor, decorate houses, prepare festive foods and exchange magnificent gifts to mark this occasion.

Christmas extravaganza in Bangladesh starts from the first week of December and it gains momentum in the mid December. During the early period of Christmas celebration different churches across the country organize young boys and girls into groups and send them to different locations in order to perform Christmas carol. Every team equipped with musical instruments roam different households to perform their music. This musical journey continues till Christmas Eve.

Richard a second year student of Notre Dame College said, “I am waiting with great interest from the beginning of the year to join the carol group. It's really thrilling when I accompany my friends walk in the chilly winter night and reach to different parts of the city of heralding Christmas by performing our music. People reward us by donating money and we deposit it to church. At the end of our week long musical program we arrange a feast for our team members”.

After the first week of December, Christmas shopping reaches its peak. Fashion cautious boys and girls during this period rush to different city markets and shopping mauls to purchase the latest collections.

Arnob working at a multinational company said, “In my childhood, I always got new dress during Christmas. But this tendency has changed nowadays as I became the main earning source in my family. I think twice before spending but during Christmas I try my best to meet all the fashion requirements of my family members within my financial capacity”.

Dina just joined a new job and explained, “I can't imagine Christmas without a new Shari. Although I receive gifts but I am not satisfied until I purchase my desired one. During Christmas Day there is a physiological competition to become the best outlook of the day. Usually, every year I successfully overcome this exciting competition among our friends”.

Exchanging greeting cards is one of the prime attractions of Christmas. From school going children to adults all exchange Christmas cards with near and dear ones in order to share the magic moments of Christmas. Greeting cards selling beefed up during this period and colourful cards are available from different card shops.

Anika, a student of Holy Cross School, said, “Every year I give my first Christmas card to my parents. Actually card is a simple but effective way to convey our feelings to others. Instead of wide distribution I just collect varieties Christmas cards to decorate my room”.

But many boys and girls nowadays love to send e-cards to wish instead of sending printed cards. Proliferation of mobile phones to some extent outshines the appeal of both physical and virtual cards.

Shompa a college girl argued that, “SMS and MMS pave the way to share instant feelings with counterparts which is not possible by printed or e-cards. As a student it is not always possible for me to buy cards for others or surf the net to send greeting cards.”

Avik, a BBA student of a private university said that, “Dhaka gradually looses its glamour to celebrate any seasonal occasion due to the unexpected traffic jam, soaring price of essentials and lack of open places. But the scenario is different in my village where people face no traffic and they travel from one village to another in order to exchange their Christmas wishes”.

Young people in the rural areas organize different cultural programs throughout the month of Christmas. They stage drama that spotlights the public life of Jesus Christ. In the hilly areas tribal people also organize special dance programs to welcome Christmas. Christmas celebration at five star hotels is another attraction for the solvent young people. Hotel Sheraton, Dhaka starts their special Christmas programs on December 19. During this time enchanting Christmas carols are performed and Santa distributes gifts at the hotel lobby. I the morning of Christmas Day Sheraton organizes special Christmas program for the kids. People also enjoy special dinner and exciting food from hotel café during the Christmas season at Sheraton.

Before Christmas Eve all family complete their home decoration. Obviously, young members of the family take the lead of this decoration process and decorate house with Christmas tree, candles, colourful papers and other ornaments. Many families display star on the rooftop of their building.

Paul just completed his graduation from Dhaka University and said, “Decoration is an integral part of Christmas celebration. Generally, we decorate church from mid-December whereas home decoration begins just few days before the Christmas Day”.

During Christmas time different youth groups publish magazines, release musical CDs, write posters and organize fairs to enjoy their Christmas vacation. Apia recently completed her annual school exam said this year she is going to submit her poem to Church Christmas magazine.

On the Christmas Day different households prepare delicious foods for the family members. After attending the special prayer session on Christmas Day morning boys and girls visit different houses to enjoy these foods. Tissa is a student of Mirpur Commerce College and she said “In our family we prepare light food such as pitha, payesh, semai, cakes and sandwich in the Christmas morning, polau with different vegetables, chicken, beef, mutton and pork in the Christmas noon and special dinner with fruits, soft drinks and ice cream at Christmas night.

In addition to regular celebration Christian adolescents also attain reunion programs, concert and watch special TV telecasts on the Christmas Day.

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