My Favorite Part of Christmas
To a Bangladeshi boy growing up in a Muslim dominated country, Christmas was nothing more than a fantasy that only came true in English movies and cartoons. Still I was fascinated by the idea of a magical being coming down through the chimney bearing presents even though there were no house with chimney. It was not the present itself that interested me but the whole merry making atmosphere and unique decorations, that to me is the favorite part of Christmas.
Christmas has different flavors in different society but where ever it is celebrated, it conveys the same message of peace.
Christmas decoration in South Asia is a little bit different from the west. Hot and humid weather has made snowy white Christmas virtually impossible. But that did not stop people from trying, almost every big shopping mall is equipped with a snow making machine and big Christmas tree then they spray out loads of (fake) snow from the top floor to make it look real. Other usually Christmas decorations are the special lighting of the streets and Christmas carol playing at every corner. The streets markets come into life with merchandise of red and white. Even though majority of people involved in this ordeal doesn’t have the slightest idea of what Christmas is about but they all throw special party, play songs or sell goods for Christmas just to make the tourist feel more at home.
Moving from east to west, I think Christmas has more religious touch to it and it is much more important part of one’s life. Being in Germany in Christmas season gave me an opportunity of a lifetime to experience something new.
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From what I have witnessed, Christmas market is the biggest highlight in Germany’s Christmas tradition. It is a special temporary market where vendors showcase their products but everything is prepared with the theme of Christmas. The market consists of stalls which are divided in to different category. For example Food stalls on one side and jewelry on the other. Every stall is creatively decorated showing off their exclusivity. Its is not only the market that gets the touch of creative decorations, almost every household tries their best to give their house a facelift with special lighting on the outside and decorated Christmas tree inside.
Even though on mass media at least Christmas is about expensive decorations, presents and eating good food, to me it says more than that, it reminds us not to forget our friends and family also to be forgiving to others and as long as these morals stays in place, there is nothing about Christmas that I don’t like.
My favorite thing about winter
When we hear about winter in Germany the first things that comes into mind is snow, rain and dry leafless trees. While most people in the western world look ahead for summer to come, from where I come from it is quite the opposite scenario. People from our country take a sigh of relief when after eight months of relentless battle with heat and rain finally the air cools down.
My favorite thing about winter is the weather itself. When I hear about winter, it reminds me of the festivities that occurs in this season in the rural villages of Bangladesh. As a child I always travelled to our grandparent’s house in village on winter vacation. Our country being an agricultural nation by heart has traditions based on seasons and harvest. Winter is the time when there is no hassle of crop harvesting so a lot of time is spend on traditional winter fairs and preparing special foods.
Winter to me meant that I could escape from the ‘concrete jungle’ to a place where there is greenery everywhere and where people live a much more simpler life.
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One of my favorite part of winter is eating specially made snacks called “pitha”. Any Winter to a Bangladeshi is incomplete without this authentic food. Taking advantage of the cool weather and no rain, people always arrange special sports events in winter.
Winter with all its advantages does have some drawbacks. For people who cannot afford to hav warm cloth winter weather is not a relief it’s a curse.
The Best snow fight ever
It was a cool December morning when some one knocked on door before I could gather my strength to open it, Daniel my roommate came rushing in saying he had a surprise for me. At first glance I thought It was a present but then I thought it hasn’t been a week since we celebrated my birthday. Never the less I still got up and with swift fluid action Daniel put aside the curtains and said “you wanted a snowy winter, well here you go!” To me it felt like a dramatic opening as if the world outside my window was a stage! Unfortunately I did not have much time to glaze upon my newly discovered stage as I had classes to attend. But throughout the class I only had one thing in mind, Snow fight!
After a long first half of our class we all went back to our rooms after having lunch at our campus cafeteria. I got out again to take some pictures of my experience of first snowfall but before I could finish, something solid but wet hit me on my back. By the time I realized that I had been attacked by snow, several more snowballs hit me from a different direction. It was Yana and Xanlar my classmates, who had years of experience in the art of snow fighting! Being an underdog in this snow flight and against all odds I fought back. Giving the camera to Daniel, I stepped on the battle field and fought as if this is my last snow fight.
Standing on the ground level, I was in less fortunate than my competitors. xanlar was in second floor and Yana was up or third. They had the advantage of gravity on their side. Giving up wasn’t an option, I have move like a butterfly and sting like a bee. And indeed I did manage to hit them. But Yana was too far away for my range to get a good shot. So I did what any man in my situation would do, I teamed up with xanlar on the second floor and started bombarding Yana and her window with snow balls. She tried to fight back at first but to her it was a battle already lost.
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To finally mark our victory Xanlar threw an enormous chunk of snow at Yana but before she could react, the snow ball had already went straight through her window into her room. We all apologized after the small accident but overall it was the best and first experience of snow fight in my life. Before we could gloat on our enormous victory, we all had t hurry back as it was now time for English class.