As someone who doesn’t celebrate Christmas (being from a different religious background), I’m still a big fan of all the traditional festivities associated with it. Jingle bells, gingerbread and my favourite- Christmassy lights err’where!
Apart from these norms seen and heard in my local shopping malls, my only exposure to a typical Christmas day is from what I see on TV. I love me some good ol’ festive movies but most of these movies usually portray a typical ‘’white’’ Christmas, and I don’t just mean a wintry Christmas.
Contrary to these depictions, brown people celebrate Christmas too! However, it seems our culture takes a backseat to accommodate for more western traditions. Now I’m not imposing this on anyone, but it might be fun to see what a traditional Durban Christmas would look like. Incorporating and interchanging our culture with traditional Christmas rituals.
1. Christmas caroling- Whilst singing ‘’Silent Night’’ at the doorstep of our neighbours sounds harmonious and sweet, I wouldn’t recommend this to my fellow Durbanites. 1) You will either get robbed or, 2) Aunties be flinging their champals at you or worse, threaten to send their nephew Sagren for you.2. Christmas Tree- Traditional Xmas trees are probably expensive and unnecessary. I propose a tree all Indians have- Oh lemon tree oh lemon tree, how lovely are your branches. You could also swap boring tree hangings for the ornaments and souvenirs your distant cousins gave you, not forgetting those wedding favours you’ve been saving since 1996.
3. Ugly Christmas Sweaters- Ain’t nobody got time for that- bye bye sweaty jerseys and bring out the hand-me-down Punjabis!
4. Eggnog- This would be of 2 varieties: the first would be Uncle Arnold’s choice of classic dop- Johnnie Walker’s whiskey. The other, I assume would be the milk looking thing (bhaang) in ALL the Holi songs from Bollywood movies.
5. Mistletoe- As if! Don’t you know there is no such thing as physical contact in the Indian community? We don’t kiss. Our babies are made in Olive pots and are made up of different spices (that’s why we come in different colours, shapes and attitudes-sometimes God throws in too much salt). And if we did practice this, we’d most probably use curry leaves instead.
6. Presents- Apart from last year’s recycled gifts, Indians LOVE gossip. Exchanging gifts..? Swapping stories..? Same to same. Basking in the delight of a large family gathering gives Sheetal Aunty the perfect opportunity to expose the most recent scandals, like her sister’s daughter’s secret boyfriend and the reason why Preshen’s wedding had to happen so fast.
Ah yes, this sounds like a shindig I’d RSVP yes to. Classic Christmas traditions mixed with typical Durban desi dhamaal. Okay, so all jokes aside, this version may be pushing it just a tad. Whilst it would be very fun to see this sort of Christmas, I understand that at the end of the day, the essence of Christmas lies far beneath the decor or presents. So whether your Christmas is white or brown, I do hope your day is filled with love, joy and family!
If you ever do pull off the above mentioned Christmas or have similar ideas, be sure to share them with us by leaving a comment or following us on our social media(IG: @thebrowngirlsociety)! And don’t forget to hit that follow button at the bottom of this page to keep up with more of our stuff. Always grateful and sending love,