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Thursday, December 3, 2009

The awkward feelings about X-mas & some history behind it.

It's this time of the year again when most people here are talking about X-mas. When I was in Malaysia, I didn't really mind about this. As Malaysia is a multi-racial country, everybody has the freedom to celebrate their own celebrations. However here, I have the awkward feelings about this since I joined Peachgrove Playcentre. Why do I have this feeling? Well, here are some of the reasons:

  • most of the activities for the kids in playcentre will be focus on x-mas. dah mmmg majority sambut x-mas
  • there are X-mas party for the children and also for the adults (the party for adults cum the monthly meeting where members should attend)
  • my eldest daughter has started to ask heaps of questions about x-mas and I've tried my best to explain and tell her that we are muslims and we celebrate Eids. 
  • there are some x-mas songs that they teach the children there and sometimes it's hard to redirect my daughters' attention to something else. 
  • some of the other members assume that we also celebrate x-mas. dah sah2 saya pakai tudung pun, tak tahu yg saya ni org islam.hish...
What do I do? Well, most of the time, I'll set up other activities for my daughters. When my daughters made something that were meant for the tree decorations, I asked them if they wanted to take it home. selalunya mmg anak2 nak bawa balik. fuh.. I'm trying my best to teach my daughters about muslims' lifestyles and I always tell them that we don't celebrate it and just let those who want to celebrate it do what they want as long as it's not bothering us. When it comes to the parties, I definitely won't be attending those parties. bukan nak jadi anti-social tapi tak nak bersubahat dlm meraikan perayaan diaorg

Do you realized that when it comes to this celebration, they have created a lot of lies? They created lies about Santa Claus in the hope of creating the magical celebration. The X-mas tree according to Wikipedia:

Historically, there has been opposition to the custom of the Christmas tree because of its pagan origins. In 1851, parishioners in Cleveland, Ohio, USA condemned as a pagan practice the actions of the pastor, Henry Schwan, for decorating one of the earliest Christmas trees in an American Christian church.[citation needed] Scottish author Robert Chambers in his 1832 Book of Days asserts that the festivities of Christmas "originally derived from the Roman Saturnalia, had afterwards been intermingled with the ceremonies observed by the British Druids at the period of winter-solstice, and at a subsequent period became incorporated with the grim mythology of the ancient Saxons. Two popular observances belonging to Christmas are more especially derived from the worship of our pagan ancestors—the hanging up of the mistletoe and the burning of the Yule log." Regarding the Christmas tree itself, Chambers assumes that it "seems to be a very ancient custom in Germany, and is probably a remnant of the splendid and fanciful pageants of the Middle Ages."
Other traditions relating to Christmas that may derive from Germanic pagan practices include the Christmas ham, Yule Goat, stuffing stockings, elements of Santa Claus and his nocturnal ride through the sky, and elements of Alpine folklore.[1]

So, in short the origin is from the pagan origins.

What about Santa Claus? Do you know about the origin of it? Again, I check this out in the Wikipedia:

Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle or simply "Santa", is a legendary figure who, in many Western cultures, brings gifts to the homes of the good children during the late evening and overnight hours of Christmas Eve, December 24[1] or on his Feast Day, December 6 (Saint Nicholas Day).[2] The legend may have part of its basis in hagiographical tales concerning the historical figure of gift giver Saint Nicholas.
While Saint Nicholas was originally portrayed wearing bishop's robes, today Santa Claus is generally depicted as a plump, jolly, white-bearded man wearing a red coat with white collar and cuffs, white-cuffed red trousers, and black leather belt and boots. This image became popular in the United States and Canada in the 19th century due to the significant influence of caricaturist and political cartoonist Thomas Nast.[3][4] This image has been maintained and reinforced through song, radio, television, and films. In the United Kingdom and Europe, his depiction is often identical to the American Santa, but he is commonly called Father Christmas.

In short, Santa was created for the marketing purposes. Normally at the end of the year, parents have to spend a huge amount of money buying presents to their kids. Others too, have to spend money buying presents to their family members and friends.

My intention of writing this entry is not promoting this celebration nor try to condemn it. I just want to share some facts and also my feelings as I do nak ke tak nak have to deal with this while I'm here in New Zealand. While in Malaysia, we see the decorations in the shopping malls and that's it. I had some friends who celebrate x-mas but apart from wishing them, I don't have to other things. Now, it's up to you (to those who are reading this, to react). I would welcome any kind of reactions; be it positive reaction or the negative one.



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yatie chomeyl said...

i got invitation to nazhan's nursery 4 christmast celebration. mulo2 toksey gi tp cikgu dio sungguh2 ajok. luckily nazhan x pehe gapo2 i guess we'll go there, tunjuk muko pastu balik lah kot

transformed housewife said...

sebenarnyo bergantung pd niat kito. kalu meme kito niat nok hormat majlis jah takpo. ore2 sini pun banyok sambut xmas mace tradisi jah buke sbb agamo.

UstazCahaya said...

Betul kata Puan Nur. Bergantung pada niat kita. Dan kita perlu faham sama ada sesuatu majlis itu atas dasar agama atau sekadar perayaan sahaja.

Saya pernah tinggal di pedalaman sarawak- dekat sempadan dengan indonesia. Untuk menghormati penduduk tempat saya tinggal itu yang majoriti Kristian (tapi bukan pengamal kristian yang tegar); saya ziarah juga ke rumah mereka sempena x-mas. Lagipun, mereka baik dengan saya dan rakan2 muslim yang lain.

UstazCahaya said...

Salam Puan Nuradyani.

Saya ada siarkan entry ini-terjemahan BM dalam blog saya. Ini urlnya untuk Puan semak:

Terima Kasih ya'