Celebrate Humanity

Year-end festivities: an opportunity for shared joy

12/2/2015 3:16:28 PM
written By : Pamposh Dhar Print

As we make our way through the glorious end-of-year festive season, I am reminded of the exuberant celebrations of my childhood in India. Festivals brought people together in shared joy. Diwali fireworks in the evening along with all the children of our neighbourhood regardless of religious identity or social status, Eid lunch – sometimes lunches! – with Muslim friends, and Christmas dinner with Christian friends.  
I have found the same sense of shared celebration in other countries too. When I lived in Malaysia in the 1980s, I learnt the concept of an “open house” on Hari Raya (Eid). No formal invitations were issued and yet everyone was invited to the homes of their Muslim friends and acquaintances. I was new to the country and still making friends. A woman I worked with picked me up from my home and together we went from home to home throughout the day, enjoying the hospitality and friendship of several of our colleagues – who very quickly became good friends. In the Philippines, many celebrations take place in the streets and all passers-by are welcome to join in.

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