As Christmas approaches, the South Asian Christian community have upped the ante on preparations in the run up to the big day, blending in South Asian culture.
On Saturday, 17 December, a bilingual Christmas gathering was held at Beacon Community Church in Bradford. The event saw a carol service being held, representing people from the sub-continent and the wider community. Attended by people from various backgrounds, the event was seen as an integration of cultures.
Organised by Reverend Nathan Javed, who describes himself as a Pakistani Christian, the bilingual gathering, which has been going on for a couple of years, was well received by the local community.
Reverend Nathan said: “It’s Christmas time that brings cultures together and we open up our church for everyone. It doesn’t matter who they are. People come in from different faiths and no faiths and its a day we enjoy celebrating with all our community. It’s the event of they year that I have the responsibility of opening up for all communities to come and celebrate together”
Reverend Nathan, explains the plans for Christmas Day: ” We will open up our houses and it will be the day of worship.
“Christmas time is all about giving and begins from 1 December, as per the advent calendar. It’s the time to spend with family, worship God and be thankful to Him for what he has given us”
People from all backgrounds and ages attending the gathering
The South Asian Community, have successfully brought in their culture into Christmas, celebrating in their own way. This has led to a mingling of cultures at Christmas celebrations.
Reverend Nathan says “For the last few years, I have brought in inclusiveness of our culture. There are churches, that hardly accept Asians at times, they have suspicious minds and other kinds of concerns
“So as a reverend myself, I have looked to overcome the problem of inclusiveness, so
cultures have now mingled together, which means there is integration and that’s our mission. A cross-cultural mission to overcome the differences with Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs or any other faith and those of no faith.
“They are coming together, mingling and giving a message of hope, peace and thanksgiving”
Lea Jauris, student in Leeds, is also celebrating her first Christmas outside India
She echoes the sentiments of mingling cultures: “I am having mixed feeling about this Christmas because I will miss my family and all our traditions, most importantly I will miss the time we spent decorating the house. This Christmas would be a quite and simple one, but I am excited because this is my first Christmas in the UK and I am looking forward to learning new traditions and spending time with friends”
She also states that she is looking forward to showing her friends here, how the festival is celebrated in her traditions back in Kerala, India.
Wishing all our readers a very Happy Christmas