Wednesday, 24 December, 2008

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve always brings to my mind Christmas Carol. Funny how one book can shape your ideas about a day or an event or as in this case a festival. We had to read an extract of Christmas Carol in school. Even now I remember the trukey and apple sauce that the Cratchit family had for Christmas Eve dinner.
When I was a kid, my dad used to bring home a toy Christmas tree and decorate it for me. But that was on the 25th. 24th has pretty much always been a normal day for me.

The year I spent Christmas in Toronto, I went with my Philipina friend to her cousin's house for dinner. The dinner was good and different with whole telapia fish baked apart from other food. The funny part of that dinner was that there everyone thought I was half Philipina or I knew Tagalog, hence they are were all talking to me in Tagalog. After sometime I stopped clarifying to people that I do not understand Tagalog and just sat there, pretending to understand every bit of conversation. Much to my surprise my friend also started to speak to me in Tagalog. So people it is highly unjust to blame Bongs to speak in Bengali when we gather, every lingual group in the world does that I believe. Anyways to get back, it was a pretty different experiece to be with a group of people who were speaking in a foreign language. That day I realised how much our facial and hand gestures help in our communication.

After the dinner, we had picked up our Russian friend, (for whom Christmas is in January, hence she was not doing anything special) and went to the church for midnight mass. Going to the mass was also a pretty interesting experience. While going for dinner we had taken for a cab. Now while we were waiting for the bus on our way to the chruch, a cab slowed down and the cabbie recognised me. I asked for a ride and he agreed. Yes I have managed to get a free ride from a cab. The interesting part does not end there. The cabbie was South Asian and he started talking to me. He claimed to be from India, when I asked him where he is from, he said rather sheepishly "Rawalpindi". Later a Pakistani friend told me that some Pakistanis in Toronto were so ashamed of President's rule in Pakistan that they claimed to be Indians! Now wne I think back I have always met very nice Pakistani people in Canada and they were always more friendly and warm than their Indian counterparts.

Let me end on this warm friendship note. Merry Chritsmas folks!

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