As the days of Christmas are passing by slowly, I am reminiscing the good parts of it, and the not so good ones.
Naturally, I want us to focus on the happy moments, the ones we will carry with us throughout life. Memories that will change my view of the holidays and how I want to celebrate in the future.
I had the privilege of celebrating on the 24th (which is when we celebrate Christmas in Sweden) and on the 25th. Since becoming a so called “sambo” I now have two families I can call my own, which doubles everything up. Kind of nice if, like me, one enjoys the holiday spirit!
It was not until we actually sat down with the classic Christmas food on my plate, when I realized I have no clue of which traditions a Swede should know and, except for the bizarre amount of meat on your plate, what is actually supposed to be part of your food intake during this special day. As I mentioned in my previous post, learning about a tradition or the culture of a country is really difficult. It simply is not something you take for granted, and being who I am, it sure does not make things easier.
I grew up with two cultures, Swedish outside of home and Arabic in my home. This gave me hints of what we celebrate, why we do it (-ish) and what the celebration actually contains, in both camps. I am about as much understanding of Christian holidays in Sweden as I am of Arabic ones.
Thus, my Christmas celebration becomes sort of cliche, due to my basic understanding of what I think people do. This is also applied to Eid or other Muslim holidays. So, in order to fully grasp this colorful and nice-smelling holiday of ours, I spent it with my partner’s family and started indulging in what they knew, how they had been celebrating for the ~50 years of being a couple and what they practiced today. I plan on doing the same thing with my family when some Arabic holidays appears next time. I seem to have found this interest of trying to understand the world around me, the way a child would, I suppose.
Because, in the end, is it not interesting how someone can become some kind of mix-up between a Muslim and Christian society? Stuck in the middle and trying to figure one’s shit out.
Regardless of how much I understood, I still found it so enriching to meet both his family and mine, and celebrate in such radically different ways. One day being a socially, food coma, Donald Duck on TV-day to a completely different menu and mood at my own family’s house. I guess you get perspective on things by trying out things in a new way. I guess it is made possible in a city like Malmö to become an intercultural person and finding it quite lovely, to be honest. Not too boring, and not too lavish.
Maybe I will find this culture clash even more clear and exciting when I arrive to Macau and am completely lost. Who knows!