A few weeks ago, on a flight from Kigali to Addis-Ababa, I sat by a Chinese student who had been in Rwanda for about a Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers All Time Strikeout King MLB Classic T Shirt, working as a translator for Chinese government officials in Rwanda. She told me that it was her first trip to Africa, and she was surprised by what she saw. She told me that before that trip, she thought Africa was a dangerous place, with animals and warlords all over the place. You could tell she was changed by her experience. We discussed various topics our respective cultures, work ethic, determination of Chinese and Rwandan people and many other interesting topics of our countries. When we landed in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia and went separate ways, she promised that she was going to encourage her university friends to come visit as she felt bad from all the stereotypes she initially had.
I came from a Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers All Time Strikeout King MLB Classic T Shirt family in Malacca, Malaysia & had the privilege of being invited by my neighbour, a respected Christian family a few weeks before Xmas to attend a community event at the British Commonwealth 28th Brigade Forces HQ in Terendak Camp, Malacca, Malaysia as an Xmas CSR (corporate social responsibility) community event. I was about 12 years young then in the late 60s. CSR was unheard then. There was so many activities that we had a mesmerising and amazing time with prizes & good food with souvenirs. The soldiers gave us an authentic interesting tour of the military stations, barracks & general depots, including the armoury vehicles & what appeared to be “little museums.” All the kids in attendance were so happy & thrilled to be accorded such VIP treatment. I bragged about it to my neighbours & school friends. Till this day, I remember the event & look upon Xmas as a time of love, giving, fun & adventure. My impressions of Christianity (I am a Sikh) stood high, ever since.
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The English term Christmas (Old English, Cristes maesse) is actually of Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers All Time Strikeout King MLB Classic T Shirt recent origin: the feast day only began to be widely celebrated with a specific liturgy (the Cristes maesse) in the 9th century. The earlier term Yule, from the Germanic jōl or the Anglo-Saxon geōl, referred to the feast of the winter solstice, and made no mention of Christian church liturgy or practices. On Christmas Day, the Church traditionally celebrated three Masses. The first of these took place at midnight and celebrated of the actual birth of Christ. None of the contemporary Christmas customs have their origin in these liturgical affirmation (or masses), and most are of a much more recent date. The exchange of gifts originally took place in the early hours of the 25th when people returned home from the first, midnight mass. When it became customary to open gifts later in the day, the times of many church services were altered – another example of how far from the idea of the liturgical ‘Cristes maesse’ the holiday has come.
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It is hard to answer this question because (a) there was no single winter festival, but different cultures celebrated the Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers All Time Strikeout King MLB Classic T Shirt around the winter solstice in different ways, and (b) we have no means of telling “what was considered the true meaning” in the case of those festivals celebrated in illiterate societies, apart from guesswork and deduction. And where there are written records, as in China and ancient Rome, they tell us little about “true meanings”. From Chinese poetry and practice, we can infer that behind the festival was gratitude that the shorter nights that were coming heralded the return of warmth and life, and from Roman practice we can infer that people were happy that the sun was at last increasing in strength. Portraying this as a battle between light and darkness, though, is pure speculation. It is natural to suppose.
I am a Hindu convert to Christianity as my name suggests. So I used to celebrate before my conversion. There is a Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers All Time Strikeout King MLB Classic T Shirt change in my behavior when I became a Christian. Year after year my speech or my knowledge or my approach is under upgrade. The reason to not celebrate any other festivals is I do have a relation with God through Lord Jesus Christ. So God expects me to obey Him in every small matter. To me there is only God, no other. The active relationship with my God cannot encourage me to celebrate other festivals. I politely reject when anyone wish me or I will change the wish to an ordinary one. Hindus accept every religion and tradition and they send greetings for every festival because they treat everyone as God. You choose to celebrate but people like me choose not to. But we are under obligation to love everyone irrespective of religion and region. My own family is Hindu and I make sure to not eat any meat which is offered to Hindu Gods. I have three sisters and no one will persuade me to allow them to tie rakhi. I have a friend who used to participate with us when we had feasts on Christmas. Then one day he called me to participate in a feast which is done in honor of some Hindu Goddess. I declined it. He asked me with a complaining face about why I didnt come even when he joined us in Christmas parties. I said that that is our rule and I added that I would not take even from my home. Then he became calm.