Jan 06, 2023 Letters
Christmas was here and everyone had their fair share of good tidings. It was a fine time to associate with those near and dear. What was so clear was the fact that 2022 end of year holidays coincided with the weekend to provide extra days which allowed the merriment to be extended, or, to enjoy more peace and quiet or restful days. There were others committed to duty and had to work. Some were restricted in the celebration due to injuries, sickness and also being in a state of bereavement. While many were able to afford lavish spending, others were curtailed with their financial limitations.
In Guyana, our rich cultural inclinations allow us to participate in variable levels of inclusion. Our indulgence favored different customs and traditions but as Guyanese, all were inclusive one way or the other to engage in the holiday festivities whether in attending a place of worship, eating, drinking, partying, visiting, exchanging gifts or simply expressing good wishes. Everywhere you go, the sound of Christmas music filled the air to put you in the mood to rejoice and also to catapult you with nostalgia to reminisce a past time of memories with names, faces and places.
Guyanese are famous for preparing certain dishes and drinks at this time of the year and this habit is not lost. It’s tradition for pepper-pot, black cake, ginger-beer, fried rice, chowmein, baked chicken, salad, macaroni, chicken curry and dhall-puri, are to be the expected meal on the table. Vegetarians are not forgotten either. Christmas decorations, trees, fairy lights, fire-crackers and fire-works add to enhance the environment. The commercialisation of the holiday is overlooked and the saved dollars are splurged on new clothing, food, drinks, toys, house upgrades with appliances and curtains and yes, house cleaning. The streets are also filled with masquerade bands and their accompanied music. The attitude of sharing and caring forms an integral part of Government, corporate, businesses, organizations, societies and people’s social commitments, ensuring the less fortunate needs are lessened.
The year 2022 saw a degree of measured relief in the life style of people. People enjoyed the freedom of association and were not restricted by curfews nor number gathering as was prevalent the previous years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although precautionary measures were forewarned and encouraged, the public at large took advantage of the lax situation and disregarded the safety requirements as advised by the authorities. Will this take a toll and provide the effects of damaging repercussions again? Guyanese were housed-up for Christmas in 2021 and 2020 and were unable to celebrate the holiday in a true Guyanese fashion. Despite the world becoming globally conscious of COVID-19 in 2020, this pandemic commenced in 2019 but remained unannounced until afterwards.
Meanwhile, the guarded spread of the disease had endangered the world before travel restrictions were enforced.
At Christmas time, depending on your domain, many wish for a white Christmas with snow to complete the ambience with a fire burning away in the furnace. The tale of Father Christmas sliding down the chimney bearing gifts is often told to children. Going to bed early and leaving cookies and a glass of milk is the aftermath of writing a letter to St. Nicholas in the North Pole, telling him what you would like to have as a present. Santa Clause knows who are good and those who are naughty. He travels on his sledge to cover all the countries in the world. He is regarded as the father of all times, a good and jolly fella whose white, long beard may be scary but his robust feature presents a friendly figure and one who fulfills your wish, not forgetting his hearty “Ho, Ho, Ho” laugh.
The adventure of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, is an applaudable reading material. A deer who was shunned by others and couldn’t mixed with his kin, was sad and lonely because of a barrier affronted by his own flock. He became noticeable because of his red, shiny noose. This was a down side of his features but it proved to be a strong point. Old Man Nick was fogged in the snow and wanted a ninth deer to steer his sledge. Rudolph’s shiny nose was a headlamp to light up the way for the other deer to see and follow and he was chosen. He saved the children from a disaster. The tiny one became an overnight hero.
We are told of the story of the Grinch, a green, mean, cat-like figurine for a specimen who detested Christmas (not for any reason) and stole the holiday, denying all especially the children from merriment and enjoyment. His theft shrouded the holiday and brought about a state of sadness, sorrow and sentiment. This character is illustrated by the writer, Dr. Seuss, in his fictional 1957 creation, after witnessing his wife’s illness which inspired him in a matter of weeks to complete the book targeting children.
Scrooge was role-modelled as a miserly and unpleasant man who despised Christmas and rejects all Christmas cheers and tidings as “Humbugs.” Charles Dickens patterned Ebenezer Scroogie, an Edinburg banker, in his 1843 novella, “A Christmas Story,” as a person who doesn’t like to give or spend. But this same nasty, harsh and cruel Scroogie, is transformed into a kind and generous person, after coming to terms with his conscience. His closing words were, “I will live in the Past, the Present and the future.”
Of course, Christmas is incomplete without the story of the Savior being reflected upon. The simplicity, sincerity and sacrifice of the One who triumphed in life and death, herald mankind’s faith in fate and a belief in being blessed and serving humanity a lot from little.
Christmas 2018 saw the advent of Charrandas Persaud voting with the PPPC Party to support a Motion of No confidence against the PNC Government. Christmas was in jeopardy and this brought about chaos and confusion to commence the down sliding of the PNC Government. 2019 Christmas was afflicted with the harshness of the Granger Government and his band of outlaws who denied Guyanese from enjoying the holiday because of a state of despair, desolation and deviousness to summon an election.
Christmas 2020 was devastated due to the COVID-19 pandemic and this affected any form of grand display to rejoice. Guyanese were allowed to breathe a sigh of relief when, past US Secretary of State, Mike Pompey, intervened with sanctions and heavy booths to show a light at the end of the tunnel in Guyana’s 2020 general elections. This paved the way for Guyanese to have a Merry and Happy 2021 Christmas. President Ali was the turning point who metamorphosed the holidays and transposed the lives of Guyanese to really enjoy a magnificent Christmas 2022. With all the trimmings to cater to a hospitable accommodation, President Ali won the hearts of all.
Are there any possible connections to plausibly categorize Christmas with the linkage of Charrandas, Granger, 2020 Pandemic, Mike Pompey and President Ali with Rudolph the Reindeer, Scrooge, the Grinch, the Savior and St. Nicholas?
PNC demanding answers for smuggled chicken early Sunday morning after church!
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