Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas in a Muslim Country

We went shopping today in Sweifiyeh, looking for stocking stuffers and other small gifts. Bart had to stop at a store by himself, to pick up something he'd ordered for me. (I peeked. It was a jewelry store. He always buys better presents than I do.)

When he caught up with me, he reported that the women working behind the counter were covered in the traditional Muslim fashion. Over the loudspeakers, they were playing Christmas carols - in Arabic. And there were two Chinese women in the store, singing along with the carols, but in English. Weird.

Meanwhile, in my store, I found all sorts of stocking stuffers and lots of Christmas wrapping paper. I paid for my purchases, and when the sales clerk handed over my change, he said "Merry Christmas."

Many of the houses in our neighborhood have Christmas lights up - not so many as you'd see back home, but more than I expected.

The boys have a half day at school tomorrow before school shuts down for the holiday. Kyra, on the other hand, goes to a local school. They only get two days off for Christmas: Thursday and Sunday. Their long winter break isn't until late January. And yet - tomorrow Kyra's class has a holiday performance, and from what I can tell, they'll be singing lots of the same Christmas classics we hear back home.

Confusing, isn't it? But nice. Between school concerts and cookie baking for holiday parties and haunting the DPO looking for packages, it's beginning to feel as though Christmas is coming.


Sara said... [Reply]

Nice! I never would expect to find Christmas in Jordan!

Jen said... [Reply]

Wow, we couldn't even have holiday performances in California! There was a mid-winter recital, but that was the extent of it...parties in the classroom were okay, but that was it...

Can't wait to hear about the treat from the jewelry store!

Linsey said... [Reply]

Love the culture collision.

Connie said... [Reply]

We were driving by Suwayfiyah the other night and Honor exclaimed over the red & green Christmas lights. She saw that big domed building covered in red lights, and a mosque lit in green. I don't think the mosque was lit up for Christmas, but it's always pretty anyway to see the mosques lit green at night. We've also enjoyed Christmas light displays on buildings here and there, and I've been amazed at all the gingerbread and other nicely decorated baked goods this year.

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