Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas around the Diaspora

Here's wishing you all a very Merry Christmas from Experiencing History!

Swazi Flag Christmas Ornament
How to say Merry Christmas in several African countries:
In Akan (Ghana) Afishapa
In Zimbabwe Merry Kisimusi
In Afrikaans (South Africa) Gese├źnde Kersfees
In Zulu (South Africa) Sinifisela Ukhisimusi Omuhle
In Swazi (Swaziland) Sinifisela Khisimusi Lomuhle
In Sotho (Lesthoto) Matswalo a Morena a Mabotse
In Swahili (Tanzania, Kenya) Kuwa na Krismasi njema
In Amharic (Ethiopia) Melkam Yelidet Beaal
In Egyptian (Egypt) Colo sana wintom tiebeen
In Yoruba (Nigeria) E ku odun, e hu iye' dun!

While most of us in America will be eating a traditional American Christmas meal of turkey or hen or ham...here's what some will be eating across the diaspora:

A traditional Christmas meal in Ghana:
The traditional Christmas Eve Dinner consists either of a specially cooked rice and goat or chicken stew or soup and is eaten before the Annual Christmas Worship Service and all friends and relatives as well as strangers are invited. The food consumed at the Christmas Day dinners may include rice, chicken, goat, lamb, and fruits of various kinds. There may be mangoes, oranges, pawpaw or cashew fruits. The families always brightly decorate the houses with beautiful paper ornaments specially made for the occasion. A tree in the center of the courtyard is also decorated. It may be a mango tree or a guava tree or a cashew tree. Usually the children and the young people in each family do this. Not only homes but also schools and neighborhoods are brightly decorated with colorful crepe paper while we look forward to the Christmas Eve Services at the various churches.  Read more about Christmas in Ghana here:  http://home.roadrunner.com/~osofo/afishapa.htm

Christmas in Nigeria
In Yoruba, meals usually consist of Iyan (pounded yam) eba or amala, served over with peppery stewed vegetables. Inevitably people find themselves eating this meal three to four times a day, due to visiting family and friends and being offered this tradition meal in their houses. In Yoruba it is frowned upon and is very rude to decline food upon offering.

There are many other dishes well prepared on Christmas Eve. A chicken and rice stew, similar to an Indian curry stew. Some families would prepare a delicacy called Moin-moin; which is blended black eyed beans, mixed with vegetable oil and diced liver, prawns, chicken, fish and beef. This fulfilling mouth watering concoction is then wrapped inside large leaves and steamed until cooked.

On Christmas day almost everyone attends church. It is tradition to decorate churches, homes and compounds with woven and unwoven palm fronds, Christmas trees and Christmas lights. There is lots of energy in the streets; festive jubilation's consist of loud crackling of an array of firework displays, luminous starry fire crackers going off. Colorful tradition masquerades on stilts parade around the events. Of course everyone have their best clothes on and children mill around playing amongst the fun.  Read more about Christmas in Nigeria here:  http://www.celebratingchristmas.co.uk/index.php?id=christmas-in-nigeria

Christmas letter to my Motherland, Nigeria by Azuka Onwuka
"your inner strength is amazing, Great Mother. In spite of all the injuries and pains inflicted upon you, you remain strong. .... You have looked on in faith that some day it will be well with your home. You have remained hopeful that one day, your children will make you a proud mother....May it be well with you, Mother, in the morning. May it be well with you in the afternoon. May it be well with you at night. May your children who don't wish you well have a change of heart. May there be justice, peace and laughter in your home....As this year winds down, may 2013 usher in a new phase for you: a phase of peace, growth, prosperity and happiness. Merry Christmas to a special and longsuffering Mother. It shall be well with you, Nigeria!"

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for visiting Experiencing History. Your comment will be posted upon approval.

You may also enjoy...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

EH Canvas Spotlight - Flow by Monica Stewart

EH Canvas Spotlight - Flow by Monica Stewart
Flow by Monica Stewart