Festive Holidays and Events

At this special time of the year with all the sights, sounds and savours of the festive season, we were extremely pleased that our dear hostess, Lady Sirinat Wood, the spouse of the British Ambassador, chose a very appropriate theme “festive holidays and events” for our English Conversation meeting on 7 December 2017.

We shared the wonderful experiences of Christmas celebrations in Germany, the Philippines and the UK, where typical food of the region is being prepared and consumed during this beautiful and festive time of the year.

We learned about the important Muslim religious festivals and holidays such as the Islamic New Year and the Eid al-Fitr, celebrated by our members from Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Sudan and Tunisia. This is specially the time of giving and donating, and offering best wishes. Iran celebrates Nowruz, marking the beginning of spring.

Finland just celebrated its 100 years of independence and the Finns took this occasion for contemplation and reflection of the past, and insight into the future. Indonesia’s Independence Day is celebrated along with many traditional games and activities. Hungarians celebrate their National Day with day-long festivities followed by spectacular fireworks. Icelanders celebrate the mid-winter festival Thorrablot and feast on traditional Viking food. The mid-autumn festival with mooncakes and lantern parades originally conceived to give thanks for a good harvest, is well-loved by the Chinese communities around the world.

We realize that our celebrations are woven tightly into our overall cultural identity and we are grateful that this dialogue has provided an excellent opportunity for intercultural exchange and understanding.

A delightful reception followed in the coziness of the British residence. We are so appreciative of Sirinat’s gracious hospitality, and we also thank all our participants for coming and contributing to these beautiful photos.

Best wishes for a happy Advent time from Linda and Rebekka!