Celebrating Christmas on the mainland

PUBLISHED : Monday, 09 January, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 09 January, 2012, 12:00am


More and more mainlanders are beginning to celebrate Christmas. They are doing so by tailoring this Western festival to suit Chinese sensibilities.

This past Christmas, people went shopping and partying. They also gave gifts to one another.

I think it is a great idea to combine traditions from Western and Chinese cultures. The result looks special, unique and fun. Celebrating Christmas is also a good chance for busy mainlanders to find time to relax and have some fun.

Previously mainlanders did not celebrate Christmas because they were not familiar with Western culture. They were also wary of adopting Western customs.

Now, they have become more open-minded. Yet some people worry that an invasion of Western culture may undermine local traditions. I disagree.

I believe it is time the mainland became a more multicultural society. Celebrating Christmas in their own way helps locals achieve that.

Yang Lam, King Ling College

Thank you for your letter, Yang. While it's great that people get into the party spirit and give gifts, sometimes the idea is more to do with people wanting to sell things. Just a few decades ago, Christmas would be about giving people something special.

When I was young, my older sister made me a fairy dress for Christmas. She stayed up late at night, sewing it in secret so it would be a surprise for me. These days, though, it's all about iPads and Kindles and shiny stuff that we forget about soon afterwards. That is sad.

Not only is rampant consumerism very environmentally unfriendly, but it can lead to wars and exploitation. Wouldn't it be wonderful if people honoured the spirit of Christmas by giving meaningful, small gifts instead of driving themselves into debt?

Susan, Editor