Said the international to the magical city, “Where do I go?”

"For someone unfamiliar with Christmas, I would say, it is to be in a very special place, experiencing the culture of other people while it lasts." 

In the holiday season goes the lilt, “Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la la, la la la la”. What is to be jolly? Most importantly, what is even Christmas? I am Kamaliah, I was born and raised in Malaysia. In Malaysia, the big festivities are Eid Mubarak, Chinese New Year, Diwali and others, but not Christmas. Hence, the big question mark from me to you about Christmas. 

Kamiliah Christmas .png

What is Christmas? 

Quintessential, it is the moment when people return home and spend some lovely time with their families. For some people, it is the time when they get to eat plenty of heavenly food, especially those fat-stuffed turkeys. Perhaps some even prefer a placid night, bundled up in their favourite blanket and sweater, drinking eggnog while watching the television. But let us not forget, some people are painfully cold outside, seeking shelter. On the other hand, for an international student who never had Christmas in her life, how should she be celebrating Christmas? Let me share my experiences with you.

Have you ever had mixed feelings toward something idyllic? Let me tell you something, that is how I felt towards the merriness of Christmas. Walking under the sparkling street lights in the empty city streets, passing through the faint neighbourhood. The Christmas decorations shimmer beautifully through the sheer curtains of the Dutch windows, watching families with blithe spirits jollying their night. The glimpse of felicity through the windows gives me a strong desire to be with my family who is a thousand miles away. It is bizarre how Christmas is the happiest but also the saddest.

Celebrating the season

On the bright side, Christmas also has its perks. Bless the season for kicking off early in the month, giving the opportunities to show those new to Christmas how to celebrate the season! I have caught sight of how enchanting the city, Maastricht, has turned as the season arrived. I am wonderstruck by the fairy lights incandescent on the enormous Christmas tree. As I wander through the Christmas market, the hint of ambrosia rush through my nose, and the dulcet melody of the Christmas chorus is in my head. Adults and children skate gracefully on the ice rink. How magical that this season could make one feel so cosy. It is nice to see that people are in carpe diem. 

The celebration of Secret Santa in hallway 7A of our Student Residence in December 2021 will always have a special place in my heart. It was such a fun-loving moment to see that people care for each other, and are thoughtful about their gifts. With the season coming again, is it amusing to see how it has turned people into stress shopping for holiday gifts.

The meaning of Christmas

They say it is crazy to not enjoy the holiday season, but now I have finally understood what they meant. So, what is Christmas to you? For someone unfamiliar with Christmas, I would say, it is to be in a very special place, experiencing the culture of other people while it lasts. I thank you, especially my friends, for showing me what Christmas truly means and giving me the chance to experience it.

I wish you a very merry Christmas, may you have enchanting moments with your loved ones!

    Deel deze pagina