Friday, December 19, 2008

Snowed in

We are now with Tara's family and are snowed in. Yes, snow is coming down by the bushel, and we're in the midst of a vast carpet of white.

It's an interesting contrast to the Deccan plateau where we get feasted upon by misquitoes, this a mere three days ago.

Best to all, and we're hoping Christmas is settling into everyone's hearts, and we will update with pictures soon - Tara's family is computer-free, so cannot do right now.

One interesting note - in India, Christmas is a shared festival, not only for Christians. But, it is still largely a Christian observance, and virtually all of my Hindu and Muslim colleagues gave me a kind word of "Merry Christmas to you and your family" back in India.

Then we come to the US which is, at least nominally, a majority Christian nation - and people have largely negated the direct name of Christmas, replacing it with "Happy Holidays". Long standing tradition in the US, and one that, in turn, has caused a culture clash. We have never invested a great deal of emotion in it, but it is of note.

So, back in India, I asked Tara about why an environment that is as diverse and varied as India is so much quicker to acknowledge people's beliefs and traditions directly. Ramzan and Duwali overlap, but the signs say "Happy Duwali" or "Mubarak Eid" (the feast at the end of Ramzan), or both. But never a neutral "Happy Holidays".

Tara's immediate reply....

"Because this place is athentically diverse and it is all ok. The US honestly seeks to squelch true diversity in most ways. It's all bullsh*t."

Wow. I think she's on to something.

And I love how she finishes a pithy philosophical point with a swear, makes her brilliance more "earthy". ;-)

Anyway, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all..... The wedding is next.