For Indians, it’s Meri Christmas

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Indians enjoy Christmas with all the trimmings and none of the angst that afflicts some countries with majority Christian populations these days.
Most people who do not know India but happen to be in the country right now would probably be surprised to learn that only 2.3% of Indians are Christian.

Going by the hullabaloo in the markets, the plethora of faux pine trees and mistletoe, baubles, red-and-white Santa caps, costumes and masks, the array of plum cakes, mince pies and gingerbread on display, not to mention bright and cheery social media posts showing off home décor, festival fare and parties of the season, anyone can be forgiven for getting an erroneous impression.
But then, as India reiterates to the rest of the world at such times, who says people have to be Christian to celebrate Christmas? Or, indeed, Muslim to celebrate Eid or Hindu to celebrate Diwali and Holi? Indians enjoy Christmas with all the trimmings and none of the angst that afflicts some countries with majority Christian populations these days.

Churches resonate with songs and prayers in a myriad of languages, and have Christmas congregations of many faiths.

And while on the one hand Christmas has acquired a bit of an international flavour with some taking to turkey and cranberry sauce, traditionally desi fare still rules the roast, with delicious local fare from Mumbai to Mangaluru and McLeod Ganj, from Kochi to Kolkata and Kohima.

After all, for us, Christmas is not only Merry, it’s Meri.
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