Monday, 21 December 2009
Do you celebrate Christmas?
This question seems to asked quite a lot by curious white or English folks during the festive season, I'm sure a lot Chinese living in the UK or any Western countries have been asked this question before. Based on my general observation and people that I know, a large number of Chinese in the UK do indeed celebrate Christmas. Considering most Chinese are non-religious so there's no restrictions from participating in other religious festivities. Though bearing in mind Christians does make up quite a large number of the British Chinese community, which is around 21% of the population. That's right we're not all Buddhists.
Majority of the immigrants from Hong Kong are no strangers to Christmas, much like rest of the western countries it is an annual holiday. It was introduced during the colonial days by the British rulers and even after then it still is one of the major annual celebrations. Most people in Hong Kong would partake in the usual customs of giving/receiving presents and Christmas cards, the streets and shops are all filled with Christmas decorations as well as the partying and turkey dinner. Of course there are still traditionalists who doesn't take any notice of Christmas, most likely these are elders. So Christmas, despite it being originally a western festival has now become an embedded part of Hong Kong culture.
In comparison immigrants from mainland China or other parts of SE Asia are probably least likely to celebrate Christmas, but eventually some will pick up the habit. Especially with the younger generations. Whether it's for religious or commercial reasons; Christmas to all of us is about joining in the festive fun and having a good time.
Anyway for now I wish you all a very happy Christmas!