Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays.

We're finally back in Singapore after a somewhat harrowing journey from Las Vegas to LA to Tokyo where we missed our connection back to Singapore and then eventually onto Singapore. I stand by what I said going into the US, in a much better mood, that something has got to be done about LAX and how it looked like it's been hit by Somalian pirates. Anyway, we were concerned we were going to miss our kids' Christmas but thankfully not.

And Christmas morning it is.

The strange thing is even though 86% of Americans celebrate Christmas, I did not ONCE, in my entire stay there hear anyone wish anyone else a Merry/ Blessed (for the secular and the religious) Christmas.

Apparently, it is politically incorrect to and it is exclusionist. So for those who celebrate Hannukah, Diwali, Hari Raya and every other religious holiday, wishing someone a Blessed or Merry Christmas is prejudicial. It's akin to laughing at them for not being Christian or pagan enough to enjoy Christmas turkey and presents. That, in my opinion is a load of crap. The holiday is called Christmas. It's a religious holiday. We wish our non-Christian friends a Happy ______ (insert name of religious day here) and are perfectly fine about it. But maybe it's because we live in Singapore where we grew up with the idea that Muslim students during the month of Ramadan could go home earlier in preparation for breaking fast and that Hindu students got Thaipusam off even though it was an official school day.

So it was mildly ridiculous that everyone wished me a Happy Holiday all the way in till we were on a Singapore Air flight that had pulled out all the stops with decor on the flight and crew wishing us a MERRY CHRISTMAS. Trust us, politically incorrect Singaporeans to fully emerge ourselves in the secular celebration of a religious holiday. I think there should be a berth given to those of other religions and there should be acknowledgement of the religious festivals they celebrate too. What annoys me about some and I think adds to the irk factor behind this "Happy Holiday" campaign is the the the implied endoresement it gives to others not knowing the true meaning behind the festival. As is, in sunny Singapore, it has never failed to make my jaw drop that many people don't understand or know why the Muslims celebrate Hari Raya Puasa (Ramadan) and Hari Raya Haji or that there is something known as a festival of lights (Diwali) for the Hindus. All they know is that they get a public holiday and all that needs to bother their pretty little heads about is how to stretch it out into a long weekend so that they can go somewhere.

I must sound totally Bah Humbug writing this. But I'm not. I just like my freedom to wish someone else a Blessed Christmas, even if that person is not Christian. And what person, regardless of religious, colour or creed doesn't like being blessed?

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 07:41

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