Christmas will soon be here with all the festive things it brings, as Swedish expat in a Muslim country, one is not nearly as dependent or influenced by the north or Europe, which is already in the month of October will be reminded that Christmas is approaching.
Many places in North Cyprus have Christmas decorations and I have already seen a number of Christmas trees that have popped up outside stores. But if we go over to the south side there are many more Christmas decorations around. It’s actually a bit exotic and for my part warms the heart, seeing Christmas trees draped or religious figures such as Jesus, Mary and the shepherds, or performing Disney characters. I just love fantasy figures playing!
In my case the celebration of Christmas has not always been as nice as I have wanted, and my dream is still to go to matins (worship service held early on Christmas morning) with horse and carriage in 35 degrees below zero with torches. The problem is that I am not a morning person.
But this year I will go to visit my son and his girlfriend to celebrate Christmas, it has been a very long time since I was in Svedala to celebrate the festive season, so I am really looking forward to it.
Since I’m a rather “crazy” and outgoing person, I like to surprise my loved ones with various fabrications, such as now, when it was Halloween when I dressed up as a witch and went around and “Halloweened” providing the occasional high pitched laughter. You can guess how my fellow commuters looked when I drove past them in my car!
I guess I’m a person who really likes traditions, and I also like to bring our Swedish traditions here.
One which comes to mind is Lucia, which is a fine tradition that I think we should share with you. It is an exotic, nice, and quite unique celebration that lights up the winter darkness.
The year IKEA opened in Southern Cyprus, opened with Swedish Lucias who came and sang on December 13th, which was really appreciated by the Cypriots and of course by us Northerners.
Many Swedes living abroad actually celebrate our Swedish public holidays such as Easter, Midsummer, Lucia and Christmas.
I give great credit and thanks to my Swedish friend Gittan who always invites us Swedes to her home to celebrate midsummer and Christmas, to eat her very tasty homemade Christmas food (and it’s not just a bit food offered). It’s like a Swedish smorgasbord of various delicacies from Christmas and it has become a fine tradition. She is a great angel for us Northerners. I give another a big thanks to Bridget from all of us who are always invited to her home.