Festivities away from home


WELCOMING Bangaloreans staying in the UK participate in the festivities observed there.

But for people who stay away from their families and are working or studying abroad, it’s a different feeling altogether. Although they enjoy the festive mood in that country, they certainly miss their loved ones and their families back home. Metrolife looks at how people celebrate Christmas away from their families.

Clinten Gomez, a software engineer who works with a private firm in Switzerland says, “Staying away from my family during Christmas is certainly very saddening. But I will send them chocolates and gifts from here. At least, that way I will get to see them happy and I can be happy too.”

John Joby Daniel, an IT professional who stays in a small town in Germany, had planned to surprise his family by visiting them here. “This time, I had planned to come to India for Christmas but owing to work pressure, I cancelled it. It is very boring to celebrate Christmas without them. All that I can count on right now is my friends and distant relatives who are here,” he says.

Sumithra P, who is currently in London working on a software project, says, “This is the first time ever in my life that Christmas is happening without my loved ones. I miss all the fun and celebrations over there. I just pray to the Lord that my family is safe and happy and to bless us with peace and prosperity.”

Nayanatara and Nagaraja, a couple who stays in Los Angeles, are happy to celebrate Christmas along with their Indian neighbours. “Although we are away from our families and miss them, we join in the celebrations with our neighbours. We have a community here which arranges parties, games, and other cultural activities. It’s a convergence of different cultures and about celebrating a common festival together,” they say. With technology, it has become easier to keep in touch with families back home.

“Telephone, Facebook and e-mail can help connect people and we can wish them through these mediums but one does miss them physically. If you can develop a good relationship with fellow Indians and the local people, it could help overcome the blues to a certain extent,” says Ashish Mukundan, a postgraduate student in Indiana.

Avinash C N, who is pursuing his masters in London, feels that it is not just on a particular day that one misses one’s loved ones, “I miss my family and friends even on normal days. Festivals usher in a lot of good memories that I cherish. And I feel they are with me always.”

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