Christmas celebrations away from home

Christmas celebrations away from home

Community bonding

Located in one of the posh areas of south Delhi, the urban village Humayunpur has a noticeable population of Northeastern people, most of whom are Christians. Natives from the seven sister state form a small community away from home and what is interesting is they have several sub-communities who come together for Christmas revelry.

While many prefer to go home during Christmas, there are others who have to stay back. To get over the gloom of spending Christmas without family, they join their tribe’s community to escape the feeling of being left alone and it becomes their family for a day.

Esther Kamimi came to Delhi two years ago. Last year, she spent her Christmas holidays with her family in Nagaland but couldn’t make it home, this year. Lamenting on being away from her near and dear ones, Kamimi, who belongs to the Sumi tribe, admits that the absence of her family cannot be compensated with anything, but a meeting where all Sumis will gather might make her “feel better”.

“Christmas is best enjoyed with family and all close ones. And if you are away from them during this part of the year, it gives a feeling of being left out. But in a meeting like this, where people from the same tribe will gather it might help to cheer ourselves. We will pray with them, we will sing carols together and will cut the cake. It will be a different experience for me,” Kamimi tells Metrolife.

Lika Chishi is the co-organiser of the party arranged for all the Sumis residing in the area, which will be held on the night of December 24 at the terrace of her building in
Krishna Nagar. Chisi, who belongs to the same tribe and is a spiritual parent of church members in North Campus, believes that apart from people who stay away from their families, these kind of parties are also ideal for younger generations who are not very
“family-oriented”.

The 30-year-old says, “We encourage youngsters to participate in such community meetings instead of going to a club or any other party. This may help them know people around them and make friends. The party might not be a very lavish one but we will be following all traditions and customs related to Christmas. The party will be wrapped up before 2 am as the next morning we have to go to the church for prayer.”

Not just traditional, these meetings also hold emotional values for some. These get-togethers are an “important part of life” for Nabam Marry, a 26-year-old IT professional. For Marry, who lost her family in an accident when she was 10, Christmas was like any other day, until she attended a similar party organised for the Nyishi tribe of Arunachal Pradesh. 

“My parents left me when I was very young, so I was not very familiar with the traditional way of celebrating Christmas. I didn’t know how being with your family can add to the festive fervour. I have been living in Delhi for many years, but it was only after I shifted to Humayunpur, I got to know about the concept of tribe gatherings. Now I celebrate the day every year with my one-day family,” says

Marry.
Though these celebrations don’t include the luxury of a five-star hotel or expensive gifts, but they do offer warmth and homely festive feeling on a chilly December night.

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