Christmas Stories by IMI staff – by Chandni Mahajan

Let’s have an insight to how Christmas is celebrated in different countries in Europe. Each country has their own iden- tity and traditions of how they like to celebrate this festive season. IMI is known for student diversity, each of them come from various parts of the globe. This time let’s hear it from the staff of IMI of how they celebrate this joyful fes- tival. IMI enjoys diversity in students as well as faculty staff. The IMI staff was interviewed to provide an insight into their own Christmas traditions. The faculty members come from Switzerland, England, Greece and Lithuania sharing their experience of how they celebrate the season.
img_0748Mr. Heinz Bürki, Switzerland.
Mr. Bürki is from Interlaken, he celebrates his Christmas holidays with hisimmediate family and friends. On the 24th of December, he works till 4 pm and heads home to enjoy a delicious Turkey and Indonesian Christmas meal with them. He looks forward to prepare the famous Christmas cake with grandchildren every year. The decorations in the house are lit up two weeks in advance. On the 25th of December, he likes to spend this day eating a delightful meal with his friends and extended family at any good restaurant in Luzern. Mr. Bü rki along with his family visit other family members during the time from Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
img_0749Mr. Gavin Caldwell, England.
Mr. Caldwell has given an interesting insight on how he likes to celebrate his Christmas holidays in England. The merriment of the festival begins with decorating the tree two weeks in advance. The decorations should last for exactly 21 days. On 24th of December, he enjoys a serene traditional Christ- mas Eve dinner with his family. After a couple of presents are opened and a well cooked meal, he and his family watch the Queen’s Christmas speech (which makes him fall asleep). Mr. Caldwell and his family go for the mid- night mass at Church. 25th December, is the main festive day in England, like all families, Mr. Caldwell enjoys a family oriented day with a special Turkey cooked lunch and appreciates the Christmas log cake for dessert. While pre- paring the cake, each member of the family mixes the cake batter and makes a wish. Christmas is one of his favorite festivals, as all his family members come together and forget the arguments that took place during the year.


img_0750Mr. Theodore Benetatos, Greece.
Mr. Benetatos Christmas celebrations are as cheerful as the people in Greece. A fun fact about this festival is that, there is no traditional trees that are decorated rather a ‘Christmas boat’ is decked up with ornaments and lights. On the 24th of December, from 4 am onwards children start singing the Christmas carols and visit every house in the neighborhood. On this day everyone goes to other peo- ple’s house, eat food, drink and dance. On the 25th of December, families that have grand-parents, parents or children with the name ‘Christo’ or ‘Christina’ have visitors from all over the town to meet these people. This is because their name has the he word, “Christ” in them.

img_0751Ms. Jurate Tomsonaite, Lithuania.
From 1st December onwards Ms. Tomsonsaite has a box of 24 chocolates for every day till Christmas as her own personal count down to one of her favorite festivals of the year. This is also done in most houses of Lithuania, including having 4 candles lit for the 4 weeks in December. On 24th December she and her family prepare 12 dishes, no meats only fish and vegetarian dishes for dinner that night. This idea was inspired by the ‘Last Supper’ where Jesus Christ is having dinner with 12 of his disciples. That night they cook a famous des- sert called, ‘kuciukai’ which has small tiny little sweet breads with poppy seeds in warm milk. The food dishes are not cleaned that night so that the ghosts, and dead family mem- bers can eat the left-overs. They all stay awake till midnight and try to listen to the ani- mals speak. On 25th December, they celebrate Christmas like how the Americans do.


Wish you all a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!
Cheers to happiness, love and luck for 2017!


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