Christmas All Over the World                          

For those of you who do not know me, my name is Takumi Shinkai and I am an exchange student from Japan. Since I got here in August, I was surprised by a lot of cultural differences because the United States is a country of diversity. There are tons of people here from all over the world, which allows for a lot of different traditions in the same country. 

As you know, there are a lot of types of holiday celebrations in the world. For instance, in Australia, Christmas comes towards the beginning of the summer holiday because of its location in the southern hemisphere. That is why some Australian people actually enjoy camping for their Christmas vacation. Polish people do not do anything during the Christmas season. People there try not to have an excess of anything. Some people give up their favorite foods or drinks and parties. Some people also go to Church quite frequently. Besides that, Islamic Buddhist countries like Bhutan, Libya, and Saudi Arabia don’t celebrate Christmas at all.

Because there are many people from all over the world in the US, there are many different types of Christmas celebrations. Most Christians celebrate with their family or friends. Some of them hold parties with certain communities and friends who share similar origins as them. For example, the Filipino Christian community holds a Christmas party in their traditional way.

However, many Muslims in the US feel that by celebrating, or even acknowledging the Christmas holiday, they are going against their monotheistic belief. Like Christianity, Muslims also believe Jesus (peace be upon him) to be the Messiah. His mother, Mary, is the only woman mentioned in the Quran with a chapter dedicated to her name.

Besides, Jewish Christmas celebrations vary slightly from Christian ones. Although December 25 is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus for most people in the US who believe in Christ, for Jews use this  time to reflect on their relationship with larger society. Most people have not thought about Christmas as deeply, but actually, it symbolizes the mixture of cultures in the US.

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