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Christmas Around The World | How Our Artisans Celebrate

Christmas Around The World | How Our Artisans Celebrate

For many of us, Christmas is going to look a little different this year, with lots of our traditional celebrations having to be cancelled or altered. This got us thinking, what is Christmas like for our artisans in Kenya, Ghana and Uganda? We asked our artisans Ruth, Agana, Godwin and Julious to share with us what their typical Christmas day celebrations look like, and here is what they had to say.

Ruth – Basket Weaver - Uganda 

From left to right: Ruth's son Mweda Douglas, her daugher Kwezi Isma, herself (Nnansimbe Fatuma Ruth), Kaitesi Moureen (who they have taken under their roof) and her baby Lucky & Ruth's daughter Nsiimenta Caro

How do you spend Christmas in Uganda?

On the 24th, we fetch enough water to use at least for the two days of celebrations and on Christmas eve we peel our matooke which is a root vegetable and buy our meat. Decorations are made very early in the morning of 25th for those who have them - not all that decorate but on town streets do have decorations which go up around a week before Christmas.

What kind of food do you eat for Christmas? 

For our Christmas meal we have rice, matooke, millet and feerinda (these are dried beans soaked in water) and Meat. We do not eat a lot of meat as it is very expensive so eating meat at Christmas is a very special treat.

Do you do anything special for the day? 

Preparation is done on 25th at around 5:00am by 9:00am when everything is ready then we go to church for prayers. We normally come home at 12:00 noon for our meal. Sometimes people come over from around and eat with us. If there are people in the village that do not have enough money to feed them selves we invite them to eat with us. 

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Agana – Basket Weaver - Ghana 

Agana and his father Ayezeriba with his children Precious (Atonyinu) and Richmond (Adaagana) 

How do you spend Christmas in Ghana?

In Ghana most people celebrate the New Year more than Christmas because it is when you cross the year and you have to be happy. Some do celebrate Christmas as well because that is the birthday of Jesus. We normally buy ourselves some new clothes and eat more meat than other times in the year. We also treat ourselves to more drinks. When we cook we will also serve the food to people nearby especially those who cannot afford their own food. Those people who have no money will also be welcome to come to our house to get a gift. In Ghana we will support our family even if they are not close by. I will send my mother extra money at Christmas if she cannot visit us. 

Godwin – organises our carvers in Accra & packing and shipping co-ordinator - Ghana

 

Godwin and his children Sedina and Elikem

How do you spend Christmas in Ghana?

Christmas is a time we all look forward to and the anticipation for this year’s celebration cannot be over emphasised after what we all have to go through in the height of the global pandemic. This really affected our business (especially the handicraft industry, which was directly affected). Normally, during Christmas season, we look forward to visiting family members whom we have not had a chance to see during the year. The kids look forward to having fun in recreational centres. However, this year we will not be able to meet up with our relatives from afar and the recreational centres are closed. Christmas also affords us the opportunity to share the little we have with some less privileged in our neighbourhood. For the adults, there’s nothing like fanciful dressing, unlike our kids who wants to have everything colourful and will draw attention to themselves - from those fancy Santa hats, shoes with lights, colourful dresses with spectacles and watches to match. Once your kids are happy, you the parent feel fulfilled even though we have not been able to offer them as much as we could in normal times we are still happy to be able to treat them.

What kind of food do you eat for Christmas?

On our side of the world, it’s very normal for the kids to expect Chicken with rice, soft drinks and cookies at every opportunity to munch on something.

Do you do anything special for the day?

We don’t live in any flamboyant mansion but we turn our 2 room apartment into the best, adorned with Christmas lights, decorations. As Christians, we do not miss church activities during the yuletide celebrations. We will attend carols and night services and also attend socially distanced picnics so the kids can have some fun.

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Julious - Rug Weaver - Kenya  

Julious, his wife Zipporah and their 2 children 

How do you spend Christmas in Kenya? 
Many people travel to country side to spend with their extended family. Some who have money go to the coast. A big percentage goes to church on Christmas day, 
 
What kind food do you eat for Christmas? 
We normally eat something special that is not common in daily meal we mostly do Chicken, Nyama choma (BBQ), Pilau and Chapatti.

 

Do you do anything special for the day? 

Personally I don't put up decorations as we are cautious not to spend our limited resources on holidays while schools open in a week time and we will need school fees for our daughter. We just have a family time together. Most people visits the park and fun joints. The malls decorates the churches too and few people do their homes.

We want to say a huge thank you to our artisans for all of their hard work this year, we really couldn't do it without them. We hope you enjoyed hearing about Ruth, Agana, Godwin and Julious' Christmas celebrations. If you would like to learn more about our incredible artisans, click here. Wishing everyone a happy and safe holiday season, wherever you are. 

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