Monday, December 25, 2006
Christmas Day, Hong Kong
Hong Kong continues to astound. Today is Christmas day. We woke up and went down for breakfast, where we were wished "Merry Christmas" by everyone. Indeed, this town does Christmas like nowhere I've ever seen. Every night they have fireworks. Everywhere you go people are singing Christmas Carols. Yesterday we saw a bagpipe troop, in full kilts, all Chinese, playing bagpipe Christmas music. There was a street party last night in Kowloon, and I've never seen so many people in my entire life in one place. Ever. EVER.
Every building is done up in Christmas lights. It's wonderful. Now, I don't buy in to the "war on Christmas" nonsense, and I think some sensitivity is good, but here, no one is afraid to say it.
However, I don't think the religious right would like it much. Christmas here is far more about Santa and far less about Baby Jesus (cf. Taladega Nights). It's just a fun festival that everyone can take part in. It's nice--there's such a sense of celebration in Hong Kong today and all this week.
But perhaps it's worth ending today's post on a more somber note. My sister and I visited the Stanley War Cemetery, where Canadians who died defending Hong Kong are buried. So many of them were 18, 19, 21. I leave you with this picture, of a young man who died, 65 years ago today, fighting to defend a people he likely never knew, nor never knew him.