Sunday, December 25, 2011

Teaching Christmas

The thing about London is that it is an international city. I ended up spending Christmas with Chinese friends. The thing is, in China, Christmas is just another holiday that gives stores an excuse to have a sale. So it was my job to expose all the traditions and nostalgia. Songs like "I want a hippopotamus for Christmas" and "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth" produced laughs every time they played. The movie "The Christmas story" does a good. Job of bundling up and showing all the traditions but the Chinese restaurant scene at the end "while funny, was also racist". The student village I lived in had cleaned out during the summer and I took the old Christmas tree and some lights that did not pass the new electoral codes (they were not LED lights) but we had no ornaments. One of the projects we did for the students was to make the salt dough ornaments. So, even though I had never done it before, we did a new tradition of making our own ornaments too. They ranged from snowmen and gingerbread men to sonic the hedgehog (apparently hedgehogs are Chinese winter animals) to a little more phallic.
A normal thing to have for Christmas dinner here is what I would call "Turducken". (A chicken inside a duck inside a turkey) something very redneck in the U.S. But here the name "three bird roast" makes it sound so much more posh. To be honest I couldn't tell the difference between the chicken and the turkey but the stuffing was good.

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