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Pakistan/ Craciunul departe de casa…

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Do not blame me if you feel it is a bit too early but with the holiday spirit in the air, everything seems just a little more exciting and in a way nerve jangling. On a trot, this would be the second x-mas away from home – for me it is just another day in the nomadic life but for the wife, that is a pretty big loss. November and December in Sweden are difficult months, to put it in the lightest of ways. The grey clouds, the dark skies, the almost non-existent sun means that life despite being surrounded by modern day luxuries tends to get a bit difficult.Contrast this to the last two December’s, the first was in Uganda, almost a tropical paradise when it comes to weather and this one in Pakistan is again as different to Sweden as is night to day. The weather has been mostly mild, the winter sun still strong enough for you to feel it on your skin and there is absolutely no chance of snow where we are. A typically different December from what the wife has been used to, but she is living with it. The next ten days though will be a bit different story, nostalgia will hit her hard and the urge to spend it with the family again will be strong, hopefully she will be able to manage it again – after all she is a strong person indeed.The crux of the matter though is to not enlighten people with my family life and update readers about the mundane day in my life. The reason why I write this is that this is the first time for me to see the Pakistani Christian community up close and personal. They have been in the news, often for reasons out of their hands and often for punishments related to blasphemy and other acts. There have been reports of forced conversions and there have been other such instances which have created fractures in the relationship of the predominantly Muslim community but on the grounds things are absolutely different.Surprising to say the least, most of the community is happy or to put it rightly equally disappointed with the conditions. There is no bias against the Christian people, not easily visible in case if there is one, most of the people in the community go about their businesses without even requiring mentioning about their religion and loyalties – a happy fact that from a distance it barely seems like that. The feeling of trust is mutual, so far all I have witnessed is friendship and love and I hope that it continues like that as well. The small church is well maintained, even Muslims are regular donors for the church to function, and X-mas, Easter and other important days are celebrated with equal zest in the community. Since language and culture are mixed, X-mas is often referred to as “Waddi Eid” in Punjabi (Big Eid) by the locals regardless of the religion.Author: Zak Hades – Serbia

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