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"Thais have only recently picked up on Christmas bug.. Globalization has hit Bangkok big time and no one seems to mind."
- Rasee Govindani

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'Tis the season to be jolly and all that
by Rasee Govindani, 18, Bangkok, Thailand
Dec 16, 1999

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On the tenth of December is Constitution day, another national holiday, but with the exception of Thais leaving Bangkok for a long weekend, nothing much usually happens. Schools are closed and people go to the beach or amusement parks to spend some time with families they don't see otherwise because of the hectic life of Bangkok. The city quietens down and it's almost eery, especially if like me, you spend almost every day stuck in rush hour, trying to get from class to work. But it's a plesant change.

Christmas decorations go up as soon as celebrations for the King's birthday cease. Most hotels set up HUGE Christmas trees in front, some adding Santa and his reindeers to create the mood.

I went Christmas shopping the first couple of days of the month at Emporium, a truly Western-oriented mall, and outside was a Christmas tree made out of silver wind-chimes. When a breeze blew, the chimes would jingle. I stood by that tree for a very long time. I thought it was one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen. A stereo system set up nearby was blaring carols and it seemed ridiculously funny in one way, Christmas in the tropics, and yet so wonderful in another. Christmas had come to town. An entire floor was dedicated to the season, with trees, ornaments, angels, stars, baubles, cards, toys, bears, candles, and other knick-knacks for sale. Though most shoppers were Westerners, a lot of Thais were browsing the shelves, picking up a star or a snowman just for the sake of it.

Thais have only recently picked up on Christmas bug. Every year the party gets larger and more popular. This past Halloween, Bangkok went crazy with costumes and parties and trick-or-treaters that probably don't even know what trick-or-treating actually means! Globalization has hit Bangkok big time and no one seems to mind. I haven't. My years at a Christian school left me a love for Christmas nothing has been able to replace. Being a New Year's Eve baby doesn't hurt either. :)

what about Christmas in Rasee's native India?

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