the friend online
22 December 2006

Philani’s work - preview
The lead up to Christmas in the south is a strange experience for a northerner
  • It just doesn't seem right to have Christmas in sunshine and heat, despite the event we mark having taken place in a warm country over 2,000 years ago
  • Traditions that feel inherently coldweatherish, such as eating roast dinners and brandy-smothered, flaming puddings, appear rather out of place when exotic birds are singing, bright days are long and scant clothing is the order of the day in Cape Town
  • As in Britain, families turned out in their droves to enjoy the annual switching on of the Christmas lights in Adderley Street, but there was a big difference – they preceded the event by picnicking in the company's gardens and, given that night falls late in the summer, the lights didn't start to sparkle until way after most children's usual bedtimes
  • I'm not the only one to be affected by the oddity of wintry traditions in warm climes
  • Every year my Capetonian friend Beatty shudders at the psychological confusion caused by local shopping malls ringing to the sounds of 'I'm dreaming of a white Christmas' and 'See amid the winter snow'

  • Fiona Burtt

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    News round-up

    Humbug!
    Clare Marie White
    Crocodiles & cobras for the Christmas holidays
    Rowena Loverance
    An orthodox Christian perspective on Christmas
    Ian J Prior
    Thoughts from the river
    Barbara Mitchels
    Welcome to Quaker Writers, the new Friend adventure

    Quakers & Buddhists together
    Clare Griffin
    The Grimké sisters
    John Lampen
    Doing December Differently
    Judy Kirby
    Be ye doers of the word…
    David Boulton
    Joshua Whiting: citizen, countryman & Quaker
    David Firth
    Christmas Spirit
    Sally Aspden
    Philani’s work
    Fiona Burtt
    q-eye
    eye@thefriend.org

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