Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas In Kuching

People see Christmas in many ways. Christians see Christmas as the celebration of the glorious birth of Jesus Christ the King, the second grandest celebration of the church after Ester Sunday and Good Friday. The Americans in general perceive Christmas as common holiday festival, celebrated with joy, food, spirit of togetherness and lots and lots of laughter and joy, though these bear no significant resemblance to the Christmas celebrated by churches. Also, Christmas is a commercialized cliché, a business opportunity for many and worshipped by money spent on shopping pointlessly.

Over 20 years of my life in Kuching, I have never felt Christmas as a grand celebration in my hometown, Kuching. Looking pass all those different views, I dare admit that Christmas in Kuching is just less magical than what I hoped for.

Here are my reasons why Christmas in Kuching is not so Christmas-sy

1. There is no snow too much rain

Sadly, there would never be winter in Kuching. No white Christmas. No snowball fight, and no snowman in Kuching. Thank you very much, American television for providing us such wonderful perspective of Christmas celebrated in cold winter snow. All we get is rain rain rain, and more rain in this time of the year. Worse still, there is an alarming amount of risk of flash flood occurring with such heavy and frequent downpour. How disastrous can Christmas be in Kuching.

2. There is no real crappy Christmas tree

There are no real Christmas trees in Kuching. All we have are artificial Christmas trees that are mostly lighted up with more colours than a rainbow. Staring at the random crazy blinking of the lights alone can cause severe headache. Festive season indeed.

Some trees are so horrible looking I feel like ripping them off on the spot. Like this supposingly a Christmas tree just located inside the side entrance of the Tun Jugah Shopping Mall. Man, can any tree get lamer than this?

3. There is no mistletoe

No mistletoe, no kissing in public. How tragic.

4. There is crappy Santa because I killed the real one

“Fake” santa claus in Kuching, making appearances at Everise or Tun Jugah would only know how to scream in such menacing devilish ways “HO HO HO!!!” sounding more like “MUAHAHAHAHA!!!!” wolfish kind of laughter, distributing miserably cheap candies and sweets for passing by young children. I tell you, 9 out of 10 kids in Kuching would picture Santa Claus as a Monster, waiting to kidnap and eat them up. What happened to the old-style santa that sits by the roadside, letting children hopping up his lap and make a wish?? Where has the friendly hopeful magical touch of Santa gone to?

5. There is ridiculously early Chinese New Year promotion

As sad as this sounds, Chinese New Year preparation overshadows Christmas, though it is still ONE MONTH away after Christmas. CD selling shops play bombastic drum bashing cymbal clashing Chinese New Year tunes over melodic sweet harmonious Christmas music…. Well… People just could not wait nowadays. This simply makes Christmas in Kuching feels less majestic.

6. There is crappy Christmas Shopping

There is practically “nothing” worth buying for this holiday season. The shops and retailers know how to decorate their shops suiting the mood of celebration, but show no concern on their products and pricing. Discounts my Ass. Everything is still bloody expensive.

7. There are no Christmas greetings.

It would be great to have greetings from someone in the city, say the Supermarket cashier, “Merry Christmas”. No, we see people with all kinds of faces, black as charcoal and sour as vinegar. As if the word that would come out from them is CELAKA !!! Please lah people, it is holiday season, everyone should be happy, there should be festive mood surrounding the atmosphere. Smiles should fill people’s faces, and joy and laughter must be spread. Just a simple greeting “Merry Christmas” would spark all that up. Is that so hard to do?

I am not expecting Christmas in Kuching to suddenly turn into all western style just over night. There may be no snow, mistletoe or real Christmas trees in Kuching, and I cannot blame the geographical factor for these. However, what the people have been doing here is not helping any bit. Where ever I go in the city, I do not feel the festivity in the air. Something has been missing. There is no joy. No magic of Christmas.

Well, Christmas in Kuching may be small, but it sure has not lost its meaning. To me, it is strictly a celebration for family and friends, where people come together and experience the power of rebirth of Christ in each of us. We marvel at the coming of Christ, the King, and I believe that is what matters the most. Kept simple, brief, and sweet, this joyous celebration is always filled with much happiness and heartfelt love. I believe that the spirit of Christmas comes once a year, and in every way we can, though small and plain, we must celebrate it and embrace the magic.

To my friends, family and others who do read this blog, I wish you all



  1. Merry Christmas to u too..

  2. The true meaning CHRISTMAS is realising the biggest gift for us is the FREE gift of life (Jesus) from GOD. Gifts are never deserved but to the giver, it's his/her way of bestowing love and grace. God loves you, so stand tall like a Christmas Tree and be a light to all that surrounds you. Happy Christmas....please feel free to visit us here in Wollongong to experience the hot coastal winds!Blessed times to you too!

  3. Thanks Shina and Chan Gang,
    Yeah, the most precious gift of all would be Jesus, and praise Him to Born on Christmas. Amen..
    Merry Christmas to you both... May the peace and blessings of the Lord be with you throughout this festive season...

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