[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Monday, December 25, 2006

1. It is interesting how Christmas has become a festive occasion for everyone, not just Christians. Whether it is China, Vietnam or Indonesia, Christmas is being celebrated on a growing scale. An important reason is commercial of course. Some Christians object to Christmas being commercialised but I think this is too narrow a view.

2. There is a parallel with Chinese New Year and Deepavali. For many Chinese, there is a religious aspect to Chinese New Year which calls for burning of joss and visits to the temple. But there is a cultural aspect which is not religious at all. It is the same with Deepavali, the festival of light, which is both a religious and a cultural celebration. I believe Christmas is becoming the same. Still, it seems odd that Christmas decorations should become increasingly commonplace in Chinese cities. But then China has become a major supplier of the objects and decorations used during Deepavali (like the oil lamps) and the Muslim Id (like twinkling lights and lanterns).

3. I attended Christmas Midnight Mass at the Carmelite Monastery with my family. This is a family tradition. This year, the Risen Christ Choir sang the hymns and carols. The Carmelite nuns dedicate themselves to a life of prayer. They are a contemplative order and do not leave the monastery except when they need to see a doctor or vote at elections. There is always some disappointment when the constituency is uncontested because they don't get to come out to vote. (Opposition: please note.) They see visitors only on special occasions (like Christmas Eve) but separated by bars.

4. To all readers of Ephraim's and Harold's blogsites: Merry Christmas!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way to go Minister Yeo! More thoughts are good. We've listed your site at Harro!


Tuesday, December 26, 2006 12:07:00 pm


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