Theirs is not just the Christmas of heedless merriment and mindless cheer. Theirs is a different Christmas where the thoughts of others hold sway over splurging on gifts and decorations. We take a look at some efforts undertaken by Bengalureans, in trying to make this year's Yuletide a little more inclusive and meaningful.
Majestic they might be, but dead Christmas trees adding to environmental damage has some city folk worried. The tree at St Gregorios Cathedral, for instance, is an interactive sound and light festival built with saplings of asparagus that people can adopt and take home after the festival is over.
Reuben Jacob, the principle designer of the project from the organisation Think Happy Everyday, says, "The tree is made of PVC pipes that play music and have infrared sensors that light up the tree as you strike the PVC pipes, which incidentally look like candy canes. All the woodworking, metal work and electronics was done by members and the youth of the church!" Elsewhere in the city, kids have shunned their wide-eyed wonder with Santa Claus and turned into veritable versions of Santa himself, to pool in support and resources for their lesser privileged counterparts. In a five hour long carnival by Sublime Galleria, kids from all over the city joined hands to sell baked goods, jewellery and sing along to the band of the NGO, Abhayam. Albert PJ, its founder-director, says, "Because ours is an NGO which deals with people recovering from addiction, we have a compulsory guitar lesson for the therapeutic wonders music does to those battling addiction. These lessons have given way to a music band of enthusiasts. The band which performed on the 20th are the children of the people involved with the NGO. The drummer and vocalist were my own kids and they had a gala time giving to charity and performing for other kids of their age."
Youngsters all over the city are also redefining the Christmas brunch and including those who are least likely to be in one in them. Agnes de Noronja and her friends have been counting down to Christmas with a special meal in the 25-year-old's home where she has invited people from all walks of life. "A friend and I were walking with Christmas shopping when we noticed that it was a very elitist thing to do – carving up turkey, decorating homes and what not – so each night we have been going about our neighbourhood and asking people to attend a meal at my house the next day," says the girl who loves cooking.
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