Time to remember

Tis’ the season of joy and hope. It is also the time when most of us spend with our families.

But what about those who have decided to have a home thousand of miles away from their loved ones?

Many of us can’t think of this part of the year without thinking about the good times we spend alongside those we love.

Celebrating Christmas is different for each culture, mainly because of religion matters and costumes. Some don’t celebrate it at all.

There are many cultural, social and economic differences in the world.

However, in Canada many people celebrate the birth of Christ, they gather with their families, and they sing Christmas songs.

Winnipeg brings us the correct definition of a white Christmas.

I remember my first Christmas here. I had spent a few months by myself and was so anxious for Christmas because part of my family would be here. I couldn’t think of spending that day without them.

I knew I wouldn’t have to spend it by myself. I had friends that were here without their families too. One way or another, we wouldn’t be by ourselves.

But that never changed the fact that possibly I wouldn’t see my parents.

I couldn’t stop thinking at the time I spent in Virginia as an exchange student. My host family was great. They were nice to me, and we had a great time together getting ready for Christmas.

Then I skyped my parents. That was enough for me to spend most of my night crying. At home, we usually have a family dinner on Dec. 24, and then we stay up until midnight to exchange gifts. We spend the day of Dec. 24 cooking, talking, joking, and getting ready for our family dinner. I had been doing that for 16 years.

That was the first time I was away from home, and the first time I had contact with another culture. Fortunately, my host family was Christian, so there wasn’t a culture shock in that case.

But still, I spent my day thinking about my family, and then at night, we went to their church for a Christmas special. When we came back home, we took some pictures, talked a little, and went to bed.

I don’t remember what we had for dinner, or how we did it, but it wasn’t like what I was used to doing.

And no presents at midnight. In the U.S., they exchange presents in the morning. Mostly because of Santa Claus.

In Brazil is summer during Christmas, so our Santa Claus doesn’t want to eat cookies and milk, he’d rather have ice cream. He doesn’t come through a chimney because our houses don’t need it. We need AC. There’s no way someone will be trying to warm up in December in Brazil.

How do they feel? What do they miss the most and how do they go through it?

Chinese student Stella Wu said, in China, people don’t usually celebrates Christmas because they don’t think it’s a special holiday.

However, Wu celebrates Christmas, but this year it will be different. When she’s with her family during the holiday, they gather with friends with a big dinner, wishing all the best for everyone, she said.

“This year I am away, it will be much simpler, just a dinner,”

Christmas is not an easy time for anyone who’s away from home, not only international students.

We have always to keep the focus on our goal to keep going.

In another hand, I have another family. I met lots of people. And yesterday I spent my Christmas with them. We are not related by blood, but we are related by one goal: Immigration.

I hope all of you had a very Merry Christmas, and to those who don’t celebrate it, I hope you enjoyed your holidays to remember your family and friends and the support they’ve been giving you.

Thank you all for supporting this project!


Ligia Braidotti


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