An interfaith celebration! A Catholic family (the Harry and Mary Hilda Fernandes family residing behind the Bharath Beedies company on Kadri Road, Mangaluru) share the joy and fun of Christmas with neighbors of another religion
Mangaluru: Although Christmas is not a holiday generally associated with India, where the main religions are Hinduism and Islam, the celebration of Christmas is an integral part of the diverse and multi-faith Indian society. Christmas arrived in India through British and European colonialism and the missionaries that accompanied it, but the celebration of Christmas continued well beyond India’s independence and establishment as Secular state in 1947. Today, India’s twenty-five million Christians, who constitute five percent of India’s total population, have made Christmas their own, blending familiar Christmas traditions with cultural practices and local dietary habits. Indians of all faiths also benefit from public Christmas celebrations, reflecting the tolerant and multi-faith Indian society.
The largest Indian Christian communities are located in Mumbai, Goa and the state of Kerala, as well as Kolkata, known for its public Christmas celebrations. And in the coastal part of Karnataka, Mangaluru known as “Rome of the East” also has a large number of faithful Catholics, with a bunch of Catholic churches – and the celebration of Christmas is enjoyed by everyone, regardless of religion, with the exception of a small group of saffron activists whose sole intention is to create hatred and discord in the Community.
HENRY & MARY HILDA FERNANDES and FAMILY
December is one of the most anticipated months of the year. With the joy and enthusiasm characteristic of that time, many people are preparing to share family traditions, observe religious festivals, listen to good music, prepare meals, decorate their homes with lights and colors. , to buy gifts or to go on vacation. For others, however, it’s a month of nostalgia remembering the past or missing loved ones who are not at home right now. While the days seem to go by quickly with all the preparations creating anxiety or distress everywhere, it’s important to remember that a cheerful attitude is essential to enjoying the season in peace. This is especially true for the FERNANDES FAMILY, made up of Henry and Mrs. Mary Hilda Fernandes, and their daughters – Mrs. Smitha (her husband-Roshan) and Mrs. Seema (her husband-Rohan); their sons-in-law; their grandchildren – Shawn, Reshon and Reniece, all of whom live this time to the fullest with their family, friends and community by maintaining and sharing Christmas traditions.
In recent years, the Fernandes family have celebrated the joy and fun of Christmas, with their neighbors, made up of Hindus, Christians and other religions – and this family tradition continues even today, except that it was ignored during the pandemic year. The celebration consists of fun and frolics, games, songs, dances and sumptuous homemade specialties and to quench your thirst, Cocktails / Mocktails-Cheers! For the Fernandes family, celebrating Christmas has been a very important tradition, inviting neighbors of all faiths and ages to their homes. Memories of the Fernandes family Christmas celebrations are filled with laughing children, singing and dancing family members and neighbors, creating lots of fun, delicious food and gifts for all. “Beautiful times”, as Mrs. Mary Hilda says.
The Christmas preparation duties in the Fernades house have their owners well defined. Henry is responsible for all arrangements to meet guest needs, while his wife, Mary, transforms into executive chef meticulously preparing traditional home-made Mangalorean specialties, with Dukra Mass and Sanna a must, among others. menu items. assembling the Village which gives a touch of the American family environment to her home, while Ms. Ojeda is responsible for the interior and exterior decorations. With his artistic hands, Henry and Mary make spectacular Christmas arrangements that create the ideal spirit of love that they radiate in their smiles, humor and flowing speech.
The Fernandes couple are always looking for ways to come together with family and friends to share their traditions, knowing that it is not just about outdoor Christmas decoration, but that it has to come from the heart, as they. explain: “Christmas is the most beautiful time of the year, a time that speaks of love. A time when we stop to think about others, apologize for mistakes and make peace with those with whom we are upset because this life is very short and we go through it quickly. We must make the most of all the times, regardless of caste and religion. “To set the mood for the dance, there were talented singers, namely Ronald D’souza, Clifford and Mrs. Jyothi, Roanald Lasrado and Deepak D’souza, and Star Attraction played the guitar chords with the little one- son of Henry Reshon – who all joined in to give a bunch of Konkani, Hindi and Baila numbers.
Henri, Marie and their children so harmoniously consolidated their own traditions that it is easy to spread the light of joy, love and unity which characterizes them in the hearts of those who know them. They work together as a family to create a beautiful and joyful Christmas party and they all love to get involved. “We are delighted that all of our friends can enjoy and share this with us. Children, young people to people our age, all look forward to this time of year and we are happy to share our faith with them, ”adds Henry.
For this Fernandes family, Christmas is a time of hope and understanding for everyone, regardless of age or cultural differences. Although their lives are busy, they take the time to promote “the love, faith and joy of family”, keeping and teaching its principles and beliefs, as they see it as an important legacy for them. future generations.
One only needs to walk into Henry and Mary’s house to feel their excitement and joy, and for them Christmas is the time of year when the main focus is on smiling, filling hearts with joy and happiness. share with others the life they have shared for years.
For the Fernandes Family, Christmas is not only an occasion for outward appearances but an important moment for family reunion, happiness and faith as Mary explains: “As Catholics, we look forward to Christmas by observing the ‘Advent, then we continue the celebration until Epiphany, living each day from the bottom of our hearts. We have a Christmas meal together, and we keep the formality of tradition, with typical dishes, gifts, etc., but above all, we try to do as one of my daughters says: the real joy of celebrating Christmas is to be at home, and also to share love and joy.
We must all take the example of the Fernandes Family, and next Christmas may it be filled with joy, happiness and good intentions for all families, whatever their religion – and CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS JOY AS THE MAKES THE FERNANDES FAMILY!