WINDHOEK – Outspoken youth explains what December 25 means to them as religious has it and became a cultural celebration of Christmas Day,
In the same vein, various youth activists detail how Christmas is relevant to the society at large as the nation is readying for the annual festival commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Albertina Nande, says if Christmas means anything at all to the youth is that they are off from school and work, receive gifts, get to meet friends, go on vacations and basically just live on a holiday state. “I see Christmas being used today as an excuse to party, drink and go all out because I mean, it’s the festive season, and everyone is partying,” she notes. She however adds that Christmas is a reminder to praise and be thankful to God for all the things he has done. “To me, it is a moment of reflection, it is what I have achieved for myself, and it is a time of thanksgiving,” says Nande.
She believes that Christmas remains highly relevant in society. “Families come together, people have a reason to talk, and some relationships are even perhaps restored in the hype of festive holidays. So it has a great impact on society because it waves a spirit of happiness,” notes Nande.
Tuhafeni Hangula echoes the same sentiments that Christmas instills a spirit of giving and good neighbourliness. “We should go back to the traditions of spending Christmas in church and at home with loved ones over good food and a cheerful spirit,” says Hangula.
Beatha Iikela says Christmas is particularly important because it is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. “ The majority of Namibians are Christians, so they take this moment to celebrate the birth of Jesus our saviour which interestingly is celebrated before family day,” says Iikela
However, Joseph Petrus van der Westhuizen remarks that the faith of Christian youth who are the majority of the population is build upon the premise of the birth of Jesus Christ and Christmas being that time of the year makes it a very important time of the year for them primarily on a spiritual level. “Christmas is a central part of the over 90 percent Christians in society but also for those not of this faith as it is a time of rest for them,” Westhuizen shares.
On the other hand, Mavis Bragga Elias indicates that Christmas will forever be her favourite season, claiming that a vast majority of young people enjoy the festivities. “It has taken root in us to give and spend much needed quality time with our loved ones after a long year of business,” she states. Adding, Christmas is a time to forget the diet and bake away. “It means looking back on the year that was and planning on the year that is to come. For me, Christmas is an entire mood of three things namely love, peace and happiness,” she adds.
Notably, Franklin Newman says the true meaning of Christmas has become diluted. “The clue is in the name, Christ-mas meaning Jesus Christ’s birthday initially but there has been such a persistence from the commercial world to boost sales and have people spend money they don’t have on things they don’t need. So it has become Santa Claus elves and specials in shops,” he says.
He is worried the youth have no idea what Christmas entails. “The day was to remember the birth of the world’s saviour, Jesus Christ, the one perfect person to walk the earth and die for the sin of men. Society should be able to reflect on that humbling fact,” says Newman.