It’s refreshing here in the heat of Tanzania as Christmas approaches. There’s no hype here in Mwanza. No glitzy promotions, no tinsel galore, no fat red Santas, no artificial trees in artificial snow, no carolling musak piping out in the shops. It’s low-key here. It’s Christmas without commercials, no commercialism.
In some ways I wish it were a little more glitzy, but actually a lot of that is about money-making and has very little to do with the Christian Holiday we’re supposed to be celebrating!
So the carols and other Christmas songs I’m listening to are on my iPod, we have our own lights and decorations, but nothing is forced. I have seen one Christmas Billboard on the Airport. There has been no Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Tanzania is a Christian nation as much as it Moslem so it’s not about freedom, just a different perspective. Christmas in a developing country; a poor country is a new experience.
In our ex-pat enclaves we will celebrate western style but the lack of commercialism , it will mean a less ostentatious Christmas in many ways which is probably no bad thing!