As we know, AISB is made up of a lot of different nationalities (60, to be exact). With so many families coming from all around the world, it’s important to remember that not everyone celebrates the same holidays. Have you ever wondered how your friends celebrate during winter break?
While we couldn’t reach out to all 60 nationalities, we were able to talk to three families to better understand their own family traditions. Thanks to the Agnani family, the Papastefani family, and the Mor family for sharing with us. Happy Holidays from The Bite!
A Hindu Family: The Agnanis
Neeta Agnani, a Hindu mother, says her tradition at home involves her husband, her little daughter, and her. They bring a Christmas tree, put it in their living room, and they decorate it as a family.
“We have stockings put up near our fireplace and we exchange token gifts especially for our child as she is excited about Santa,” she says.
Their tradition was created for their child, in order to inform her about other festivals besides their own, since they are expats and are exposed to various traditions. They believe that exposure to festivals such as Christmas, Eid, and Halloween enriches their daughter and educates her. Thess winter traditions do not involve Hinduism, but being Hindus, they celebrate Diwali: the Festival of Lights, and during this festival, they light up their whole house, have lots of sweets, have a ritual of prayer with the whole family together, and they light firecrackers.
A Christian Family: The Papastefanis
Fabiana Papastefani, a Christian mother, says that during winter break they go back to their home country, Italy.
“We try to take any opportunity we have to go see our families and friends back home. We meet with family & friends, have big meals together and go for long walks together (despite the cold),” she says.
All year round they live abroad, away from their roots, friends, and families. And even though they feel settled in Romania, thanks to the big international family at AISB and also through their jobs, they never forgot where they come from. When they go home to Italy, they make sure to eat traditional foods like fresh pasta and desserts, and also a lot of seafood.
A Jewish Family: The Mors
Lastly, we talk to Miri Mor, a Jewish mother. During the winter break, her family usually goes back to their home country, Israel, or they travel around Europe to ski and visit the Christmas markets. The 3-week winter break is a good opportunity to visit their family in Israel since they don’t see them as often as would if they lived in Israel.
Their winter break tradition does not relate to Judaism (their religion), as it doesn’t typically coincide with Hanukkah (which was from December 2nd-10th this year). However, since the kids in Israel also have vacation for seven days during this time, it’s a nice opportunity to visit home and to light candles on the menorah with the family.
When the the Mor family goes back home, they like to eat Shawarma, which is common in the Middle East. If they visit Israel during Hanukkah, then they eat doughnuts that are made especially for this holiday.