Christmas is the time that most people will celebrate with their families. However, it is not possible for everyone to be home for Christmas. Some people are abroad due to their studies and cannot make it back home to celebrate the holidays. What are their plans, instead, for their Christmas away from home?
‘I plan on visiting some Rwandan friends during the holidays', tells Cyiza Alli, MSc student of Food safety from Rwanda. 'A friend of mine lives in Rotterdam with her family so I might visit them. Or perhaps another friend who lives in Belgium! On Christmas Eve I will go to church, as is the tradition back at home. I will miss meeting up with my extended family and having a good time over food and drinks.
I am already in the festive mood because all my Dutch friends were celebrating Sinterklaas. I was even invited to dinner by a couple of them to enjoy the celebration in the true Dutch way! However, I feel like the celebrations here aren’t as big as they are back at home in Rwanda. Here people seem to be quite busy with their private lives and nuclear families. In Rwanda, it is customary for several families to come together and celebrate in large groups.
I am hopeful that visiting my friends and their families will make me miss the celebrations back home a little less. Celebrating Christmas this year is going to be a guilty pleasure because the completion of my thesis is going to be at the back of my mind.’