Saturday, December 31, 2005

Celebrating the New Year

Many people will celebrate at home this year in Jordan. Contrary to the perception that this is due the terror attacks last month, new years celebrations are largely held at home every year. Family and friends gather in a warm room, laughing, playing with the kids, eating and drinking. Part of the activity is watching other people have real fun on TV, especially the parties in Damascus and Beirut. Many doze off before midnight strikes, and few last much longer than 1 A.M. In general, the arrival of the New Year is an anticlimatic event.

There are many reasons why people don't go for the public celebrations that are seen in other places. In the first place, there are no public celebrations. The closest things are parties thrown in hotels and restaurants. These tend to be expensive and elitist. It is difficult to take children, as there are no play areas or activities for them. The kids tend to doze off at the table, after failing in pressuring their parents to go home.

It would be fun to have a public area where people gather, sing and celebrate the new year with a sense of community. Such a celebration would have been a proper response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Instead, there are fewer parties this year, as the hotels figure that they can't rip people off as badly as they do every year. Our government and local councils don't think it is their job. So, as in every year we will roast chestnuts, have a couple of glasses of wine and doze off.

Wishing all a happy and prosperous 2006.


At 10:03 AM, Blogger salam said...

Nice idea,khalaf and exact description of most people's new years.Happy New Year to you.

At 10:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good on ya, Khalaf. BTW, I really learn alot about politics from your postings.

Our fam never goes out, we play games at home together, then after the kids sleep hubby goes to our church and participates in a very fun service until midnight, where they pray the new year in. When the kids are older, we will all go.

A blessed a prosperous New Year to you and yours!

At 11:37 AM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Salam and Kinzi: Thank you for the kind words. May God bless us all in the new year.

At 11:57 AM, Blogger Lina said...

So true and accurate! Here's a new resolution for 2006: Plan a celebration in an open space in Amman for the New Year 2007...

On second thought, would such a thing work in Amman? I mean, picture people gathering before the hour of midnight to greet the moment of the New Year together, with their drinks in hand, singing and cheering, and well, drinking... you will find many who come just to watch, critisize, and downright protest such public displays "alien to our culture" as they would put it!!! I often wonder what makes Damascus different... I won't say Beirut, because Beirut has always been different in many ways, but take the example of Syria, what makes it different there?

At 1:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

duwar abdoun!

also, im not sure but i think the hussein gardens. if not, then they should consider doing that. for families only. have a fireworks show

At 2:48 PM, Blogger Natasha said...

Lina... not to mention the sleazy comments the majority of women will get if they gather in a public celebration: "eish ya 3asal" and "Yel3an 3omri ana"

Happy New Year everyone!!

At 10:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think in fu7ais they do something like a public celebration.

You forgot to add one reason to why people don't celebrate the new year: THEY DON'T CARE. Really a great number of jordanians care very little about the new year, they think of it only as a nice opportunity to watch some cool programs on TV

At 12:50 PM, Blogger Madi said...

Well said Khalaf, indeed public celebration wont work in Jordan.
Unfortenately we don't know how to act or react, I remember the 9/11 protests, it was supposed to be protest, but people were signing as if Jordan won the fifa world cup and making 'khamsat' in their cars

At 7:03 AM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Hi All: I hope that you enjoyed yourselves. I don't think that anybody in world thinks that New Years celebrations are IMPORTANT. People celebrate because it is a chance to have FUN. Celebrating is optional, even for people who live near Times Square. Just because some people don't want to join in isn't a reasons enough to cancel them.

See you later.


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