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What Christmas Is Like For Arewa Christian Women

Northern Nigeria is depicted as muslim majority in Nigeria mass media and as such Christmas and Christmas content isn’t usually the most common theme to come out of the region. However there is huge number of Christian’s in the region to ignore them would be to capture an inaccurate view of the north that’s why we spoke with two Christian women from Northern Nigeria about celebrating Christmas in a “muslim majority” region.

Goodness

My name is Goodness Onu. I’m from Benue state but I’ve stayed in Zaria, Kaduna all my life. Christmas is mostly quiet for me, except for the food, gifts, family, and joy that’s in the air. It’s a time of sober reflection on the birth of Jesus Christ, which is paramount to my faith 

Christmas in a Muslim majority environment is normal. It’s not like we’re not allowed to celebrate it or something. The Muslims are also very accomodating here, they celebrate with us. There’s this muslim colleague of my dad that always sends us hampers during Christmas, two years ago she sent a live turkey

The only difference is that there isn’t as much noise and liveliness, compared to Christmas in the East or WestI don’t think Christmas in a Muslim environment takes away the Christmas spirit. Maybe because I prefer a quiet environment so I don’t mind that Christmas is quiet here. 

Kenah

My name is Uwelo Kenah Musa. I am Afo from Nasarawa L.G.A in Nasarawa State and I live in Lafia.A typical Christmas for me is more like a routine. From the 20th or 21st I start making chin-chin. We always start with that because it’s the most tasking and the most exhausting of things to make. I usually make up to 10 to 15 modules of chin chin because there are a lot of people to share and give to. By the 23rd we start making the beef and on the 24th we make the chicken. We usually work into the night because there’s a lot of frying to be done and I boil Zobo on that day to be prepared on the next day, so I usually go to bed exhausted. On Christmas day the 25th I’m up by 3:00am. I’m already chopping all the vegetables for salad. My mum would be up too, boiling rice because that’s what we usually have. There’s only been one Christmas we made tuwo instead of rice. By 5:00 am we have morning devotion and go back to work. That’s trying the Zobo juice into nylon so we can distribute it easily. We get ice for water and drinks because electricity isn’t always certain. When we finish we get dressed and go to church. After the service we come back home and share the food to all our Muslim friends. That ends by 3:00pm and by then I’m exhausted. And I just want to sleep. The whole celebration and Christmas spirit starts the next day. Celebrating Christmas in a Muslim Majority society is what I’ll describe as fun. Because the Muslims also join in the celebrations and there’s that atmosphere. Muslims also use that time to visit their Christian friends and take their families out. If you go out you’d not only see Chrtians outside Muslims would also take themselves out. Young people usually host parties and events and it’s not only Christians that attend. Young Muslims also attend. And most of the food we usually share are to Muslims. Because most people believe that the Chritsians would have already cooked food to celebrate in their houses. The Christmas spirit is there. You usually see Muslims visiting their Christian friends to felicitate with them and there are usually children playing going around from one house to another collecting as much food and gifts as they can get. Being in a Muslim majority doesn’t take away from the christmas spirits becaus there are still parties and events organized to celebrate Christmas which is what happens in other states.

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