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Lesson Transcript

Culture Class:
Holidays in India Lesson 2 - Christmas, birth of the Founder of Christianity
Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in India Series at HindiPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Hindi holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 2, Christmas - Birth of the Founder of Christianity. In Hindi, it’s called Badda din, Issai dharam ke sansthapak ka janamdin.
In Hindi, Christmas is called Badda Din which means 'Big Day'. Do you know how Christmas is celebrated in India?
In this lesson, we’ll talk about Christmas celebrations in India, which are held every year on December 25. This is the most important day of the year for Indian Christians, but is celebrated by non-Christian Indians as well.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
Which tree is used in traditional Christmas decorations in India?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
Christmas is a surprisingly big holiday in India. Most students participate in nativity plays based on the story of Christ's birth, sing Christmas Carols, which in Hindi are called Issai Bhajan, and decorate Christmas trees. Like in other countries, it’s common to hang Christmas stars, decorate Christmas trees, and put up Christmas lights and decorations. The practice of exchanging gifts, or Uphaar, is only for children. Even non-Christian children all over the country participate in and enjoy this festival the most.
Most of the Indian Christian community is Catholic, so there are many Catholic churches, especially in places like Kerala, Manipur, Nagaland, and Goa. Christmas festivities are celebrated with particular fervor in the ornate Portuguese churches of Goa. Because Jesus was born at midnight, celebrations are started with prayers in churches on the night of the 24th. The prayers continue during the daytime on the 25th, at which time people exchange their Christmas greetings.
Santa Claus or Christmas ka Baba is quite popular in India. Although most Indian homes don’t have chimneys, children still await his gift-baring arrival with anticipation on the night of the 24th. Christmas time in India is filled with excitement and joy. In urban areas, even those who are not Christian will pray for the arrival of Lord Jesus, just as they pray to their own gods and saints.
In India, statues of baby Jesus and the Virgin Mary are dressed in Indian-style garments. In southern India, you can even find Mary dressed in the famous South Indian Kanjivaram silk saree.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Which tree is used in traditional Christmas decorations in India?
In India, the Poinsettia plant or Chir tree branch is commonly used as the Christmas tree, and is popularly known as the "Christmas Plant".
How did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
How do you celebrate Christmas in your country?
Leave us a comment telling us at HindiPod101.com!
And we’ll see you in the next lesson!

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