KARACHI: Mirth and merriment is in the air for the Christians of the city, as they have started their annual festivities for Christmas.
About 300 Protestants from ten different churches of Karachi gathered at the St Andrews Church on Saturday to listen to carols performed by students of the Sunday school. The children, who were dressed as characters from the Bible, had prepared a programme which consisted of various carols, tableaus and a Christmas-themed play. Soon, the venue for the revelry was inundated by little angels, saints and shepherds. A few of them had even come dressed as Santa Claus. Since St Andrews has services in Urdu as well as English, the programme was bilingual.
While the older children entertained the audience with a play, the younger ones danced to seasonal jingles. A six-year-old boy from the Little Folks School, Ushal, who was to partake in a ‘geet’, was very excited. He had assiduously practiced no less than 12 times as he wanted to win a prize for his performance. Charles Stephen, a student of class VII, said that he was playing a shepherd in a tableau called ‘Only for Jesus’, as his parents had told him that it was necessary to give respect to the son of God.
Groups of children were scattered across the marquee- the choir group mesmerised the audience inside the church, nursery children in the Sunday school practiced their moves to ‘jingle bells’ with their teacher and some performers put on their dresses in the parking area. Mrs Shamin, who had come to the event with her four children, said that it was an excellent time to start Christmas festivities. She said that her children get closer to their religion and mingle with members of their community during the celebrations.
The Sunday school – like the Muslim Madrassa – focuses on religious lessons and children study the Bible. The supervisor of the school, Shehzad Bhatti, said that the children spend about an hour and half in the church while their parents attend the mass in the morning. The arrangements were made and managed entirely by the Youth Fellowship Committee of the St Andrews Church. They had also set up stalls to raise funds for the construction of the Sunday school. The vice president the committee, Arsalan Anjum, was in charge of the cards stall, where 190 hand-made Christmas cards prepared by children of the Sunday school where being sold for anywhere between Rs10 to Rs70.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 28th, 2011.
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