ISLAMABAD: The mouth-watering aroma of fresh pretzels, sausages and various desserts greeted visitors at the German Embassy’s annual Christmas Bazaar on Friday.
The event was unusually busy compared to the norm for diplomatic events, with well over 200 people including young children roaming around the many stalls set up on the embassy grounds, and that was just during the time The Express Tribune was at the event.
One side of the grounds had stalls serving refreshments and various breads including pretzels and bagels, while at the opposite end, freshly cooked kebabs and German sausage sandwiches were being sold.
The other two sides featured stalls with trinkets, general home decorations, and Christmas decorations, the latter of which were in high demand among foreign attendees and locals alike.
A number of German embassy officials including Ambassador Ina Lepel were dressed in colourful garb from various regions of Germany, giving even more ‘local’ flavour.
As for the guests, family fun seemed to be the order of the day. David, who works at the British High Commission, was with his children when The Express Tribune spoke with him. He described the event as “really good fun. It’s good because it brings everyone together. The kids are loving it, which makes it magical.”
And why wouldn’t the kids enjoy a rare opportunity to hang out with Saint Nicholas, who was sitting on an elevated section of the concert hall.
The rest of the hall was full of mouth-watering desserts catering to every degree of ‘tooth sweetness’, while at least one guest who needed “to keep her sugar intake in check” satisfied herself with the scrumptious aroma of waffles, cakes, and brownies. Fortunately for children on sugar highs, Krampus — a Germanic character that contrasts Saint Nick by punishing naughty children — was a no-show.
Back outside, a happy family from Faisalabad expressed how much they enjoyed the event. Alexandra Sheikh, who is of German origin, said, “It is a really nice Christmas market...and there’s nothing like it in Faisalabad, so we bought a lot of decorations and of course got to eat some tasty German food,” while her husband underscored how it was “a lot of fun for kids and families, especially under the circumstances,” referring to the broader security situation. Meanwhile, their young daughter Sara concisely summed up how most children at the event felt about the afternoon. “I loved it.”
Published in The Express Tribune, November 28th, 2015.
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