Happy New Year! Καλή χρονιά! С Новым Годом! Felix sit Annus Novus!
This is the Mongol New Year greeting – it goes something like shine zhiliin bayariin mend hurgeye.
What went on during the past week:
*whew* The Christmas season sure can get exhausting. It was a time for joyful celebrating; tiring as it was – I must admit that it was beautiful. How shall I begin?
There was Christmas Eve – I spent the entire morning preparing Christmas cards (I make my own and deliver them by hand, except for recipients not living in Singapore) and rest of the day could be described as rushing from place to place.
First place I had to be at was Royston’s baptism. Caught in one of the worst thunderstorms this island has seen, I was lucky to have even reached St. Joseph’s in time – but, thanks to a lack of knowledge of the church and some dreadful advice – I was wandering around the church grounds for a good thirty minutes before I realised that the “wedding” was actually the baptism (people present at baptism will understand what I’m talking about). Royston the Traddiest among Catholic catechumens has finally joined the Holy Roman Catholic & Apostolic Church! =)
After that was another rush to my grandmother’s place where my maternal relatives were celebrating her birthday (I’ve lost count of my grandmother’s age – I’d place it anywhere between 71 and 77). The Christians (and by that I mean Protestant) among my relatives (majority of them are Buddhist/Taoist/agnostic) still think I’m becoming Jewish. Maybe the little wooden crucifix I wear around my neck wasn’t obvious enough – whatever the case, I’ve invited them to my baptism and perhaps then, they might finally witness Orthodoxy.
Then there was church – it was beautiful. Joy of joys, Edward and Timothy were there – I nearly burst into tears (metaphorically speaking) at their being home (both of them study overseas). Also, with these two talented individuals around, good singing can be assured during the span of the liturgy. I managed to get close enough to record the singing during Communion – if you would like to listen, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
My memory of last year’s Nativity service wasn’t too good – I seemed to have been trapped for what seemed like an eternity without knowing what was going on – ah well, there’s a first time for everything. The carolling after the service was a bit messy this year – but we did manage to sing my favourite carol “Ding Dong Merrily on High”! =)
Edward sang a few of the popular carols in Slavonic and their original languages. I swear that guy speaks more languages than my entire class combined (excluding me, of course). The food was great – managed to sample many ethnic Christmas dishes unavailable elsewhere in Singapore. I thought I’ve finally met my mysterious Russian that night too, but as it turns out that I’ve mistaken another striking Russian lady in a headscarf. Something good came out of that – I’ve got myself acquainted with Alicia, a young, pretty student from the Russian Far East.
Christmas Day was a complete bore – my family doesn’t really celebrate Christmas anymore. The following days were pretty uneventful too. New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day were pretty boring. Both were spent at my relatives’ place – and their idea of a wild night is just sitting around to talk, apparently. I played Efi Thodi’s Glyka Glyka on my brother’s laptop – almost immediately I got raised eyebrows and questions asking if “I was going Indian”. If you ask me, local parties could learn a lot from their Greek/Arab counterparts. =P
Thanks for reading! Happy New Year!