12 December 2007

Christmas in Singapore

I mentioned that Singapore is a city of festivals in Autumn. They save the biggest celebration for last, however, as the city really gets decked out for Christmas. Granted, it starts a bit later in the year than in the US, starting mid-November. I think this has to do with the timing of other festivals, as Deepavali ends around that time.

I attribute the celebrations not to the presence of Westerners in Singapore or the influence of Christianity in the city-state. Indeed, Westerners are still a small minority, and the republic is a multi-religious society. Instead, I think it is a nod to the overt consumerism of Singapore. It is nice to see Christmas lights and hear Christmas carols, but this really is only in the commercial areas. In those areas, however, it is like Rockefeller Plaza.

I wanted to share some pictures from around the city, including one of the Raffles Hotel. I leave tomorrow for the US and a two week visit home. I hope that I have imparted a bit of what is like over here for you. My goal is to let you experience this with me without sounding overprivileged. I hope I have accomplished that.

So, until 2008, I bid you adieu. Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

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