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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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Different cultures come together to celebrate

WHILE the rest of us tuck in to the same old Christmas grub, multicultural Cumbria is preparing to celebrate in a variety of different ways.

Members of different cultural communities have told how they plan to mark the festive period.

Most of us will wake up early and rush downstairs to open our presents, before tucking into our Christmas dinner.

We might then enjoy a game of charades or watch a festive film, and cap the day off with a few glasses of our favourite tipple and a well-earned snooze.

But it will be a different story in some of the city’s Indian, Thai, Polish, and Nepalese households.

Saj Ghafoor, the chairman of Multicultural Carlisle and owner of the HDM Spice Shop in Brook Street, and her family are Muslim Indians.

She said: “It is one of the few holidays that we have together as a family so we do our own variation of a Christmas dinner.

“We have it the traditional British way but we’ll be having chicken or a roast leg of lamb which we’ll spice up first, and wehave all the trimmings but with our own little twist to the flavours.

“But my two daughters will be working on Christmas Day – one is a midwife and the other runs her own beauty salon.

“We will exchange Christmas cards but thisis more for the young ones.”

Fon Ramshaw, who lives in Harraby but is originally from Thailand, will be celebrating around New Year rather than on Christmas Day.

She explained: “All the family get together and we have a meal and drink, but it isn’t as big in Thailand as it is in the UK.

“Sometimes we might go back home and see our parents and have some nice food but I will be staying in Carlisle for Christmas this year.

“We don’t really buy gifts but I send money back to my brother so he can buy things for my dad.”

Former Gurkha Deo Gurung, of Newtown, said a special Christmas party was held for Carlisle’s Nepalese community last Sunday.

He said: “There were 70 adults and 19 children at the celebration.

“We aren’t all Christians – some are Hindu or Buddhist – it is a real mix of religions but we celebrate the whole festival.

“To see each other regularly and for the whole Nepalese community to come together shows a mark of respect and we really enjoyed the day.

“We will hold another party on January 4 where we meet to preserve our culture and traditions and teach the children the right way of doing things.

“On Christmas Day I will get together with all my family because my son is coming from Afghanistan and we will have a mini party at home.”

DHemming@cngroup.co.uk

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