» 12/09/2013, 00.00
Nepal: Christians , Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims prepare for Christmas together
Houses and shops of capital already decorated. Among the best-selling images are those of Jesus and the Virgin Mary. Young Hindu volunteers help Catholics decorate Cathedral of the Assumption in Kathmandu. The former hotel of the Hindu monarch organizes a Christmas party for diplomats and VIPs themed on harmony between the faiths.
AsiaNews) - Preparations for Christmas are being transformed into an
opportunity for encounter and reconciliation among Christians, Hindus and other
religions living in Nepal. On
the streets of Kathmandu, hotels, restaurants, shops and homes are already decorated
for Christmas. In
the souvenir shops among the best-selling greeting cards are those with the image
of Jesus and the Virgin Mary. Bookshops
are displaying Bibles and books on Christianity.
Rai , pastor of the Cathedral of the Assumption in Kathmandu , said that dozens
of volunteers , Christians and Hindus, have worked together to decorate the
priest says that the parish is "teaching young people Christmas carols to
accompany the festivities." As
every year the Christmas celebrations are expected to attract thousands of
people, which confirms the growth of Christianity in Nepal after years of Hindu
monarchy and discrimination against Christians . Bhim
Raim, a catechist, explains that young catechumens who are preparing for
baptism are the "most active".
the fall of the monarchy in 2006, to revive tourism, the government decided in
2011 to make Christmas a national holiday. This
has allowed Christians to expose images and sacred ornaments in stores and
outside churches and homes. Catholics
in the country are over 10 thousand, 4 thousand to 6 thousand more than in 2006,
the year the secular state was declared.
these two years, Christmas has become a time of celebration for other religious
groups such as Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims. For
the evening of December 25 , the five-star hotel Annapurna (managed in the past
by the sister of the monarch Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah ) has organized a dinner
for diplomats and personalities from the worlds of politics and entertainment. The
title of the event is 'Cake Mixing Ceremony " and asks each participant to
make a cake to share with others. Pastry
chef Situ Sthapit says that "the organizers invited people of different
faiths and Christmas is a perfect opportunity for reconciliation". Guests
will include Thai Ambassador to Nepal Kanthong Unakul , and famous Nepali actress
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