The Royal Geographical Society of Queensland Inc

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From The President - Dec 2018

4 Dec 2018 7:37 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Dear members, as 2018 draws to a close it is time to reflect on a momentous year for the Society. I would like to thank all those members who have continued to support and assist RGSQ through this year of change. Of necessity, we have been a “movable feast” in our lecture and meeting venues but have always been encouraged by members and non-members continuing to attend our excellent program of presentations. We also reflect with sadness on the passing, this year, of several long-standing members whom we remember with gratitude for their contributions to RGSQ. We now have a new home in Spring Hill which is currently undergoing some fit-out modifications. It is hoped that we can start the new year with an official opening and welcome in February.

Christmas around the world happens in many landscapes, climes and formats. Here are some interesting Christmas celebrations and feasting traditions from different parts of the world.

In Bethlehem, a star is set on a pole in the village square and Christmas is celebrated by the Protestant, Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Egyptian Coptic, Syrian and Armenian churches. Services are conducted at the same time in different languages in different parts of the Church of the Nativity. Deep winding stairs lead to a grotto where there is a 14-point silver star marking the site of the birth of Jesus. Feasting includes turkey spiced with pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg, and stuffed with rice, pine nuts and almonds.

In Ethiopia Christmas is celebrated on the 7th of January (Eastern Orthodox, Julian calendar). Christmas Mass takes place both in ancient churches carved from volcanic rock and also in modern churches designed in three concentric circles. Pilgrims receive candles as they enter the church and walk around the circles three times. Feasting includes sourdough pancakes and spicy chicken stew.

In Norway the Christmas gnome, Nisse, guards farm animals and plays tricks on children who forget to leave him a bowl of porridge and Julebukk, a goat-like being who traditionally accompanied the Viking god Thor, makes an appearance. Norwegian Christmas fare includes lye-treated codfish, boiled potatoes, rice porridge, gingerbread and punch.

In India Christians decorate banana and mango trees, fill churches with red poinsettia flowers, give presents to family and charities and place clay oil-lamps on rooftops and walls. Christmas foods include Jalebi cakes, Mathri flaky biscuits and spicy coconut sweets.

In Canada, in Nova Scotia, descendants of Scottish highlanders sing carols and belsnicklers (masked mummers) ring bells and go from house to house seeking treats such as maple cream cookies. In British Columbia Christmas turkey may be accompanied by smoked salmon, with a dessert of Christmas pudding with brandy sauce – most like an English Christmas.

Reference: http://www.santas.net/aroundtheworld.htm

Maybe you’d like to try some of those dishes – even bring some to our RGSQ Christmas gathering!☺ – on Tuesday 4th December at the Lavalla Centre, Paddington.

Meanwhile, can you identify the geographical origin of these Christmas greetings?

Feliz navidad, Selamat hari natal, Nadolig Llawen, Zalig Kerstfeest, Mele kalikimaka, Buon Natale, Craciun fericit, Joyeux Noël, Merii Kurisumasu, Nollaig shone dhuit, Wesolych Swiat Bozego, Narodzenia, Idah saidan wa sanah Jadidah, Frohliche Weihnachten, Shengdan jie kuai le, Kala Christougena, Nollaig chridheil, Schastlivogo Rozhdestva!

Find out if you are correct at the Christmas party! I hope to see you there.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas, good health and happiness, peace and prosperity in the New Year.

Dr Iraphne Childs



The Royal Geographical Society of Queensland Inc
Level 1/28 Fortescue St, Spring Hill Qld 4000
Tel 07 3368 2066
ABN 87 014 673 068
info@rgsq.org.au

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