Christmas in this Buddhist land is (thankfully) not the great commercial event it has become in many Western countries – but neither is it marked at all. In fact, it’s a normal working day for most people. However, MMR does put aside some time to mark this special time of year, both within the community and within the many programmes that we run.
While each department celebrated in its own way, the main event was undoubtedly the combined MMR Christmas party, held on 23rd December. The massive party included children from all our programmes, their parents and siblings, teachers, HIV patients, staff, library users, adult students, and all other manner of folk who are associated with MMR’s various programmes.
Over 450 people inundated Marist house for a celebration that included performances of song, dance and drama, food, general celebration and much joy.
There was a chance for everyone to shine. Level Four MTP students opened the show with an impressive interpretive dance, followed by a traditional Myanmar dance showcasing the different ethnic groups.
Not to be outdone, the Child Protection children performed a Christmas medley of songs in Burmese and English – with great enthusiasm!
The Chanel Community Centre’s contribution included a short skit, a beautiful song with dancing by the nursery children and combined singing by all CCC staff and visitors. The grand finale was a combined choral performance by all MTP students, conducted by volunteer teacher Mike – quite the professionals they were too!
A shared meal concluded the evening.
It was great to see so many MMR supporters present, and the atmosphere of the evening was a real celebration of joy, peace and community – just what Christmas should be about!
On Christmas Eve, community members joined the local Thai parish for evening Mass, while a beautiful English Mass was celebrated Marist House the next day.