Joy shares today of Christmas huts and Christmas music and what Christmas is like in Indonesia.
Spending Christmas in another country can be a little sad if you're away from your family, or it can be very exciting and interesting.
Our first Christmas in Java, Indonesia gave us some very neat opportunities. 80% of Indonesia is Muslim, so we had a great time sharing how Americans celebrated Christmas. Most of our Muslim friends thought Christmas was about the weird purple colored trees and lights that some stores carried.
Christmas in Indonesia
Moving to Papua, Indonesia changed our Christmas quite a bit. Many people in Papua are Christians, because missionaries have been here for 60 years! Even though missionaries have been here a long time, there are still many tribes and local people who do not know how much Jesus loves them. Even if people don't believe in Jesus, they like to celebrate Christmas here.
Indonesian Christmas Huts
The most popular way to celebrate Christmas each year in Papua is to build “Christmas Huts”. These Christmas Huts are little houses that sometimes hold a manger scene, but mostly are shelters for sound systems! Starting in November you will hear all kinds of different Christmas music blaring from these huts… from early in the morning to late at night.
Last Christmas we could hear 5 different types of music coming from various huts around our house. The louder the music is, the more holiday spirit you have. One year the city decided that they were going to give a prize to the best hut. You could find them on every corner! I've always loved Christmas music, but this was the most Christmas music I had ever heard in one place!
Another way to celebrate in Indonesia is to visit your friends' houses on Christmas Day. People will cook food and have snacks available for anyone who happens to come by. You can have visitors all day long! Some of my Indonesian friends told me that they don't open gifts on Christmas because they have so many visitors. They open them the day after Christmas! How would you like to wait an extra day to open your presents?
All over the world people celebrate Christmas differently. Families all have different traditions, but one thing to remember is that this season is about Jesus! This year have your family try some extra activities to help you focus on Jesus and what this special season is about!
Christmas Hut Challenge
Make your own Christmas Hut! Be creative! You can make it small enough for your computer speakers, or big enough for you to sit in. You can use blocks, popsicle sticks, legos, cardboard, or anything else you can think of.
- Your hut needs to be able to play Christmas music.
- Your hut needs to be decorated for Christmas.
Every Christmas Hut is different. What will yours look like?
FREE Christmas Carol copywork!
Joy Bryant and her family currently live in Papua, Indonesia where her hubby flies Kodiak airplanes for Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF). She shares her overseas homeschool journey on her blog,. “I long for Teach Me Joy to reach homeschooling families around the world. It is a place where we can grow our worldviews, share resources, life experiences, and learn together how to do life with joy & grace, no matter where we live!”
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