Monday, December 18, 2006

Carols by Candlelight - PNG Style

Yes, it’s that time of year again. Only one week until Christmas, and I find myself surprised. Possibly because Alotau, PNG, is fairly removed from all the marketing and consumerism that is usually found in my beloved Sydney. Although I wonder where in the Christmas-celebrating part of the world the shops don’t become somewhat more crowded at this time. But there is the compulsory Santa on the back of the truck, throwing lollies to the kids on the street (sometimes quite literally – the only reason that there haven’t been any kids hit by cars yet is the fact that there aren’t that many around. That and the compensation/payback system).

But don’t get me wrong – I actually love Christmas, and was happy to demonstrate this by helping to organize and stage manage the first Carols by Candlelight to be held at my work.

This was no mean feat, as people here don’t really have the same concept of commitment that we (generally) hold in the Western world. But we only had one drop out, and even though we were still changing the order of the acts during the concert according to when the performers actually turned up, it was judged to be a success.

We overcame our lack of live music facilities and people who could read music by finding an a capella carol singing group. There was also traditional PNG music groups and soloists, dancers (of the contemporary and pacific variety), and the Christmas raffle.

The Wanigili Theatre group performed a PNG-style nativity scene, with the three wise men of Gili Gili, Weimar and Kiriwina. I’m very proud of the group – they’ve come such a long way in the last few months.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Carols by Candlelight if there wasn’t a special guest appearance by one very important Santa Claus. Luckily Cam demonstrated his love of Christmas by helping out in the Santa stakes. He did a great job, and while he narrowly escaped being mobbed by the children who were the recipients of Santa’s lollies (thrown on the grass, not the road), he didn’t escape the ladies so easily.

It must be hard being Santa.


Anonymous Tori said...

Cam as Santa! An inspired choice... Would love to see photos of that!
No sign of Christmas here in Delhi, though it is a public holiday. Nice to escape the consumerist hype, but I have to admit I am missing a Christmas tree.

3:26 pm  
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12:53 am  
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8:39 pm  
Anonymous ruth and mum said...

very funny as santa the red nose fits in well
mumma thinks you look very cute and was wondering if you could squeeze through the chimney here and drop off a couple pressy's well you could get money bags rosa to pay for them
hehehehe well have fun big brother
love to jane
xoxoxoxo ruth and mumma

10:38 pm  
Anonymous Eddie said...

Hey Jane unt Cambo!
Great to see you guys are having such a great time in PNG. Love the Santa suit buddy - but where are santa's red crocs? Finally you would have had the clothes to match the shoes!

I can't beleive they get so into the whole traditional Christmas thing so much! You can't even mention the 'C' word in London anymore (christmas guys!)! There are schools here which have cancelled their Christmas concerts in favour of 'Holiday Celebration Concerts'! Political correctness gone wrong i say! They're a bunch of 'C*NTS'!
Merry Christmas!

2:59 am  

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