In Germany, Christmas is one of the most beautiful times of the year for many people. Thus, various traditions have been established, such as visiting the Christmas market or church, baking Christmas cookies, but also giving Christmas presents.
These Christmas traditions are very familiar to many who grew up in Germany. But Germany and the world are becoming more and more colorful and diverse due to globalization – and Adastra is no exception. At Adastra, people from a wide variety of countries and cultures come together. We are proud to work in such a diverse team, where tolerance and acceptance are of utmost importance.
Since Christmas is an important and big event at Adastra, we asked some of our colleagues who did not grow up in Germany if they celebrate Christmas or if they first got to know this custom here in Germany.
Many of the Adastrans interviewed found the Christmas market to be a great new experience, as well as the general pre-Christmas period in which people prepare for Christmas - “Christmas market, drinking mulled wine, baking Christmas cookies, candles, tea - the whole program!" as Boriana Gebova, Head of Recruitment/Talent Management, shared with us. Decorating houses and pine trees is also part of the season for many. Most of the interviewees find the Christmas market, the food, coming to rest and spending time with friends and family to be the best things about the Christmas season. Another lovely tradition was adopted by some after they moved to Germany: "Adventscalendar! Who can say no to chocolates." - Cem Bilir, Head of Adastra North Germany
Although some are from the same country, it is interesting to see that Christmas is not celebrated by everyone and it can also depend on the region. Yanki Okdemir, Tableau Practice Lead told us: “When I was a child, we were celebrating Christmas on 31st of December with a feast where we were eating Turkey with some friends of my family – like thanksgiving – and also I remember in 1 Christmas my family has set up a real pine tree and we have photos in front of that tree with my sister. So our way of celebrating comes from Western culture mostly. Main reason was that my family was not religious in general.” In contrast, three other colleagues, also from Turkey like Yanki, report that Christmas was not celebrated at their homes. However, New Year's Eve on 31st December is celebrated as a welcome party for the new year and the new hopes. Here, the streets are also decorated as they are at Christmas.
During our research on Christmas traditions of our Adastrans, we were able to get to know India as a country where not everyone knows and celebrates Christmas. Manaswini Murali, Finance Assistant, told us: "We didn't celebrate Christmas at home in India. But I have some friends who celebrate Christmas. My friends bake a plum cake at home and then bring some for us. A recipe of the cake can be found here - Kerala plum cake.” This is quite different for three other colleagues we asked who are also from India. Vishnu Haridas, Senior Consultant, told us about how Christmas is celebrated with enthusiasm and joy in his country: “In my hometown, the celebrations would generally include a Christmas carol team visiting each house during night with Carol songs accompanied by decorated stars, light stands etc. Christmas Papa will be there distributing sweets and gifts. Preparing Christmas cakes at homes and distributing it among the neighbors, exchange of Christmas gifts, sending Christmas greeting cards to friends and family are another specialties during this time. Christmas parades and cultural programs would be organized by various church groups and there would be spectacular church decorations.”
We hope you liked the insights into the Christmas traditions of our Adastrans. We really enjoyed learning more about our colleagues and getting deeper insights into each individual's different traditions and experiences regarding Christmas. Many thanks to all Adastrans who shared their thoughts with us. We wish you all a merry Christmas season and have a great start to the new year 2022! Merry Christmas!