On December 14, people from eight countries gathered at the Information Centre for Newcomers: Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Latvia. They were all united by the fact that they currently live in Latvia and the desire to experience the Christmas miracle. Most of those present will have their first Christmas in Latvia this year, so the event at the Information Centre was special.
In order for the celebration to take place, all the celebrants first became volunteers and prepared the necessary things with their own hands. One group set up and decorated the Christmas tree, another prepared a treat, the third decorated the windows... everyone had the opportunity to participate in creating the festivity. And that`s why, sitting at the table, immigrants and locals - everyone already felt like a united family.
Before the feast, the activities coordinator of the Information Center, Ramona Liepiņa, invited to sing together. "Jingle bell" and "A tree was born in the forest" were sung in so many different languages... and everyone sang it together in Latvian! Ramona also told about various Christmas traditions in Latvia. When the celebrants counted that there were even more than nine dishes on the table - then they finally got down to the feast! It was delicious, and because it was prepared by the celebrants themselves, even more delicious!
Celebrants also had the opportunity to try reciting poems at the Christmas tree, receiving a symbolic gift for it. It pleased both young and old.
Peace, quiet joy, cosiness, friendliness - these are the feelings we experience at Christmas. But these are also the feelings that those who are away from their homeland miss so much. That`s why this Christmas event at the Information Center was so important, so touching and meaningful.
Thank you to everyone who unselfishly lent a hand to make the miracle of the holiday a success!
The activity of the Information Centre for Newcomers within the framework of the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund is ensured and developed by the NGO “Shelter “Safe House””. The centre is co-funded by the European Union. Grant Agreement No. PMIF/12/2020/3/01/