Hoe wordt kerstmis in Karachi gevierd? Of in Hanoi? Of Tblisi? Het onvolprezen Roads & Kingdoms liet dertien correspondenten verspreid over de hele wereld vertellen over de manier waarop de feestdagen daar gevierd worden.
Hieronder de bijdrage van Saba Imtiaz (@Saba_Imtiaz) aan R&K vanuit Karachi. Daar wordt kerstmis ‘underground’ gevierd.
In a city so dominated by extremism and intolerance—from hateful graffiti scrawled on walls by religious-political parties to harassment and job discrimination against the beleaguered 2% of Karachi’s residents who are Christians—the idea of Christmas spirit is understandably a bit far from the mind.Complicating this Christmas season as well is the fact that Karachi closes down over the barest whisper of trouble. Last Friday, after the Supreme Court issued a contempt of court notice to the head of a national party called the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, armed men from the party went from marketplace to marketplace, threatening shop owners with death if they didn’t pull down the shutters in forced solidarity.
In seconds, Pakistan’s largest city turned into a ghost town, and restaurants only warily opened up on Saturday evening, after they’d been signaled that the day-long protests were over.
But look a little closer around Karachi, and it’s evident that some are celebrating. The churches, whose spires still dot the city’s skyline, have notices for carol performances tacked up on the wall—alongside banners condemning the Innocence of Muslims, the film that stoked worldwide protests, to ensure that no one takes the anger out on church property.