I really enjoy Christmas.
Even though I’m not a Christian, it is by far my favourite holiday season of the year. The magic and the allure of Christmas is always something I look forward to. The merriment, lights, sounds and palpable feeling of goodwill that floats in the air lifts my heart like no other occasion. It’s religious aspects never enters my mind and doesn’t prevent me one bit from reveling in the joys of the season. I sing the Christmas tunes with gusto and heartfelt reverence never mind that the god in reference “isn’t my” god. For me Christmas is such a beautifully gentle time where people can truly wish each other good tidings with a genuineness of heart and honesty of spirit.
I remember the Christmas parties that my family used to hold in years gone by. There would be food, drinks, laughter, presents, a Christmas tree and most special of all – friends. Friends of all religious, cultural and racial persuasion. It felt and looked like a mini United Nations in those few precious hours that we joined together in spirit and enjoyment. We didn’t care that many of us weren’t Christians and that we were celebrating what is fundamentally a Christian religious festival, we cheerily rejoiced in each others’ company content to let our guard down and see each other as people with the same basic aspirations, values and principles. The ties that bound us were colourless and odourless but unlike venom, it didn’t poison us for we ate, drank and were merry together. It was so easy and natural to wish each other “Merry Christmas!” with a smile and mean every word of it. The important unifying elements of fellowship and human connections were all that mattered. Those were really special times.
This year Christmas is arriving rather earlier than usual with the impending release of David’s Christmas CD in October. Christmas and David just goes together so well like the two sides of a coin, Romeo and Juliet, where one ends the other begins. Thus it’s truly fitting that David should release an album of Christmas standards with perhaps one or two original compositions thrown in. Having listened to him sing Christmas songs in the past, I’m pretty sure this album will be the best Christmas present that you can give anyone this year. This holiday season is exceptional in more ways than one as we await the arrival of this Christmas treasure. It’s heartwarming to know that we are all waiting with the same delighted anticipation, in the face of our differences, for an album that’s steeped in religious traditions. It speaks volumes of the ability of David to draw us together in unity and common purpose.
In a world where a man of African descent can be elected to the highest political office of a nation with a history of racism and slavery; where the lines of skin colour , once so divisively sharp, which are now increasingly being blurred; a world where Malaysians from across the divide, without the albatross of religion and culture hanging round our necks can come together to extol the musical artistry of a young Mormon man gives me hope. The true spirit of enjoying and celebrating each others’ religious rites lie in the knowledge that we can find common ground to stand upon because we are after all of the human species. United in our common failings and triumphs we really are not so much divided by an unbridgeable chasm, as so many are wont to insist and stridently trumpet for all to hear, but rather more of an unwillingness or perhaps even fear to walk a mile in the others shoes. But when we come together and salute David and his music we demonstrate that we can overcome such prejudices by judging each other solely on the merits of our actions and not the colour of our skin or the ritual observance of our particular beliefs. Hit us and we cry the same tears, cut us and we bleed the same red blood, tickle us and we laugh the same laughter.
Even in our various human disguises, we embrace the same celebration of excellence and relevance. We dance the same dance of joy and sing the same song of love when we are faced with artistic brilliance no matter the colour in which it comes in. It garners the same emotional connections and spiritual uplifting and we share in the same joyous moments. These then are the truly special times when we willingly shed all our inhibitions, bigotry, misconceptions and just immerse ourselves in the same collective consciousness and exult in the magic of a sweet, soul stirring vocal virtuoso from across the Pacific.
* For more insights into the singular biological cord that binds the human species – DNA – please be sure to watch ‘The Human Family Tree‘ this Saturday at 9pm on Astro 553. The premise is that from a genetic perspective every human on Earth today is descended from a group of Africans who left Africa some 60,000 years ago! Now if you believe the geneticists ( and why shouldn’t we? ) we are all, in effect, Africans and that yours, mine, David’s and all other members of the human race’s family tree can be specifically traced back 60,000 years to a single African man. Adam if you will – genetically speaking. How cool is that?