After the longest lockdown, Aucklanders get ready for Christmas

(Pixabay Image)

Venkat Raman
Auckland, December 15, 2021

Greetings from all of us in Indian Newslink for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Although Auckland will remain in Red under the Traffic Lights System governing Covid-19 regulations and restrictions, families and friends will be able to meet and enjoy Christmas Lunch and what would be Christmas Evening and Christmas Dinner.

Bars, Restaurants and other hospitality outlets will also be open, offering the best of their cuisine and drinks to make the festive season special. Having come out of 107 days of lockdown, this sector is poised to do better and offer more employment.

Covid fears loom but thank God

We are thankful to the Lord for the Blessings that have been showered on us in New Zealand, for we are able to celebrate one of the most important observances with families and friends and attend parties, despite the looming fears of Covid-19.

For, very few countries can celebrate Christmas this year without restrictions, while most of the world is in the grip of Coronavirus, forcing some governments to close bars and restaurants and ban large gatherings.

We should be thankful to the government for its efficient management of Covid-19 when it came to our shores earlier this year. We, the Team of Five Million, despite differences over its spread, complied with the lockdown rules and hence were able to prevent wider community spread of the Variants of the disease.

We are not completely free of the Virus- there are still people testing positive in the community, forcing them into self-isolation, managed isolation facilities or hospitals. We hope that the government will remain tough in its resolve to ensure that New Zealand continues to be safe.

Politicians will always be politicians- always wanting to score their own points and hence in times of pandemic, as it is in times of war, we should rally together and do the right things.

Now back to Christmas.

(Pixabay Image)

Message from Jacinda Ardern

In her message last year (2020), Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern acknowledged those separated from loved ones and those working through the holiday season.

“I want to acknowledge those that are still dealing with the impacts of Covid-19 or who are separated from their loved ones due to the global pandemic. I also want to take some time, as I always do, to acknowledge those who do not get that time off over Christmas, be it those working in our managed isolation and quarantine facilities, our essential services in hospitality, and other industries that stay up and running over the holidays,” she said.

Ms Ardern hoped that people can take time out to spend with family and friends.

“People deserve special praise this year,” she said.

Catholicity of Celebration

Christmas, like many other festivals observed by ethnic groups such as Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims, has become a celebration with catholicity (could not resist using that expression), widely marked by almost all residents.

The fact that New Zealand has grown to accept Diwali, Lantern and other festivals with the participation of European, Maori and Pacific Islander segments is indicative of the growing cohesion and integration in the society.

Christmas festivities began soon after the lockdown ended on December 3, 2021 and shopping malls, parks, gardens and other places of public congregation have ushered in the holiday spirit. With the school holidays commencing shortly (some institutions have already closed), the festival season will be geared towards Christmas and New Year. Companies would organise parties for their clients and staff, exchange greetings and gifts, promoting goodwill and companionship.

Santa in MIQ

Since Auckland is still in Red, the popular Santa Parade had to be cancelled.

Other cities are likely to have the traditional event.

To millions of people around the world, Santa signifies grace, dignity, honour and most important of all, the father figure. Such is the popularity of the man that he occupies most display windows, personalised executive sleigh and more.

Christmas is now the biggest-spending item in most western countries after health care and defence. The logistics of that success require Santa to be in thousands of malls by day and down millions of chimneys by night.

It is generally believed that he relies on a series of proprietary algorithms derived from Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, which allow him to be in an infinite number of places simultaneously so long as nobody believes he is really in any one of them.

Of course, Christmas has to grapple with the fundamental uncertainties affecting all modern industries. Covid-19 is the deadliest of them all this year. The resultant downturn in the world economy could have its effect on the financial wellbeing of countries.

Colourful season

New Zealand is gearing up to the festive season and even as lights go up on street buildings and Christmas Trees are decorated in shopping malls and homes, the weather threatens to misbehave bringing down unwanted rain at this time of the year. We hope and pray that Nature would be kind to us.

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