Embassy in Brussels celebrates X’mas with Lankans of all faiths

By Sujeeva Nivunhella

Simple and colourful decor adorned the Chancery of the Sri Lanka Embassy in Brussels and were crowded with Sri Lankans of all faiths, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims, and also with the Friends of Sri Lanka in Belgium and Luxembourg last week when the Mission marked the annual Christmas Day celebrations.

This day of peace, friendship and harmony was enthusiastically attended by many Sri Lankans in Belgium, irrespective of their religious belief or practice. It is a strong signal of the desire of the Sri Lankans living outside the country also to celebrate the traditional Sri Lankan events in the best possible way they could, said Ambassador P. M. Amza, welcoming the gathering. 

The country, despite having less than 10% of its population following the Christian faith celebrate this noble day, throughout the country, from North to South. It is done so with a sense of passion. In the North, Sri Lankans set up Asia’s tallest Christmas tree. It is a symbol of harmony and reconciliation, for a country that is emerging from a bitter conflict, he further said. He also invited the Sri Lankans in Belgium and also in Europe, to work together to keep their interest of the country active and to use their influence as a community.

Rev. Father Claude Nonis, invoked blessings and conducted the religious ceremony, which included reciting from the holy bible in five languages, including French and Flemish languages. The Christmas carols sung in Sinhalese, Tamil and English echoed the message of love, peace and care, while the kids present waited eagerly to greet Santa Clause who came in with a bag full of gifts, amidst the melodious song "jingle bells". The evening was concluded with a reception and exchange of greetings to each other.

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