Christmas Eve Diversity in Malaysia and Nepal
By Dave Fox
Christmas Eve, 2014
As our Malaysia Airlines flight taxied for take-off in Kuala Lumpur, and the pilot finished the standard greeting over the PA system, an Islamic prayer for a safe flight flashed on the plane’s video screens in Malay and English. Then Christmas carols played until we became airborne.
Four-and-a-half hours later, at one hour to Christmas Eve, we landed in Kathmandu, Nepal, and the carols resumed until our plane came to a stop. We boarded an airport bus to the terminal, passing statues of Buddha and a Hindu god.
The biggest surprise came in the airport as we filled out our visa application forms. On the line that asked what our sex was, there were three check boxes: “male,” “female,” and “other.” I’ve traveled in a lot of countries. This is the first time I’ve ever seen a third option.
We have arrived in our chilly hotel room. It’s one a.m. The city beyond our balcony is dark and quiet at the moment. It’s time for a short winter’s nap before we dive into our chaotic Kathmandu Christmas in the morning.
Wherever you are, whoever you are, and however you celebrate this season, the Globejotting team wishes you a peaceful and adventurous set of holidays. We believe diversity is an exciting and positive thing, and we’re excited to dive into a fresh round of culture shock when we wake up in the morning.