Be bold, be brave, be your own kind of beautiful this Christmas

Be bold, be brave, be your own kind of beautiful this Christmas

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year - at least for us in the Western culture. As you may know our collections are produced in conflict zones such as Tibet and Kashmir, though.

Have you ever wondered if people there celebrate Christmas, too?

In late December, it begins to look a lot like Christmas in Kashmir: there are trees covered in snow, stars glitter across the dark skies. Though only 0.2% of the state’s population is Christian, preparations for the festival begin months in advance – as Kashmir’s traditional papier-mâché artisans speed up production of Christmas decorations to be sold through India and also exported to European countries such as Switzerland. Kashmir’s papier-mâché products are best known for their exquisite floral patterns. But over the past two decades, its unique Christmas decorations have been growing in popularity, too. Here are some examples (you can also find them in our online shop):

Now what about Tibet? You may think Tibetan Buddhism is the only religion in Tibet, hence they don’t celebrate Christmas. But actually it’s not. In southeastern Tibet, a group of villagers, living on the banks of Lancang River, are the devout Catholics. Although Christmas is not so popular among local people, it's a household name in Yanjing, Qamdo, Tibet. The celebrations are a two-day event and start on the day before Christmas. The believers usually get up very early to clean up every corner of the church and then decorate it with all kinds of lanterns. And colourful lights, paper flowers, Christmas cards and festive gifts will be hung on the Christmas tree.

On Christmas morning, they get ready for the Mass and the church members prepare several big cakes to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. After eating the cakes, all the Christians sit on the lawn or in the courtyard to share some candies, cigarettes and beverages. Some of them drink butter tea, some eat yak meat soup, others indulge themselves in chatting. The whole church is full of happiness. In the afternoon, they'll perform Tibetan traditional dances like Guozhuang Dance, Xianzi Dance, etc. In a cheerful atmosphere, Tibetans pray to god for the healthy life of their families and thank Jesus Christ in their own way. (For more info: https://www.tibettravel.org/news/celebrate-christmas-in-tibet.html)

The Tibetan women who make our exquisite jewellery don’t celebrate Christmas. But of course, they feel the Christmas spirit when their workload increases before Christmas season starts over here. At Protsaah, we believe in empowerment. We stand for: Be bold, be brave, be your own kind of beautiful! So our Tibetan jewellery makers are not professional jewellery makers, but we teach them artisanal skills and they create this beautiful jewellery:

Protsaah Handcrafted jewellery in Tibet

To carry the socially- and-ethically conscious Protsaah-Christmas-Spirit further into the world, we recommend:

- Since it’s far better to give than to receive, try to do a little something extra for someone.
- Buy less random cheap stuff and invest in the best, people normally always appreciate great quality over quantity.
- Use old gift bags and forgo the excess waste which will be generated by all the wrapping paper and tape.
- Invest in social enterprises, because these buys go one step further.

Merry Christmas!