Two Cultures/One New Year's Eve

Babel's Soki surely is from Belgium, but of Angolean descent. How is she spending her New Year's usually? In the following article, she tells us about the most common Belgian traditions and the African way of celebrating her family still maintains and worships.

In Belgium, we like celebrations and New Year's Eve for sure is a good moment to get relief from the past year's stress and uncomfortable moments: It’s a holiday and people need joy, happiness and lights in the streets, decorations...and then we await the arrival of sales in the shops! THIS moment of the year is certainly magic to me... 
To be perfectly honest, I don't know much about the habits of Belgian people. I was born in Belgium, but I'm Angolan, so my family celebrates the Angolan way, following this African culture.

But talking about the Belgian way of spending New Year’s Eve, actually, it’s not that easy to respond anyway... they don’t have just one tradition! Basically, young people celebrate that night the way they prefer more.
During Saint Sylvester (that’s the name of the last night of the year), at midnight, Belgians drink champagne and watch the fireworks and bonfires in the sky.
I don’t know about a traditional Belgian dish. In my celebrations with my friends, we buy whatever we like to eat, without paying attention to a specifical “dinner culture”.
Apart from dinner, one really traditional thing is kissing under the mistletoe: it brings good luck and prosperity for the upcoming year!

But, when I celebrate with my folks, the entire family is present: parents, siblings, uncles, cousins, my parents's friends, my friends... in Africa, the traditional term "family" is more likely to be extended on people you are close to, although you're not related by ancestry.

With this huge bunch of invites, we eat a lot of African food (vegetables, meat, fish, fufu, pondu,...) before midnight and at midnight the eldest person of the family usually says a prayer to thank God for everything and to ask him for blessing and protection for the family during the New Year. 
The first day of the new year is more about having fun at night, with music, dancing... we welcome the new year with a lot of joy! Everybody has to be happy on New Year’s Day without thinking of bad moments or sad things!

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