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A Multicultural Christmas in Jordan


By Cameron S., YES Abroad 2019-2020, Jordan

One of my favorite parts of my exchange in Jordan has been my exposure to different religions. Though I am Jewish, I come from a predominately Protestant town in America and hadn't been exposed to much religious diversity other than that. However, in Amman, I live with people of many faiths. My host community is a mix of Muslims and Christians, and my roommate is Hindu. I feel that I have certainly broadened my perspectives on a lot of things since coming to Jordan. On Christmas and Hanukkah (they fell on the same day), I asked our host mom, who often prepares fantastic traditional Jordanian and Syrian dishes for us, if I could cook something special from home for the holidays. Eagerly agreeing, we rushed to the store to buy potatoes, onions, eggs, and flour to prepare latkes, a food commonly eaten for Hanukkah. At the same time, my roommate made two of her favorite foods from home, which included dal and roti. We certainly had a lot of time cooking together! And as if the evening couldn't get any more interesting, our Irish neighbor came over to share our feast, and she brought over some Irish desserts. Together, we shared this Christmas dinner and great conversation. It was a fun way to share a part of my own culture with my host family and learn more from my roommate and neighbor too.