Merry Christmas (and its translations) To You!
Merry Christmas everyone!
[Or Happy Holidays to those who are politically correct.]
And to Nduku [my lady], her entire family all over the world, my Kenyan friends [especially Maureen Ndoto who introduced me to Nduku!], President Barack Obama and those who speak Swahili, Kuwa na siku kuu njema! And just for Nduku and Najwa — Nakupenda!
And to my mom, her family, her people back in Fayetteville NC, my Korean-speaking friends [Marsha Nelson and my sister-in-law Jeannie who’s not anything close to Korean], and my fellow half-Koreans [Daz, Megan, Hines Ward…] Sung Tan Chuk Ha! And of course my dad and brother get a plain ol’ Merry Christmas, unless you’ve learned any new languages that I don’t know about.
And to my Nigerians [Ms. Ogunbode! Chizzy! Uche!], well, there are several [understatement] different languages to choose from, so if I missed yours, then see the first sentence of this post.
For those who speak Hausa barka dà Kirsìmatì! To my Yoruba speakers E ku odun, e ku iye’dun! And the Fali speakers Use d’h Krismass! And the Fulani speakers Jabbama be salla Kirismati! And my Igbo (Ibo) speaking friends Ekelere m gi maka Keresimesi na ubochi izizi afo ozo! And last but not least, for my Edo speaking friends Iselogbe!
And for my Somali friends, especially Huda Aden and her family, ciid wanaagsan iyo sanad cusub oo fiican! And the only person I ever met from Togo [Ayaba!], Blunya na wo!. And of course to Rita, Eunice and all my Ghanian friends, the nicest people ever, Ni ti Burunya Chou! And Mary Andom, my Eritrean friend, Rehus-Beal-Ledeat!
Since Washington, DC has the largest Ethiopian population outside of Ethiopia, I have met many, many, many Ethiopians. The most helpful is Getenesh Asfaw. And Tensaye from the gift shop. And Samra, the coolest. And I’m sure there’s more so bogem h n mh m to you all!
To my South African friends [Nozi & Carol!] I say Mahlatsi A Matswalo A Morena Le Ngwaga O Moswa! Or is it Litakaletso Tse Monate Tsa Keresemese Le Mahlohonolo A Selemo Se Secha! Tanzanians [Mabu!] also speak Swahili, so again I say to Kuwa na siku kuu njema! to them! And for those Ugandans I’ve met along the way Wafoyo Chamo Mbaga.
Mike! To my Germans, half-Germans, my people who lived in Germany with me and anyone who speaks German, I say Frohe Weihnachten! My Brazilian friends like Roselane I say Feliz Natal!
My people from Honduras [LeiLani Morazan! Jenny Martinez], and Nicaragua [Arelys Morazan!], and half-Ecuadoreans [Marita!] and half-half-Guatemalans [my sister-in-law Jeannie again!], and everyone else who speaks Spanish — Feliz Navidad!
A Soursdey Noel! to my Cambodian friends [The Khoys!] and Ewadee Pe-e Mai to my Thai friends [Vicky!]. And to Sukumar and my other Indian friends I say . To Merlyne and my Haitian [and half-Haitians like my sister-in-law yet again!] I say Joyeux Noël.
Washington, DC also has a huge Indian population. India is another country with so many different languages there’s no way to get them all.
Hindi is pretty common there so Śubh krisama! to them. And if you’re Indian and speak Gujarati like Bela then Natal ni shub kaamnao! And if you speak Kashmiri Christmas Id Mubarak!, or Khasi Krismas basuk! , or Bengali Shuvo Boro Din, or, well, there’s plenty others, but we move on…
To my Afghani friends like Susan and Rhoya I say De Christmas akhtar de bakhtawar au newai kal de mubarak sha. And to the Iranians I’ve met I say Kirismass Mobarak! And goodness there are so many more to go, but I have to get ready for a Christmas party Nduku and I are going to.
In Kenya there are over 40 different tribes each with their own home language. Nduku is Kamba, so I finish with Merry Christmas in KiKamba — Ithiwa na Kisimasi Kiseo.
NOTE: I promise if I had more time I’d print every single possible way to say Merry Christmas in the world’s many languages and dialects!