CHRISTMAS EVE WITHOUT ANY BOUNDARIES

IWONA FLISIKOWSKA

The action ‘Christmas Eve without any boundaries’ refers to the Old-Polish custom passed over from generation to generation, so that during the Christmas Eve supper, among solemn meals and traditional 12 dishes, there would be a vacant plate for an unexpected guest, who may join a family and celebrate at any time.

Old-Polish invitation

Participation in the ‘Christmas Eve without any boundaries’ is simple to carry out, accessible for everybody with the open heart, as via the website Polish families contact and inform with one another and that they are ready to invite a foreigner for the Christmas Eve, who will want to arrive the solemn supper….

The empty plate on the Christmas Eve table is to be a clear gesture that Christmas changes us, that we do not only admit that there are people in the world who do not have real families or support from others, but we also express our readiness to cooperate with God to change it – say organizers of the Institute of Schuman’s Thoughts, prof. Zbigniew Krysiak and the initiator of the action Ryszard Krzyżkowski. – The invitation of an arriver during Christmas is an expression of Christian faith and ordinary brotherhood of people through this gesture – inviting people for the common Christmas Eve table…

Why ‘Christmas Eve without any boundaries’?

The first edition of the project ‘Christmas Eve without boundaries’ took place last year. And this project was initiated ….2 months before Christmas. As it turned out later, the ‘Christmas Eve…’ became very popular. The project was promoted in a lot of cities and towns in Poland, especially at universities and in Polish families which had expressed their Old-Polish hospitality towards foreigners during the World Youth Days. And a few hundred Polish families took part in the project the ‘Christmas Eve without any boundaries 2016’; the families hosted arrivers from abroad at their Christmas Eve tables with friendliness and openness. Foreign guests came from, among the others, the Near and Far East. Our Polish families could talk with students and people working temporarily in our homeland, from the countries like: Lebanon, Syria, turkey, Armenia, Egypt, India or even China… The ‘Christmas Eve without any boundaries’ is to help in making relations among people from various countries, thanks to particular meetings during the Christmas supper. Organizers of the ’Christmas Eve…’hope that these meetings will make contacts among between Poles and foreigners better. Organizers were inspired for this action by Robert Schuman. He thought that all social, economic and cultural systems should be based on friendly relations among people.

The most important thread of the project the ‘Christmas Eve without any boundaries’ is improving relations with foreigners in Poland – thanks to getting to know Polish culture, tradition and what is important – Christian faith. Within the project also integration meetings are envisaged before the very Christmas Eve, at which families can get to know guests chosen by them and then, after the Christmas Eve, during a year, meetings of Poles with ‘the arrivers from abroad’ in the so-called Groups of Schuman are suggested.

How to invite an arriver from a far-distanced country for the Christmas Eve?

If we want to invite a guest for our Christmas Eve supper, we can visit the website ‘Christmas Eve without any boundaries’ (http://wigiliabezgranic.com) and get registered. In a short time you will receive a reply and a suggestion of the invitation of a particular person. You can also meet with our invited guest before the Christmas Eve supper and talk when drinking a symbolic good coffee. The Christmas Eve is the expectation time for the birth of Jesus, but also a meeting with another man, without any prejudice or boundaries – say organizers of this unusual action.

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Niedziela 50/2017

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Lidia Dudkiewicz • Translation: Aneta Amrozik • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl