German Market draws crowds for noble cause

Published December 4, 2023
A children’s choir sings carols at the German Christmas Market in Islamabad on Sunday. – Photo by Mohammad Asim
A children’s choir sings carols at the German Christmas Market in Islamabad on Sunday. – Photo by Mohammad Asim

ISLAMABAD: The German Christmas Market, held in the Serena Hotel gardens, was a resounding success with the proceeds of the event going to charity.

The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany organised the Christmas Market with authentic German delicacies, stalls with high quality and largely handmade products for adults to get some Christmas shopping out of the way, and entertainment for children.

The stalls included traditional handicrafts, silver jewellery, Christmas décor and pottery, and an assortment of housewares. The German embassy team members baked more than 60kg of cookies and several square metres of delicious German cakes. They also manufactured wreaths and made available chocolate as well as other delicacies, toys and Christmas decorations from Germany.

German Ambassador Alfred Grannas thanked the donors who made the event possible, saying, “without whom it would not be possible to do this. Whatever you consume here will be doing good because the earnings of this event will go to charity in Pakistan. Cheers to everybody!”

A gorgeous Christmas tree was decorated in the space separating the food court and marketplace and the Weihnachtsmann or German Santa Claus made an appearance to distribute sweets among children, not once but twice to ensure that no one was left out.

The children from Saint Faith’s performed Christmas carols and popular songs in English, German, Spanish and Urdu, includingWe Wish you a Merry Christmas, to the appreciation of the visitors. They had been learning music through Music on Mission’s work.

Jamshaid Jerome of Music on Mission said: “MOM works with orphans and our mission is to help children in orphanages through music. Many children spend their lives in trauma and music is a recognised therapy to treat trauma. So what we do is that, once a week we go to their centres and give them music lessons for free. Then we also provide them with instruments and opportunities to perform on the stage.”

“The German embassy is one of our partners. Like last year, they again gave us a chance to perform here. When we started, these children had never even touched a musical instrument, they had no exposure to music. Today, the same children are performing before an international crowd,” he added.

Mahbina Waheed of Clayworks said: “Clayworks has been participating in the German Embassy’s Christmas market since nine years. And I love the festive Christmas atmosphere they create. Germany has a special tradition of Christmas markets, and it’s lovely to have a little of that in Pakistan. We make special Christmas themed ceramics each year to sell, and those are the ones we bring to the Christmas markets.”

Maha Dania Qazi said: “The German Christmas Bazaar was a small but festive affair today at the Serena Hotel lawns. There was a quite a crowd lining up for food and drinks, which made me think twice about lining up! However, luckily, the stall with the lemon cloud cakes and carrot cakes was direct payment which made me buy some nice, tasty pieces of cake for my family. Glad to see a number of people turn up despite the Rs.3000 entry charge for a charitable cause.”

“In these times of dismal news one wants to be charitable more than usual and make the effort to meet people and enjoy oneself too. Such events also allow one to see the high quality of pottery that is on display and being sold. Mary Pots is one such example. I indulged in a few pieces that are finely made and tasteful. I bought functional things which I will use immediately. Food wise, I wish there was a little more variety and we could pay directly without the long queues, but it was not to be. In this way, I also saved some money,” she added.

Fayyaz Ahmad, the artist behind Rogan Wax Art, said: “The exhibition went well with a steady flow of visitors.”

Saadia Wajahat from Glassaic said: “The German Christmas Market was as good as last year. The crowd was very nice and appreciated handwork greatly. I had some very positive interactions with visitors about art and art expression!”

Published in Dawn, December 4th, 2023

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