Dubai: Each part of the world celebrates the end of the year a little differently; international customs are infused with local flavour.
In the case of the UAE, the season these days usually means sales, bedecked Christmas trees, feasts and trips into the endless desert. Some time ago, the celebrations while merry, were a little bit different. In a video posted on social media by the History of the UAE account, one can see how the end-of-year was marked in the country in the 60s. The clip shows a huddle of children watching a skit, where two men squabbled and there was slapstick humour - think dunking of heads into buckets of sand and water – followed by the passing around of food; and a Santa Claus, who flew in on a helicopter just for the occasion.
In the clip, one sees a sped-up interaction between British citizens and Emiratis. The two countries had a steady friendship since an official treaty was signed between the then Trucial States and the UK in 1892. So it only made sense that customs would be imported, adapted and assimilated. This clip, which also focuses on young children gathering to eat a meal together, showcases that exchange of ideas and highlights a spirit of tolerance and community that is unmarred by physical geography. It's a legacy that lives on.