Bahrain: Expats share how they celebrated Christmas

Living abroad as an expat brings great benefits and opportunities but it also comes with a fair share of challenges that are felt specially during the holiday season.

“The truth is that most of us see holidays like Christmas as a regular day. Unless our employers are kind enough to give us an off, we don’t get to celebrate. Moreover, I think expats who are working in a physically-demanding job like me take holidays like this as an opportunity to rest”, commented Arun, an Indian expat in Manama.

On the other hand, expats who celebrated Christmas have scaled back large get togethers with friends and have chosen to be with their immediate family members only.  

British expat Joan said, “We had a small gathering at our house on Christmas eve where we prepared some festive specialties for our family. We only stayed indoors the next day to avoid the crowd. The rising number of coronavirus cases in Bahrain and around the world worries us especially that we have family members who are at a higher risk”.

“Earlier this month, we planned a trip back to the UK because we wanted to spend the festive season with our extended family. However, the increase in Omicron cases forced us to rethink our plans. We feel safer here in Bahrain”.

Meanwhile, those who are looking forward to reuniting with loved ones for the New Year are unwilling to travel because of a suggested second Covid-19 wave. While they have plans for 2022, these expats share that they don’t know what to expect.

Marie is an expat from South Africa, living in Saar, who’s anxious to know if she will be able to travel to her home country. “Next year, I am planning on spending the holiday with my family in my home country, given that is possible under the development of the coronavirus travel restrictions”.

Alexis, a Filipino expat in Sitra, chose not to come back home as flights to the Philippines are very expensive, so she is planning to have dinner with friends she met in Bahrain. There are many expats in the same situation as Alexis who are celebrating in a way there were not used to. “It’s not the same but we try our best to make it enjoyable”, she added.


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