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    Polish sociologist Rafał Cekiera: war and pandemic made this Christmas more meaningful

    “The war in Ukraine, the reception of a wave of refugees in Poland and the recent experience of the pandemic give this year’s Christmas a unique context – we realize how fragile is what we consider inviolable and unchangeable in the routine of everyday life.”, says PhD. Rafał Cekiera, a sociologist from the University of Silesia.

    In the opinion of a sociologist from the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Silesia, many Poles are currently experiencing uncertainty related to both the war taking place across the eastern border and its consequences, as well as the economic situation and inflation. All this can influnce the atmosphere of this year’s celebration.

    “This Christmas will also be special because it is the first time we host so many refugees from Ukraine in Poland. Not only did we become observers of the human tragedies, but also many of us hurried to help them. On this occasion, it is worth noting that in the Christian tradition, Christmas is the feast of refugee, wandering and migrant family; therefore, it should sensitize us to such situations. In the Polish context, this finds an eloquent sign in the form of an empty Christmas table cover, which is supposed to symbolize the hospitality of the house, readiness to welcome a visitor.”,

    PhD. Rafał Cekiera explains.

    In his opinion, the atmosphere of uncertainty may cause the upcoming holidays to be slightly different from the previous ones.

    “Maybe we will be more inclined to be grateful for everything we have. The experience of the pandemic, the experience of the war in Ukraine, as well as a real meeting with the victims of wartime terror are extremely clear evidence of how fragile is what we sometimes consider inviolable and unchanging in the routine of everyday life.”,

    Dr. Rafał Cekiera says.

    Referring to the words of the popular Polish Christmas carol Gdy się Chrystus rodzi, the sociologist quoted one of its verses: “We do not understand anything, we barely live from fear”. However, this does not change the fact that Poles will spend Christmas with their families and try to forget for a moment about all troubles.

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