Christmas vibes : Jingle Bells in Tunisian Markets

By Jihene Essanaa
At a time when the Christmas festivities are in full swing all over the world, in Tunis, markets and trees are installed, to celebrate Christmas as it should be. Some dedicated spaces, with tastefully stocked stands, have been set up, where young and old alike have found their happiness in a festive atmosphere. Ideal places for gift ideas and cooking recipes, these markets are full of decorative objects, local products, confectionery, crafts, jewelry, clothing, toys, floral decorations, scents. Everything is there to make the party go well, which obviously gives rise to a real business. 
Christmas; this feast so dear to the hearts of Christians, has become a cultural manifestation in our country.   
A boon for Tunisian artisans who are starting out and other professionals with more elaborate products. Pleasant and picturesque places to create an atmosphere that makes people happy.
Yet, what we notice the most is the disconcerting ease of the Tunisian to adapt to this foreign movement.
Indeed, as far as we can remember, the Tunisian has always been able to adapt to the cultures of the world. This adaptation is reflected in our daily life through different clothing behaviors and new lexicographical practices. Tunisian society sees itself accepting the diversity of customs and behaviors, the result is that opinions become numerous and that the conduct of citizens is marked by this same diversity.
To come back to the subject of our national identity, I would like to focus on the behavior of Tunisian lambda. Yes, the Tunisian adapts like a chameleon to other cultures. 
If he devotes a cult to local cuisine, he never hesitates to devour a good burger or a dish of sushi. He likes Tunisian soap operas during the holy month, but he collapses every night on his sofa to watch Netflix. The same goes for his clothing style, the Tunisian usually wears the famous Dengri, but often likes to take himself for Johnny Depp; he loves jeans, doc martens and other leather jackets… And let’s not forget his admiration for the foreign football teams because if the Tunisian worships his local team, he also cherishes other teams from overseas…
This is to tell you that we are an intercultural people, so it is no surprise that after the gluten-free pastries or the "happy hours", holidays such as Halloween, Easter and Christmas have easily taken place in our lives.
So let’s go back to our main topic; Christmas markets. In Tunis, they are frequented by European expats, Africans from sub-Saharan Africa and Tunisians, of course. The prices are pretty high for the average citizen. It must also be said that these are products of the Tunisian terroir, which in sight seem succulent. Crafts and other products offered are of a clearly superior quality to that found on the market and for those who adhere to them, this kind of festivities that we spend with family and friends has no price.
An investment, you will tell me...Because we also spend on artificial Christmas trees at home and sumptuous dishes. 
In supermarkets also, clothing is also present, the shops are well prepared and above all toy temples which are the country's leading suppliers of Christmas trees.
"La Closerie" restaurant makes a point of honor every year to organize an exhibition that has nothing to envy to foreign markets. A meeting to share the magic of Christmas to transport us and make us experience the magic of Christmas with family. Thus, a gourmet space, activities for children, and a photo with Santa Claus make us full of joy. Yet, due to sanitary restrictions, this year, they decided to cancel it hoping for better next year…
Therefore, we found a festive atmosphere at Yuka on December 4, 5 and 6 with a trampoline for the little ones and some lovely pony rides. More than 80 exhibitors were there to transform "Yuka" into a wonderful Christmas village, with local products such as our tunisian “zrir”, chocolate, or cheese. Jewelry of all kinds, bags, brands combining tradition and modernity, and even charity stands. And to me, this is what made this event so interesting because we found purely Tunisian products in a magical Christmas atmosphere.

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So to stay in the magical world of Christmas, and to make it easy for you here’s the agenda for the upcoming Christmas markets events:
-Sunday Dec, 13; “the Biwa Restaurant” is organizing a gourmet and artisanal Christmas market where numerous exhibitors will make the show...
-“Once upon a time...Christmas” , Movenpick Hotel Lac on Dec 18,19, and 20 where there will be artistic, craft and culinary workshops…  

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-From 19 to 25 dec, zephyr la marsa welcomes the Christmas market to make you discover exceptional flavors and local products…
-After the great success of the first edition of Christmas market, where more than 13,000 TD were collected for the SOS Gammarth village, Femmes Maghrébines Magazine; in partnership with the “BeTounsi” collective passionately renews the event and organizes the 2nd edition of the Solidarity Christmas Market at the Sidi Bou Said Nautical Club. Be there on Dec 19 and 20…

Looking at the enthusiasm of a certain fringe of Tunisians for the holiday season, we can easily conclude that Christmas and other foreign holidays in Tunis have taken hold over time. This is of course a Christian holiday, but one that has been transformed over the last few years into an annual trend...Of course we don't go so far as to cook a turkey or hang slippers on the fireplace, but we won’t say no to a good yule log.   
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