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Monthly Photos January 2011

Photos taken by ILCAA staff and associates are posted here once a month; most of them are taken during their field research in Asia and Africa.

(The copyright belongs to the photographers.)

Daily Life in the Holy Cathedral

Nativity Church in Bethlehem is the place where Jesus Christ is supposed to have been born as is depicted in the Holy Bible. Now the site is consecrated by a beautiful church containing several cathedrals of each religious denomination. The awesome scene of the Masses on Christmas day here is broadcast all over the world and catch eyes of the faithful. If the condition permits, the President of the Palestinian National Authority also attends this Mass though he himself is a Muslim. I too attended the Mass once. Although I had a reservation ticket, the church was already packed when I arrived, and I was just allowed to take a peek from the sidewalk in the overcrowded cathedral.

On the very beginning day of the New Year, again I visited the Nativity Church. Knowing that there is no custom to celebrate the New Year – “Oshogatsu” – like we do in Japan, still I was curious how people would welcome the New Year in this church. It was pretty quiet inside without reflecting the bustle a few days before. The cathedral where I got mobbed was now decorated with beautiful flowers and candles. I was told that a wedding was going to be held there on that day. Happy Wedding on the happy New Year ’s Day in the Nativity Church – sounds so much special, but maybe not for the people in Bethlehem. Two dressed up gentlemen with a strained look were talking at the entrance as is commonly seen everywhere else.

JAN 2005
Nativity Church in Bethlehem on the New Year’s Day
Photograph by Aiko Nishikida

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