Friday, November 27, 2020

Thankfully no more Black Friday

Sigh of relief. No more Black Friday in Lebanon. At least for this year.

Like other "traditions" or rituals imported from other cultures (the Halloween and St Barbara mix still astounds me), we bastardized everything. Black Friday came to Lebanon sans Thanksgiving. But with the full regalia of the discounts and the "opening of the festive season" (the earliest postings point to 2016 the last right after the crisis started in 2019). With the Lebanese cash strapped this year, with the advertising so exceptionally down (Independence Day was a good indicator) and with the whole mood of the land particularly morose, the Lebanese are - understandably - no longer trying to pretend. 

So how come I seem upbeat about it?

Well, I am not against rituals and traditions, far from it, and I often argued it is rituals that agglomerate communities rather than faith. But it would be nice not to import cultures and just shove them in the face without understanding where they come from. 

With open shops and shoppers who are buying too few and in between, with Lebanese people are driven to the edge, with cash too spare for most families and middle class being tested to the point of vanishing, perhaps - if you have faith - now is the time to delve into it, and if you enjoy rituals, to accommodate them to the size of this all out horrible year.