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Should Christmas be observed as a festival in India?

It should be a matter of concern for our society that we have been under the tremendous influence of western culture. And as a result of it, our younger generation is lagging behind in many of our cultural values.

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Christmas also marks the birth anniversary of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Pixabay
Christmas also marks the birth anniversary of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Pixabay
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NEW DELHI: Here comes the Christmas Eve and one of the most celebrated festivals around the world. Christmas is a Christian holiday to mark the birth of Jesus Christ. The tradition to go with it calls for exchanging of gifts with your near and dear ones. This day does spread the spirit of joy and fervor.

But at the same time, we being  Indians must not forget our heritage and custom values. We should celebrate other festivals also but not at the cost of throwing wind to our own heritage. It should be a matter of concern for our society that we have been under the tremendous influence of western culture. And as a result of it, our younger generation is lagging behind in many of our cultural values.

There are few other occasions of great significance which comes around Christmas only but they are been overlooked by our own people, have a look below:

Birth anniversary of Atal Bihari Vajpayee

There are very few people who remembered the great deeds of leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee on this day. He has been the strength of pillar strength to our nation for many years. Vajpayee was also the former Prime Minister of India and man behind many of the successful economic reforms like the introduction of Fiscal Responsibility Act, Privatization, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Telecom revolution and many more. It was his dedication to serve the mother nation that enabled India to garner some global reputation.

Swami Shraddhanand Martyrs’ Day

Even some days back, it was Swami Shraddhanand Martyrs’ Day on 23rd of December. But again, no one even talked about it and nor it was covered by our media extensively. He was the founder of Arya Samaj and helped in rebuilding the entire Indian nation & Hindu society. He launched campaigns agents Untouchability and even proved that there was no such thing ever existed in our Vedas. He also raised his voice against child marriage and widows’ remarriages which were very much prevalent during those days.

Tulsi Pujan Diwas

December 25, is also marked as Tulsi Pujan Diwas by the Hindu community. Tulsi plant is regarded as sacred and a source of prosperity. It also produces more oxygen as compared to other plants and is holds great medicinal values. There is also a mention of Tulsi plant in Hindu scriptures. But again, there was almost no mention of it, neither it was carried the way Christmas articles and news were covered by our media houses.

So, we should honor our days and public figures like Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Swami Shraddhanand and pay rich tribute to their work and achievements. And it can be only possible if we pay more attention to our history and culture, rather going after other glittery things.

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4 Christian Movies on Netflix That Teach You History

In fact, many of them are either dramatic adaptations of Bible canons or simply historical accounts of that particular era with some moral lessons thrown into the mix to fit the theme of the movies.

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Christian movies get a bad rap
Movies about religion or Christianity are not necessarily religious in nature.

Christian movies get a bad rap. Many people avoid watching them under the assumption that they are a personal soap box for the directors or writers to showcase their faith in God. While you can easily make this case for a certain number of them, movies about religion or Christianity are not necessarily religious in nature. In fact, many of them are either dramatic adaptations of Bible canons or simply historical accounts of that particular era with some moral lessons thrown into the mix to fit the theme of the movies. Either way, while they are not full on historical renditions, they can teach you a lot about that historical era. Without further ado, here are four Christian movies on Netflix that teach you history.

Joseph & Mary (2016)

Joseph & Mary is a historical biblical drama that follows the journey of Elijah, a devout rabbi, who swears revenge upon King Herod the Great, who slaughtered hundreds of innocents, including his two child proteges. Elijah’s quest for revenge gets a lot more complicated when he starts spending time with Joseph, Mary,and their young Son, who challenge the very beliefs that fuel his rage.

Starring Kevin Sorbo as Joseph – which you might remember from the light-hearted Tv Show Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Captain Dylan Hunt in Andromeda –, and Lara Jean Chorostecki – of Hannibal and Designated Survivor fame -, the film, due to its heavy subject matter, might not be an easy watch for everybody.

However, history buffs will surely appreciate the care and detail that the writers and producers put into the décor, costumes,and script, as it feel very authentic from a historical standpoint. If you are interested to see more Christian movies that are historically accurate, make sure to check out this article on Netflix Guides, a website frequently updated with well-written guides and reviews.

Joseph: King of Dreams (2000)

Joseph: King of Dreams is a 2000 American animated biblical musical drama.  Serving as a prequel to the 1998 film The Prince of Egypt, the plot itself is an adaptation of the story of Joseph from the Book Of Genesis in the Bible. Not many people might think to get their history lessons from an animated musical, you will soon find out that Joseph: King of Dreams will shatter this perception. While the film does take some artistic liberties when it comes to historical facts, the animators made a great job of reconstructing the spirit and atmosphere of the era.

Featuring a stellar cast that includes Ben Affleck, Richard Herd (Get Out, Star Trek: Renegades) andMark Hamill (Luke Skywalker, and many other voice roles in animated shows and video games), King of Dreams is a great Christian film that will charm you with its smart direction, good music and enticing story.

The Book of Esther (2013)

Released in 2013, the film follows the story of Esther, a Jewish girl who is handpicked as the new queen consort to King Xerxes I of Persia. The story centers around Esther’s efforts to stop Lord Haman from exterminating her people. The film does take some artistic licenses from the Biblical account, but the main actress’ good performance compensates for any of the film’s shortcomings. If you are looking for an intrigue film with a historical Christian twist, then do not hesitate to try out The Book of Esther.

 Son of God (2014)

Christian movies get a bad rap
Christian Movies are worth watching.

Son of God is a direct adaptation of the ten-hour miniseries The Bible, which aired on the History channel throughout March 2013. Starring DiogoMorgado as Jesus Christ, Darwin Shaw as Saint Simon Peter, Sebastian Knapp as Saint John and Roma Downey as Mary, amongst others, the film is a retelling of the Biblical Story of Jesus, from his birthright until his crucifixion and ascended into Heaven.

Beyond Bofors: Beyond Bofors: An Untold Story Of India’s First Family

The story itself is seen through the eyes of an elderly John, one of Jesus’ most faithful followers, who is living in exile after being the sole survivor of the group. While the film does contain some recycled scenes from the miniseries (probably because they are produced by the same person, Mark Burnett, or simply due to budget constraints), Son of God stands on its own and is worth a view even if you have already seen the TV show. DiogoMorgado deserves special praise for his stellar acting, which is arguably one of the best interpretations of Jesus Christ after Jim Caviezel’s performance in The Passion of the Christ.

Conclusion

Many people tend to avoid watching Christian movies believing that they are either poor quality or too preachy. But in reality, only a small fraction of them are like this – most of them are quite balanced and made in such a way that even people who are not particularly religious can enjoy them. The movies that we have showcased in this write up, with their good casts and direction, appeal both to Christians, and people who enjoy good historical dramas. If you are looking for Christian movies but are unsure what to choose, do not hesitate to give these titles a try.