THE MICHIGAN DAILY
SUNDAY, DECEMBERS, 1955
TUE MICIIIGAI% JIAIIA SUNDAY, DEUEMDER 8, i95Y
HINTS TO WISE SHOPPERS:
AM-FM Clock Radios
9 HI-Fl Phonographs
* Transistor Radios
0 Portable TV Sets
WE HAVE THEM AL L !. .
Stop in and see them at
HI-FI TV STUDIO
1317 South University - NOe8-7942
(1 block east of new CampusTheatre)
On I 14 Shoping Days
Left Until Christmas
CHURCH BELLS RING:
African Drums Welcome Christmas
Fraternities Give Parties for Children
By SUSAN HOLTZER
Drums mingle with church bells
to herald the coming of Christmas
in Africa. -
The traditions of Christianity,
Mohammedanism and paganism
mix and meet amiably on the
Dark Continent when Christmas
arrives, rarely colliding as they
do at other times. For the three
classes of religions in Africa merge
during this season to transform it
into a joyous time of celebration.
Christian traditions, of course,
predominate, for this is a Chris-
tian holiday. Church services play
He'll love his
118 East Huron
31/2 blocks from campus
a large part in the Christmas cele-
brations; in most countries, morn-
ing services aTe attended faith-
fully, while in Nigeria the even-
ing service is most important.
Many inland tribes, however,
use Christmas day to pay homage
to their own particular gods, eith-
er instead of or in combination
with Christian beliefs. Lagoons,
grottos and similar tribal sanctu-
aries are populated with worship-
pers, many returning from church.
The British population in Af-
rica has brought with it most of
the customs associated with a
Western Christmas, and these
have been adapted,in modified
forms, by many of the natives.
Christmas trees as Americans
know them are virtually non-
existent, for no fir trees grow in
Africa. But the custom of decor-
ating a tree has begun to be emu-
lated by many African families.
Use Palm Trees.
There are no small, convenient
trees, so native families utilize
what they have outdoors, hanging
great palm trees and bushy shrubs
with gaily colored decorations.
Flowers\and palm fronds are used
to brighten the churches.
There is some exchange of gifts,
but in most countries it is not on
a large scale as in western nations.
In Ghana, however, Christmas is
the time of year to show immense
gratitude, and therefore gifts, if
given at all, must be on a grand
Liberia perhaps typifies the in-
termingling of cultures, for Christ-
mas Eve, is the time for dancing
in the streets as well as tradition-
Devils Come Out
This is the day that the devils
come out - that is, the ftin devils,
for the others have been exercised
by the advent of Christianity.
Some come on stilts, others ap-
pear almost truncated, all roam
the streets scaring passers-by.
In Ghana, Mohammedans join
the celebration, adding to the gen-
eral gaiety with their tiny "Don-
do," or tightly-strung drums that
play a high-pitched, happy noise.
And in Nigeria, all barriers fall
as Christians belonging to clubs
are feted by their non-Christian
Christmas party was first con-
ceived in 1939 as a community
service of the IFC. The program
of movies, games and gifts was
first held in Hill Auditorium.
The growing number of young-
sters and the need for a more per-
sonal and friendly atmosphere
compelled the IFC to have the
parties in the individual fraternity
Three weeks before the party,
each school child is given a let-
ter from the IFC addressed to
the child's parents. The letter ex-
plains the party and also in-
cludes a permission slip for the
parent to sign. No child is in-
cluded' in the project if he does
not have direct permission from
The parties affect about 4,000
Ann Arbor families and their ap-
preciation is evident by the num-
ber of letters and cards received
by the IFC from both the parents
on the children and also the lo-
cal school authorities.
Problem of Choice
"We always have a problem
choosing Santa Claus," Nick.
Christopher, '59, IFC social chair-
man and coordinator of the
Christmas party, said smilingly.
"Everyone wants to play the
part of Santa and we only need
two. It's always a hard choice,"
In previous years, all children
from the Ann Arbor school sys-
tem kindergarten age through the
fourth grade were invited. "We
decided to only include mentally
retarded youngsters this year,"
Christopher said. "In this way, we
can reach the ones who are really
in need of some Christmas joy."
"One of the biggest thrills for
a retarded child has been such a
small thing as hanging a piece of
tinsel on a Christmas tree," Chris-
topher said. "The IFC is trying to
give these sometimes forgotten
youngsters this opportunity.
"It may be small but they will
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IFC CHRISTMAS-Approximately 130 mentally retarded children
will invade fraternity houses this Saturday afternoon for the
Inter-Fraternity Council's annual Christmas party. Santa Claus
will be on hand to pass out gifts and bring a bit of Christmas joy
into the lives of the underprivileged children. Sororities will lead
in the singing of Christmas carols and corral any wayward boys
and girs. One group of fraternity men will travel to St. Joseph's
Hospital to entertain those youngsters confined to beds.
By BARTON HUTHWAITE
A Greek-letter Christmas is in
store for approximately 130 men-
tally retarded children next Sat-
Several fraternity men will don
Santa Claus suits, take orders
Christmas Eve and hand out gifts
in an effort to bring a bit of the
Christmas spirit into the lives cf
the underprivileged youngsters.
Christmas trees will be trimmed,
soft drinks and potato chips pur-
chased and instruments tuned up.
Sororities will add the feminine
touch by leading in the Christmas
carol singing and coralling way-
ward boys and girls.
The highlight of the afternoon
will come with the timely arrival
of Santa himself. Six houses will
open their doors from two until
five in the afternoon. Men from
14 other houses will assist in the
Inter-Fraternity Council's 18th
annual Christmas Party.
One entire fraternity will travel
to St. Joseph's Hospital to bright-
en the lives of those unfortunate
enough to be confined to bed. A
baton twirler, fraternity band and remember it for a long time to
a singing group will be featured on come. I'm sure this year's Christ-
A IN the program. mas party will be every bit the
The idea to hold an annual success as it has been in the past."
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