All the way from Nepal
I have been collecting nativity sets for many years now. I have them in all shapes and sizes, made from all kinds of materials. I have them from Germany, Peru, France, India and other countries too. Last year, Magnet magazine ran an article all about the collection.
When I travelled to Nepal earlier this year, I really hoped to bring one back with me. Sadly, I was unable to find one – and bought a two-dimensional batik of the nativity scene instead.
Initially, I was disappointed that this was all I could find. However, when I got it home and unrolled it to take a proper look, I noticed one very important detail. Look in the bottom right-hand corner and you will see that the angel is hugging the shepherd. Can you see?
I was surprised by this, as I had never seen it in any other depiction of the nativity scene. However, a Nepali visitor to my home a couple of weeks ago brought some light to bear. She explained that, in her homeland, whenever the Christmas story is enacted, great emphasis is placed on the angels telling the shepherds not to be afraid.
What a lovely thing, to depict such a message with a hug, don’t you think?