By Ben Garcia

KUWAIT: 2020 will end for many of us without celebrations and parties. Families will spend the New Year in the comfort of their homes, share food with their loved ones, and take some rest. Kuwait Times spoke to some expats and asked what they have planned for the New Year. “My husband and I will spend New Year at home. It’s a tradition for us since when we were newlyweds and younger. Our children have families of their own now, so we see to it that we come home and share the blessings together every New Year,” said 55-year-old Patricia, a nurse who is married to an architect.

“I see to it that we are all at home at the advent of every New Year. My two kids have their own lives now – one is in Australia, the other in the Philippines, and they have their own families. We greet each other at the time of our respective New Years since we are in different time zones,” she said.

“If not for COVID, we would’ve been in Australia now. But we opted not to travel, not because of the recent travel lockdown in Kuwait. If we go to Australia, we will not enjoy the holiday because of too many restrictions there, so we preferred to stay where we are,” Patricia said. “I will call some friends to see if they can come over to my house and celebrate with us, otherwise I will celebrate with my husband only,” she added.

Family gathering
An Indian family is planning to spend New Year’s Eve away from the city. “We have an invitation from a family friend in Kabd. We are planning to go there on New Year’s Eve and stay there until the following day. That’ll be a change since we cannot go out of the country right now,” said Sunil, a father of three. “We want to unwind from the busy days and challenges – it’s draining, so we want to begin the year with new ideas and prospects of life.”

Sunil owns a restaurant in Salmiya. “I have people looking after the business, which will be open even on the New Year. That’s the time we get more customers, so I keep the restaurant open and give my workers additional money or bonuses,” he said.

Rafiq and his wife have invited their three married children to spend the New Year with them. “It’s good that we are all here in Kuwait. I have two other children who are unmarried, and we want all of them to be in one place during the New Year.

I thank Allah – because of COVID-19, they were unable to leave Kuwait. We can now gather as one family, unlike previous years, as my kids are scattered across the Middle East and Europe. Now they are all here in Kuwait because of COVID, so we can gather and talk until the morning of January 1,” he said.