We asked our slum kids for their version of our Christmas legend. To write us a song of Baby Jesus and Klong Toey.
Their own song also tells of the old proverb: Those in power write the history, and those who suffer write the songs.
Of course, our kids love the traditional account of Blessed Lady Mary & Joseph and Baby Jesus, who came to Bethlehem. Of Angels singing in High Heavens. The Star shinning in the East, guiding the three Wise Men and the Shepherds: the Birth of the Son of God.
Their song begins when Pregnant Lady Blessed Mary had to leave her home in Nazareth and travel to Bethlehem.
Why did she have to go? She just had to. Joseph had to go to follow government regulations to pay his family tax, and she had to /wanted to go with him.
So back to Klong Toey, our children pooled their lunch money for ‘instant noodles’ for pregnant Mary to eat along the way. Plus, some cookies which you can buy in the fresh market. Cheaper than the store.
As the three day journey to Bethlehem was certainly dangerous, the children didn’t know exactly what to do about that. But they decided to give Blessed Mary some money for her Sim card for her phone... in case she ran out, and maybe if Joseph needed to call for help – he could even our kids and they, for sure, would come to scare away the bad guys. And our kids would buy Joseph a whistle that sounds like a policeman’s whistle to blow also.
And where to hide, from the bad guys, if they came around. Not in Klong Toey bus stops, because the electric lights there are usually broken, so it’s kind of dark sometimes, but to stay out in the open where there are street lights with motorcycle taxis so everyone can see you, where it is safer. Also most of the motorcycle taxi guys used to be street kids.
Even in front of a 7/11, never close convenience store, or maybe even go inside. But that might be a problem, if St. Joseph didn’t have any money to buy anything. The people in the store don’t like that: you go in, but don’t buy anything. Especially around Christmas time.
And in the Klong Toey song, the Holy Family traveled to Bethlehem okay. True, Joseph didn’t have much money, so our kids figured he and Pregnant Lady Blessed Mary might possibly have to sleep on the street. Now sleeping on the street is never ‘cool’ even if ‘you’ve done it before.
Even though our kids are experts on where and how on the street. This was a problem, but some nice man and his wife had an open cave/stable nearby. They saw that Lady Blessed Mary needed a place. Said Mary and Joseph could stay with their family and that the cows and sheep would help everybody stay warm. Also, they had lots of fresh clean straw.
Another idea; all agreed that Pregnant Mary and Joseph could stay here with them, and when Lady Blessed Mary’s time came, our house mum would go with her to the hospital, so she wouldn’t have to pay.
Lady Mary gave birth to her baby Son Jesus, and the angels sang in heaven and the shepherds came with their children and the shepherd mums helped, Mary and her new born Baby Jesus, and the Magi brought nice presents.
Our kids wanted the Magi to give them a ride on their camels, but they were afraid to ask. It wouldn’t be polite. But they brought presents also. Blessed Lady Mary and Joseph clothes looked kind of funny. So got them some Klong Toey clothing from our 2nd hand donated clothing shop, as they want Joseph & Mary & baby Jesus to ‘look good, Klong Toey style.
And our children nick-named him “Uncle Joseph” and of course, Lady Mary & baby Jesus - Nong Pra-Jesu in Thai. They knew that Uncle Joseph was a carpenter guy, so they brought all their broken toys... to be mended.
The oldest writings say that Blessed Lady Mary with her new born Baby Jesus and Carpenter guy, St Joseph stayed a few weeks – there in Bethlehem.
After a month, as was custom, they took Baby Jesus to offer him to God in the Temple. Shortly after that, Joseph had his dream. The bad guys were on their way. They must run. Run away that very night. Right now.
The bad guys were coming to kill Baby Jesus, and hurt Lady blessed Mary and Joseph because they would fight the bad guys to protect Baby Jesus. They ran away, fled to the border of Egypt. Got their safely. Stayed there till Baby Jesus was about six years old. Then came home, quietly to Nazareth where Jesus grew up.
The rest of the Christmas song & legend of Baby Jesus, Blessed Lady Mary, and Carpenter Guy Joseph, I leave as a blank page for all of you. To write, to sing, with the story of your own lives.
AND FINALLY A CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR BLESSINGS FROM US – ME AND OUR SLUM KIDS.