Saturday, April 07, 2007

Keeping Traditions

I’m sorry I’ve had writers block lately. I’ve had some allergy problems with all of the new plants blooming around me, so I don’t quite feel like writing. I do want to make a quick note though.
Easter is a little different here. Palm Sunday had no palms in church and Easter Sunday will have no trumpets, but I think trumpets would be really strange in this church. I’m now realizing how much the text of the music we sing at Easter means to me, because I almost feel like I didn’t have a time of Lent. Today we painted eggs, but this is the first “Easter” activity I feel like I’ve participated in. I will experience more Czech traditions in the next few days. For most Czechs, Easter happens on Monday with a strange tradition where men come around and hit women with a braided rope-like stick, and then the women give the men the painted eggs they have prepared. I have been dreading this day, but I think it will pass smoother than I think. This Monday custom poses a problem when I talk about Easter with the kids in the classes. They all think Easter happens on Monday and many of them don’t see it as a religious holiday. I’m working with most of them on activities for our April Fool’s Night, so I only talked about Easter in two classes.
I think my lessons reflect how Easter hasn’t been on my mind. It’s different when I’m watching movies and not TV, and I’m listening to CDs and not the radio. Advertisements are not flashing as reminders everywhere I look. My mother and sister have been very kind to send me candy and other Easter reminders. I realize I’ve been very passive in my past Easter holidays, letting others create the holiday for me. So now, here I am in another culture, and if I want this holiday, I have to be more active and celebrate it. So the music I’m playing tomorrow sounds as joyful as I have music to be. I had my Bible with me for the Good Friday service last night, and tomorrow I will have to read more scripture still, if I want to truly remind myself. I’ll call my family, and I’ll share my candy. I have no white shoes, but I will wear my best dress that I brought. I know we will have an Easter Egg hunt, and maybe there is even more in store for me, as I rediscover this holiday through the eyes of the Czechs. More to come after Easter Monday.

note: The big white egg is the Ostridge egg I got in our Dirty Santa game at Christmas:-)
note 2: As strange as things may seem, we do have daffodils and beautiful blooming flowers. Nothing as strange as a white Easter in Oklahoma.

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