Monday, April 1, 2013

Never Give up Hope

Yesterday was least in Roman Catholic and western churches.

Although spring and Easter kind of snuck up on me this year(which seems reasonable living in a Muslim country), there were some things that happen during Holy Week to remind me of this special time of year. Here they are:

Monday - a Turkish teacher who had been in Harlem (Netherlands not NYC) last week brought me a pack of foiled-wrapped chocolate Easter eggs. Little did she know that I'd been wondering if I could find some. As a matter of fact, I was so excited that I jumped up and down while hugging her when she presented me the package.
Tuesday - I wished my Jewish colleague a Happy Passover and she was so excited that I'd remembered that she treated me to a Turkish coffee.
Wednesday - In anticipation of not being alone on a holiday, I invited some English speaking teachers to an Easter dinner at my house.
Holy Thursday - the new Pope's washing of inmates feet from many different religions made the news.
Good Friday - a friend mentioned in her blog that she'd attended a Tennebrae service. It reminded me how much I love the peacefulness at those services.
Saturday - I enjoyed the spring-like weather with my first dip in the sea near Cesme.
Sunday - I rode my bike and the ferry in beautiful sunshine to church, sang familiar hymns, and then cooked dinner and cleaned the house.

Aside from giving my young friends a home away from home during the holiday, another goal was to steer the conversation away from school. I also knew this would be a first Easter for one teacher's Turkish boyfriend so it was a good opportunity to share our culture. In lieu of dying Easter eggs, (I never found dye and just wasn't up to boiling vegetables) I found coloring pages of Easter eggs on the internet. I left those pictures and markers on the coffee table which were a big hit especially with the elementary teachers. When I served the traditional tray of deviled eggs, I learned that deviled eggs were my family's tradition. Nobody ate OR dyed eggs as children. (I thought EVERYONE did those things..I'm always learning even about my own country.) I talked about how making the deviled eggs was the children's job as a way to keep them involved with the dinner preparations. Aemon from Ireland ate his first deviled egg and second and third and so forth..They are addicting..

As corny and forced as it sounds, I asked everyone to talk about their favorite Easter memories. They were all pretty typical (Jacqui from England liked Cadbury eggs, and Sarah from America did, too. I still don't like the way the stuff oozes out of them like a raw egg. Paul from America liked Easter egg hunts and finding plastic eggs filled with candy. But my favorite of all was Ugur from Turkey who said this was his best (and first) Easter ever. He added that thinks it's much more positive for kids to hunt for eggs and eat candy than to watch a sheep be slaughtered and die which is the tradition for the Muslim Kurban Bayram,

To wrap up this year's Easter, I was catching up on some old video clips and saw the Cardinal of Washington being interviewed about the new Pope. In answer to the question how he would explain the meaning of Easter to non-Christians, he answered, "Easter is about hope. Never give up hope that we can make things better." I think Ugur from Turkey figured that meaning just by virtue of the egg hunt - the possibility of finding candy versus the sheep slaughter - the reality of death.

1 comment:

  1. Only you could bring Easter to Turkey. Sounds like it was a great time!