Monday, April 17th, 2017
TOO MANY PERSPECTIVES
There are times when I wish I had one perspective and one only. It must feel so simple to
see things through one lens. Sure of being right. Not bothered by a strong alternative point of view. No multi anything. Clear.
What triggered this thought was Easter and its varied celebrations in different cultures.
I was lucky enough to experience many in my global work. I would love to be able to follow the path that led to these traditions. Who started the idea and why it stuck.
Here’s one that I bumped into by mistake. Big mistake. I was in the Czech Republic working, running a leadership conference. I noticed there were big and small twisted sticks with varied color ribbons on the end. Festive. I grabbed a bunch to spiff up the boring sterile ballroom we were working in. Well I learned what they were and fast. The sticks are used for Easter Monday. Men go door to door to visit the moment. The women bend over and are ‘spanked’ with the switches. Sometimes the men splash the women with water too. How very jolly. AND then the women give the men a shot of whiskey and off the men go to the next house. Think what the last house they visit must be like. Well there. Anyway, the modern women leaders did not like that I had put the darn switches everywhere in the room. Out they went and a great cross-cultural discussion ensued. (Look it up, it’s for real)
Then there is Mexico that doesn’t involve eggs except at the start of Lent when eggs are hollowed and filled with glitter and white flour and the goal is to crack strangers over the head with them. By the end of the day, all brown faces are powdered white. The Friday of Palm Sunday all houses are decorated with purple and white and so are the churches. People go house to house to view them and to receive—-a Popsicle. Used to be salt water representing Mary’s tears, but the kids must have hated it and thus the Popsicle. Easter Sunday, effigies of Judas are exploded all over town like a pinata stuffed with firecrackers. Very satisfying
Belgium has flying church bells. The bells are quite from Good Friday until Easter Sunday.
They fly away and come back with chocolate and other candies for the children. I imagine a priest trying to tie the sweets to Holy week somehow. “Here’s an idea. The bells are quiet anyway. Let’s say they fly away and bring back candy. Show of hands??? Good. Flying bells it is.
I can’t leave out Greece. Greece does Easter with great joy. Yep, eggs but only red–the best shade of red ever. Red is great for Easter–blood and fertility!! “Forget pink and yellow. We got it” Everyone has them and use them up fast. Two people each hold and egg and hit it against one another’s egg. Whichever egg doesn’t crack wins. Sacrosanct.
I take it back. I don’t want one point of view. I love the variety and the richness of so many differences. Fertility, pagan Spring, Christ’s resurrection are all tied together. Christ would smile and understand it all and understand us as well.