Cultural Glimpse

Enjoying diversity

Tag: Africa

Easter Egg Coloring Burnout

Easter is coming up so I did what mothers do days before the great holiday – I had my kids color eggs. I prepared the table, had the six color dying tablets ready, adding a tablespoon of vinegar to make the colors more vibrant. Everything was perfect until my oldest niece, in an attempt to help me, knocked down the crystal bowl of green water. My entire kitchen tile was green and had shinning tiny crystal scattered throughout. I warned the kids to keep their feet on the chair as I cleaned up the mess. My niece rushed to the bathroom where I suspect from the length she stayed there, she was crying.

My son was crying as well. “I wanted the color green! It’s my favorite color!”

My mother tried to help by asking irrelevant questions like, “Why did you pick today of all days to color eggs?” And, “Why don’t you see why your son is crying?”

I gritted my teeth and brought everyone sandals as I continued to scrimmage for glass on the floor. In no time I heard complaints of “The eggs are finished! Bring us more!”

As if I could simply turn on the faucet and boiled eggs pop out.

On a more pleasant note – the custom of the Easter egg originated amongst the early Christians of Mesopotamia, who stained eggs red in memory of the blood of Christ, shed at his crucifixion. The Christian Church officially adopted the custom, regarding the eggs as a symbol of the resurrection; in A.D. 1610, Pope Paul V proclaimed the following prayer.

Eggs, in general, were a traditional symbol of fertility, and rebirth, pre-dating Christian traditions. The practice of decorating eggshell is ancient. Ostrich eggs with engraved decoration that are 60,000 years old have been found in Africa. Decorated ostrich eggs, and representations of ostrich eggs in gold and silver, were commonly placed in graves of the ancient Sumerians and Egyptians as early as 5,000 years ago.

Have a wonderful Easter everyone!

Easter Egg Coloring 2013

Is Africa Next in Line?

Africa

In March of 2009, when I was six months pregnant with my second child, I was invited to attend a tour of the 09L Army Interpretation/Translation program in Fort Jackson, South Carolina. For years, Chaldeans and Arab community leaders from all over the U.S. were gathered at Fort Jackson to be educated about the program, return home and spread the information they’d learned in order to recruit new 09L soldiers.

I wrote an article about this program, which included a quote by the chief instructor and course developer at the school. He’d told us, “Although there has been a slight shift in recruiting efforts, I don’t think it will slow us down. By end of the year, we’ll start recruiting Farsi, Dari and Pashto (Afghanistan) language. By next year, the African language.”

I wondered how far ahead of us the government really was. When I saw what was happening in Mali, then Algeria in the last couple of days, I figured, they’re so ahead of us that by the time we utilize our freedom of speech, it no longer matters. The event has been already set in motion some 50 years ago. Meanwhile, we’re crawling as slow as a snail to comprehended and catch up with a fraction of what the government did 50 years ago.