Mar 23, 2008
Anything Can Happen is the first memoir of George and Helen Waite Papashvily. George emigrated from the Republic of Georgia to the United States in the late 20s, and the book tells of his first decades here. It's one of my favorite books. Here is an Easter excerpt:
Next morning, in honor of the Day, all us foreigners have habit to kiss each other and say, "Christos Voskrecé."
"Looks so nice," Miss Betty says, she's giving childrens their breakfast, "What does it mean?"
"Means Christ rose. You supposed to answer, 'Voistinu Voskrecé.' I do believe that He rose! Like Americans say, 'Happy Easter.'"
"But so much better," Miss Betty said, "Christ rose. I like it. Sounds so sweet and serious for Easter morning. Christ rose."
"Christ rose!" Besso came in the kitchen and kissed everybody.
"I believe -- how you say -- I believe He rose?" Miss Betty told him, "But I thought you was an atheist, Besso?"
"Certainly I am. we take for example story of Adam and Eva -----"
"I know," Miss Betty said. "You explained me that yesterday. But why you say, Christ rose?"
"Why? After all," Besso looked hurt, "just because person is atheist -- Christos Voskrecé, Piotr. Challico --" He kissed them on both cheeks as they came through the door. -- "Because person is atheist he doesn't need to have bad manners."
I was thinking about easter all day yesterday. If I'd have been at home, there would have been a big dinner at my mom's and probably my dad's too (although now that he can't really eat, I have no idea how that's working). It would have been festive, but entirely lacking any reference to the actual holiday other than bunnies and chocolate. I was having a hard time reconciling why non-believers would even bother, but clearly it's a great excuse to get together with family and eat and celebrate each other. And chocolate.
Posted by: stew | Mar 24, 2008 6:54:11 AM
Thanks, Stew! I'm glad to read about your take.
I have some other friends who actually make a practice out of Lent (giving up certain things, etc.) even though they're not anything close to observant Christians. I'll see if I can poke one of them into commenting.
Posted by: Phil | Mar 24, 2008 12:01:09 PM
I am will to celebrate prett' near anyone's holidays if the holiday is in anyway "a great excuse to get together with family and eat and celebrate each other." Chocolate, of course, is a bonus.
Posted by: Leta | Mar 24, 2008 1:04:39 PM