Hi there. we have had some really busy time at school with projects and other tasks that we couldn’t be posting the last meetings we have had. However, here we are back on track.
In this meeting, we started discussing the way we celebrate Easter in our countries and was there when I found out that people in Vietnam don’t celebrate it and not even something similar. Therefore, I asked for other celebrations they do in that time of the year. Chi, mentioned a popular one called “Trung chu” that literally means Mid-autumn festival. This is specially meant for children, they make a huge parade around their neighborhoods with colorful torches, they are allowed to eat candies, cakes and also get some presents. It seemed really cool and reminded me about those parades with torches I used to do as a kid when I was in the Elementary school.
On the left a typical Vietnamese cake for the Mid-Autumn festival. On the right a big children’s parade commemorating this date.
We couldn’t quite compare these festivals with the way Peruvians celebrate Easter, but I can mention some main features we have for those dates such as the religious approach we have for this time where we visit different churches, listen the mass and also have some typical culinary traditions as not eating meat (chicken, pork or beef) but fish instead. Of course, this features may slightly vary from one city to another.
As our both country celebrate Easter we wanted to comparate and explain our habits during this Holy day. In Finnish easter is “Pääsiäinen” and in french “Pâques”. Even if they have quite the same traditions we noticed some differences.
Nina told me that one of the festivities here is “virpominen”, when all the children in the neighborhood dress up like trulli, or witches, and carry brightly-decorated willow branches door-to-door to wish “vitsa”, or “Happy Easter!” to their neighbors, receiving candies or coins in return.
In France children only do that in Halloween. When it is Easter day, generally parents or grand parents hide some chocolate, usually Easter Bunnys, eggs or chicks, and children have to find them in the garden or in the house. The story is that bells go to Rome for Holy week that is why, for mourning, they don’t ring during this week and on Sunday they ring again and while they are coming back from Rome they drop chocolate eggs over gardens. I really loved thos celebration when I was a kid because it was nearly the only moment of the year I could eat lots of chocolate and it was very funny to look for chocolate.
However, in terms of cooking we eat the same meal which is a leg of lamb, most likely because it is the Christian tradition. In France, flageolets beans join the lamb, for starter we eat asparagus and for dessert, chocolat eggs, of course. Nina told me they have a special Finnish dessert called “mämmi”, made of rye, that you generally love or hate (she hates it).
For our 6th Each One Teach One meeting we just met at TOAS City. Our topic was easter and we decided that everybody should bring some sweets and snacks. In the end we had homemade cookies, grapes, apples and chocolate.
First we talked about typical easter habits in our countries, such as the German easter egg hunt, the easter bonfire or the 7-churches walk in Mexico. Fernanda told us that she had to promise her Grandma that she would go to at least one church in Tampere during easter. We figured out that easter is actually quite simular in both of our countries. Of course, because we are a christian country and Mexico is katholic.
Some vocabulary that I have learned concerning to easter and food that day, are:
egg – él huevo
balls – huevos
grape – la uva
chocolate – él chocolate
easter – pascua
bunny – él conejo
This year Ukrainian orthodox Ester was on the 12 of April.
Though, I am not a christian, sometimes it is nice to remember some traditions of your country when you are living abroad for a long time. So, on Easter Sunday we decided to arrange a combined EOTO again with 2 study-pairs: me and Hyun Ssong and Olha and Yoon Soo.
Also we invited our other friends to make it more fun. So, as a result, we celebrated Ukrainian Easter with people from Ukraine, Russia, the USA, South Korea, China and Japan.
Though our traditional Easter food is Pasha, it would be very difficult to make it by ourselves, so we decided to make it easier and just cook traditional Ukrainian dumplings stuffed with potato and mushrooms called “varenyky”.
Because of the lack of cooking experience, they weren’t the best varenyky I ever ate, but stil our friends liked them a lot.
Also our friend Fernando made a spicy chilly sause and to my surprise, Korean girl Yoon Soo couldn’t eat it, as it was too spicy to her. It was funny, as Koreans are famous for eating very spicy food, but even for me that sauce wasn’t very spicy 🙂
Anyway, we talked a lot about different traditional dishes of our countries and it was nice that our EOTO friends could experience at least a small part of our ukrainian culture, as national quisine is a big part of it.
After that we sang karaoke and played a nice music quiz game. We spend a really good time together, but I was a little bit sad, that our EOTO meetings are coming to an end quite soon, as our new friends will go back to South Korea and Japan.