What I learned from these Easter holidays and how the Lebanese do it!

This(ese) Easter(s), I realized that I have become more “racist” than I really am, or at least paid more attention to religion than I usually do. Maybe it is because Western and Eastern Easter Holidays usually coincide and we don’t have to ask too many questions.

But this year, people were more sensitive than ever to the timing of your greeting. You couldn’t wish them a Happy Easter when it was their Palm Sunday. You had to get the timings perfectly right, and I was slightly confused.

As a child and growing up a bit, Easter to me was all about going to Teta to dye the eggs and have a massacre cracking them. More importantly, it was about running away from the Easter bunny. That is not me because I couldn’t find my picture. But it could have been easily me, ask my kindergarten teacher.

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So this time around, I started all my conversations over the past 2 weeks with, “Are you Roum or Maronite/Catholic?” (Also learned the Maronite, Catholic story. Thank you Clairi!)

Although I really don’t give much attention or care to these things, I didn’t want to piss anyone off! And the truth remains that I did learn a lot about Easter and especially how the Lebanese celebrate it.

1. “Al Masih Kam” should be followed by “7akkan kam”. Although I had heard that expression a million times, I did not know that I was supposed to finish it. So when someone said to me (out of all people) “Al Masih Kam” I would simply smile at them and say something like yup! he did! So when a friend at work explained to me what I should answer, I realized that I might have insulted many. And I am sorry for that. “Al masih kam, 7akkan kam”

2. The weather. It has everything to do with religion. Are you crazy?! It is an important testament of which party God prefers. But it is a tricky one here, it should rain on Friday and be full of sunshine by Sunday. Does this mean that God approves Eastern Good Friday, and Western Easter Sunday? I am seriously still confused, but thankful that this week is going to be sunny.

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3. Palm Sunday. Sha3nine. So I can now say that I know the meaning of this date in Christianity. But what I do not understand is why get dressed like you are going to a wedding, and styled by a melange of Madonna and Clauda El Chemaly. Beats me.  Continue reading