Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Easter Bells - Prague (April 2004)

Easter was a couple days ago, but I forgot to post this on the actual day. So, this is a window full of Easter decorations. There is no lack of tradition in Eastern Europe, and Easter is one of the poster children of traditionalized holidays. One of my favorites was the Easter whip tradition. This tradition consists of boys weaving (or purchasing) intricate willow branch whips which they use to terrorize girls under the pretense of extra long life and health for the ones who get whipped. Somehow I doubt this is a tradition that would fly in America. The procedure is, or so I was told, for a boy to approach a girl and ask for one of her painted Easter eggs. In exchange, he whips the back of her legs. I never saw it happen like that. You give a boy a whip and he's going to run around like a headless chicken whipping anything that moves. That, in fact, is what I generally observed. Fun times for everyone. Well, the girls are entitled to retaliation via water dumped on the heads of the boys, if they can catch them. One Easter in Slovakia I witnessed a woman attempt this fully justified retaliation against her family of boys, including her husband. It was humerus to watch culture in action. They were running around their house, and the woman had picked up the family water hose during the pursuit of the whip wielders. I actually witnessed her chasing the offenders into the house, water spraying haphazardly everywhere. The next thing I saw was her backing out of the house slowly, completely drenched, and no longer in posession of the hose, which was now aimed very effectively at her head. My favorite tradition...


Blogger Michael said...

Sheesh. That is the best idea ever. Except instead of wooden switches, I think we should use bazookas, and instead of water, napalm. That way we could be real americans.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005  

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