Thursday, March 28, 2013

Week 13; Easter

We will celebrate Easter this week, so it was quite natural that I chose Easter as this week's topic in the conversation groups. I had some material with me that dealt with Easter traditions in different countries. First people familiarized themselves with the text, and then we discussed the information and compared the different traditions and customs. It was quite surprising to notice that Easter traditions are actually quite similar in many cultures even though local features exist. It is also common that pagan rituals have been intertwined with religious content, and over time these two might be hard to tell apart.

A big event in Israel takes place on Easter Day in Jesus's tomb. I'm referring to the event where the church leader goes into the tomb and comes out with a burning torch lit inside the tomb on its own, without any external source. When we talked about this on Monday, one person mentioned that there is footage about this on YouTube. There is, and we actually watched a clip with the Tuesday and Thursday groups. It was filmed by one of the spectators and the quality of the footage was not terribly good, but it became evident that the atmospere on the spot must be extremely intense and anticipatory.

We will be having our last sessions next week, and we agreed to have a juke box jury again. It is a nice way to end the spring semester; to listen to some good music in good company and talk about it!

I've had a really great time with these discussion groups, and all in all I've been very well received in my new job. Now teaching will step aside for awhile, but will continue again in the autumn. My idea is to update this blog every now and again in the spring and summer, but I'll continue my weekly updates again when the teaching season starts again in September.

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