Easter Chicks? Absolutely. Smile, it's Good News ....!
Elspeth Dugdale | April 18, 2014
Prompted by a friend in Romsey asking 'What happens at Easter in Uganda? How do people celebrate?', I started to think about the differences......
And catapulted back to the UK last week - courtesy of those nice people at British Airways - it was immediately evident that the majority of shops and supermarkets are stuffed full of chicks, rabbits, yellow decorations, recipes for Roast Lamb and every type of chocolate egg imaginable - even laced with gold leaf, if you have £200 to spare. Radio shows chat on endlessly about the 4 day weekend and how many hours of sunshine to expect- it must be the Easter holidays!.
And in Uganda?
Certainly WTA is also on holiday now for a month; Term One is over at last. Both students and teachers really looking forward to spending Easter with their family. But more importantly, most people in Uganda make a point of going to church, dressed in 'Sunday Best'. They may also attend all night prayer meetings, and take part in public Easter Parades in the streets, carrying banners and huge, wooden crosses. If possible, families and communities will eat mounds of chicken and rice, or matoke (baked, mashed plantain) with groundnut sauce. Chocolate does not feature - not because it's so hot that it will melt, but because it's simply irrelevant. And expensive!
Truthfully, it is hard to explain to our Ugandan friends why, in the UK, many celebrations now are not really about 'Easter' - and that the 'reason' for Easter has simply been airbrushed out. WTA students are often amused and incredulous that the very existence of God is up for debate and discussion. There is a straightforward clarity about this view that I find very refreshing and uncluttered. Of course, there are lots of opinions and extreme views that are difficult to follow or share, but on the matter of Easter, Uganda has retained something that many have lost. They are full of hope.
So the chocolate obsession, Easter bunny stories and egg hunts don't get a look in at all. But technically, the chick does in fact make a significant appearance at Easter - from the market, into the pot and then onto the plate.... So, as long as you're not a chicken, this weekend is all about the Celebration and a reason to smile about the Good News. Happy Easter from us all!