Have you ever thought about what other people may be doing on the same day in the other parts of the globe?
For many, this day is closely related to religion and Christ’s resurrection. On the other hand, there are countries where there is not even the smallest sign of Easter around.
At the exact same time when you are sitting at the table with your family, consuming loads of amazing home-made meals, somebody is dying, someone else is: being born or conceived, fighting with his loved ones, getting married or drunk… Others are trying to survive in harsh environment walking miles to get drinking water.
(All the names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of the people involved.)
Agata wakes up. She feels her baby’s moves for the first time during pregnancy. She is happy that the baby is alive but she comes to conclusion that actually this is not a plesant feeling at all – as if a big bubble broke under her skin. She hopes for another move but finally falls asleep.
North India, 9am
Neha cooks Dubki wale Aloo, potato curry, for her 3 younger sisters and 2 brothers. Then she goes to wash everyone’s clothes in hands by the polluted river. She is 12.
Mumbai, India, 10am
Rohan goes out of the house without breakfast, meets his pals. They decide to go for a road trip by his brand new white car to get out of the city and catch up. It’s their weekly tradition. They eat, drink and talk.
Carmen wakes up late after Saturday night out. She came back home in the morning. She spends the whole day in pajamas, talking on the phone with best friend, discussing the situations from last night’s beach reggae party and trying to remember what actually happened and who kissed whom (and yes, she was skinny dipping and the water was really cold!).
Jaya watches some TV shows eating oatmeal. Then he continues working on his new clothing line. He is nervous about his fashion show coming up in May. Later that day, he’s going to skype with his family back in Indonesia. They are very proud of him.
They are about to stay in bed and relax. No family gathering this year. Even though she was born in Hongkong, she’s Catholic. They will eat congee soup for brunch sitting in their modern balcony, looking at the skyscrapers and green hills. They will excercise pole dance in their tiny livingroom. If the weather is good, they will go rock climbing.
Yoel doesnt’ have to go to the office as he celebrates Passover (Pesach), a seven-day holiday commemorating the exodus from Egypt. He spends time with his whole family gathering around the table. They also invited some friends who don’t have their own families. They can’t eat anything with leaven but they eat loads of matzah instead. He likes this period because normally he would work on Sunday. They work Sunday-Thursday and then rest on Shabbat. He wonders if they will ever introduce the Monday-Friday working week so that he could spend more time with his German girlfriend.
Mirva slept a lot after a big night out and dancing. Her legs are sore and her makeup is still on her face. She goes to the kitchen and eats mämmi (a rye porridge), with milk for breakfast and regrets it immediately as it is too sweet. She says mämmi looks like sh*t but tastes heavenly. She always has it for Easter. She makes fun of her little sister dressed up as “trulli”, a witch. Her face is painted with dots as dimples. Trullis go from door to door around the neighborhood holding a willow stick decorated with colorful feathers in their hands. They chant the neighbours, wishing them a good and healthy year.
Efthalia eats fruit salad and drinks espresso for breakfast. She is careful about her diet as next week her whole family is going to their holiday house by the seaside to celebrate Greek Orthodox Easter. They will paint eggs and pray over an artifical grave of Jesus Christ decorated with flowers. They will go to church Saturday midnight with candle lights for a long resurrection mass. They will eat a lamb soup called “magiritsa” and roasted lamb. Then they will go to the beach and relax. They love this tome together.
It’s been a third week since Laila has been a volunteer in an orphanage up in the mountains, around 4000 metres above sea level. They don’t have warm water, washing machine, soap, toilet paper. They are not afraid of huge spiders, lizards or bugs. There’s no wifi. She brought 100 paper notebooks, pens and used clothes. The children are so happy! Teenage girls give her jewelery they made themselves. Small ones ask for chocolate. Laila says: No candy for you, kid! Your teeth will fall out! They answer: Why not? Sometimes those strange white people give us the black bars and candy! They have never brushed their teeth. The only doctor lives 20km away in the city and they have to walk down to visit him when something happens and they don’t have money.
Toshi buys a bag of chocolate eggs for his girlfriend and a carrot flavored Easter Kit Kat for himself. He says Easter is just a commercialized holiday in Japan when chocolate factories make great business. You can buy kawaii painted eggs and see people dressed as bunnies on the street parades. His girlfriend loves chocolate, he says.
She bakes traditional Polish cakes, babka and mazurek and they will soon go to church in the neighbourhood. It will be their twientieth anniversary this year. She met him somewhere in Asia during business trip and moved Down Under right away. They will go celebrate in Fiji.
New Zealand, 6pm
Hanna is angry at her boyfriend because he didn’t put water in the freezer to make ice for the party. She invited their neighbours and Chilean friends to the yearly Easter dinner. They will eat lamb, smoked mussels, drink Chilean wine and taste beef empanadas. Later, she will see her Polish sister on skype and complain how much she misses the taste of horseradish and will tell her about the new amazing natural oil she found on the Galapagos island where she was doing reaserch about thyroid activity in turtles.
Julia spends her Easter without children, eating Easter breakfast at her parents’. The day before, on Saturday morning, she went to the church with her offspring to bless the Easter basket called “święconka” – a basket full of food. It is a Catholic tradition in Poland. The basket is filled with sugar lamb, bread, painted cooked eggs called “pisanki“, salt, pepper, and a slice of meat, each having a symbolic meaning. According to the divorce agreement, her children spend this day with her ex-husband. She goes to the church alone anyways. She goes there every Sunday.
NYC, USA, 6am
Kasia wakes up early in her rented luxurious Upper East Side studio apartment, drinks water with lemon and goes downstairs to the gym to keep up her workout routine. She eats scrambled eggs with half of avocado for breakfast. Her calendar is full but she is well organized and conscientious. She can’t let herself go – she will loose her job otherwise. She has two shows today. She puts a book into the bag and goes out to conquer the world. She runs through the streets of Big Apple to be there on time. One fashion show lasts 20 minutes but the preparation lasts 3 hours. In the evening she connects online with her parents who tell her what they ate for Easter breakfast back in Poland. She regrets that she can’t feel the tastes and smells of food through the Internet.
Tomasz wakes up smiling, next to Esmeralda breastfeeding their one-month daughter. They met on student exchange 10 years ago. He jumps out if bed and dances his way to the bathroom thinking about all the food he will eat today and all the outdoor fiestas to attend this day with his family and friends. They will eat a lot of shrimp, fish and salad with nopales and black beans. He says, the festive atmosphere of “Semana Santa”, a Holy Week, is visible everywhere. It looks like carnival, he says. Crowds of people go out to the beaches, streets, wear colorful costumes. It’s hot outside and they will eat frozen desserts called “paletas“. He loves Mexico. He dances his way back to Esmeralda, kisses her forehead and tells how much he loves her – both in Spanish and Polish. She bursts out laughing: – Deja de hacer el ganso! Stop playing the fool!