Monday, April 18, 2011

Coexisting

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I need to be honest here. Easter doesn’t mean anything to me. Growing up with a Hindu and an atheist parent in Malaysia, where Easter was celebrated quietly by Christians in their homes unlike the in-your-facedness of Christmas thanks to overzealous shopping malls, I had little idea what goes on during this event. I still don’t, other than the requisite egg-hunt, egg-shaped, pastel-colored candy and ham. There’s a bunny in there somewhere too, although I’m not sure how it figures into this whole thing.

I know the story about Jesus from my church-going days – how Good Friday and Easter are linked to his death and subsequent ascension into Heaven – but since I’m no longer religious, I hesitate to perpetuate a Bible story for my Little Miss, even though she goes to a Lutheran preschool, says her prayers before her meals at school, goes to church on Wednesdays with her little friends and occasionally breaks into a Bible song (which completely disarms me as I find myself singing along too). She will undoubtedly learn the “real” version of Easter from school, but I hope to find a way to celebrate without having to compromise my own beliefs in my own home.

Little Miss will be participating in an Easter egg hunt, and she has been coloring ducks, chicks and eggs all week in her class. I would really like to see all of this “work” culminate on a special day like Easter. And that is how two atheists, a Hindu, an agnostic and a toddler will gather around the table in celebration of the occasion with an elaborate brunch this Sunday. There would perhaps be some candy, an Easter basket and even an egg hunt for good measure. But no ham - we’re not fans.

However, should she someday ask me what Easter is all about, I think I will say it’s a celebration of spring. And should she counter with the story about Jesus, I will say that she may be right too. Then we’ll both sit on the couch, unwrap the Easter candy from the basket and greedily consume every morsel together; both peacefully coexisting with our own beliefs.

And both questioning at the same time…

 

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What does Easter mean to you? How do you and your family celebrate Easter? How do you make Easter fun for the kids (apart from the candy overload, of course)? Is there an Easter-related family tradition that gets you excited each year? If so, please share. One last question: What’s the bunny got to do with it?

Image source: The Easter bunny was nice to me, too by justmalia.

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