Easter in a foreign country
It's 4 pm and coffee time at grigoryan's family home. There is chocolate cake with a special decoration and armenian tea. On the living room table and on the dining room table there is a bowl with sprouting corn kernels, which have already grown into a small bunch. This symbolizes spring, 11-year-old narek tells me. One look into the small apartment is enough to know that a christian family lives here, because the easter decorations cannot be overlooked.
Red easter eggs
"In armenia, easter is celebrated with red eggs. They are cooked together with the peels of red onion. How to get the red color. They are an important symbol", explained mher grigoryan, while the family confirms his statements. His family of five arrived here in high city two years ago. "For us easter is a rough festival that begins after 48 days of fasting. During the fast, we eat vegetarian food and fish, but no oil" he says. "And spinach, but no butter", adds his 7-year-old daughter nare.
A week before easter there is a children's day. Everyone in the family gets an egg. "The children play with the red colored eggs. The game heibt eggs beat. The red eggs are good for your belly and protect against bad eyes", says nare. On good friday is then eaten rice with vegetables.
Unlike in germany
"With us there are no easter bunnies – with us it's a marienkafer. The red color of the mary's oats and the eggs symbolizes the blood of jesus", narek emphasizes. "And the egg the globe", adds the 38-year-old father of three, while his wife, gohar harutyunyan, who is feeding their six-month-old baby awetis, shows me pictures of decorations with red eggs. "Jesus died, every drop of his blood is for every man", narek emphasizes again. "In armenia I used to go to church, light the candles and bring them home. That warms your house and gives us light from jesus. On easter monday we went to the cemetery like everyone else and smoked incense. But here we have no chance to do that", says grigoryan.
Easter is mother's day in syria
Easter is different for the ibrahim alghrawy family. There is a lot going on here. The family, originally from syria, has lived here in hochstadt for almost three years. In the kitchen, the mother of dalal alhamzawy prepares arabic coffee. Drauben plays 12-year-old al rayan, the oldest of four children. In the living room, little taleen watches her favorite cartoons on KITA. Her four-year-old sister alwatin is busy with her mother's smartphone. "Come on, tell me what you did yesterday", I call out to the two girls.
But then the mother comes in. "How do you celebrate easter?", I ask. "For us it is mother's day", dalal answers and becomes very emotional and cries. My question reminded them of their late mother. I try to reassure them. Then she says "this day is very important to us. We always celebrated it with my mom. My two grannies and my aunts were there, the whole family gathered, it was a great family party. We had a barbecue in the forest. All the kurds celebrated this day and we, the arabs did too. It was like a sugar feast.
Giving gifts to the neighbors
We also had christian neighbors and gave each other presents. For us, easter is the beginning of spring. We exchanged gifts, especially for mother – all women got gifts. It is a time to honor mother. We celebrated with a lot of sublatives, the children got a lot of presents, for example new clothes" explains dalal. "I miss my grandmother, my aunt, everyone actually", interjects al rayan, who has joined us in the meantime.
"In syria, all the branches have been "decorated, says lujayn. "How to celebrate this time?", I asked. "With a cake, answers al ryan quickly. "I think mama will bake a cake, like in syria. But our father is sick, maybe there is nothing special. My favorite place was syria, my friends and i used to play with toy guns. It was fun."
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