Spring is almost here and I’m excited not just because winter is coming to an end. I’m ready to put away my Christmas wreath and pull out the ceramic bunnies that will decorate my living room for the next month. Yes, Easter is coming soon! My shopping list ready for Easter-themed craft for the kids (paints, wax, eggs, yes, I’m that mom!), and on top of that list are as many chocolate eggs and bunnies as I can get away with without setting a bad example. In fact a few years ago when we lived in a condo building in downtown Calgary I found the kids were missing out on back yard fun but I still managed to organize an indoor Easter egg hunt. Not as fun or challenging as one outdoors would have been but it was the tradition that mattered.
Easter shouldn’t be that important in our family, after all I’m not Christian.
Growing up in India even though festivals were around every corner, Easter didn’t feature anywhere on our Top 10 list. Since we moved to Canada, the day has taken on more significance especially since we added kids to the mix. Not “Christ is rising” kind of significant but more Bunny and Eggs kind of important. I don’t observe Lent and giving up favorite indulgences like chocolate for any length of time is not my cup of tea. There’s no “abstain and be penitent” in our home, instead we just skip a few steps and get straight to the “feast and celebrate”.
Did I mention Easter is big in our home?
My kids are growing up, as have the celebrations in our family. The reason Easter or for that matter Christmas is important in our home is not because of our religious beliefs. People from far corners of the world come together in Canada to call it home, and there could be a Lunar New Year Parade one month and then Diwali fireworks another. My children have crafted dreidels in daycare and Chinese lucky coins at school, and they look forward to learning about new cultures and traditions.
This is not always the case with everyone. Currently there is a hue and cry going on over cultural appropriation and the Yoga class fiasco at the University of Ottawa. A Yoga teacher was let go last year when students complained that the teacher was culturally appropriating yoga and hurting sensitivities of the people from the Indian subcontinent.
The thing is…she wasn’t. There is a difference between appropriating someone’s culture and appreciating it. There is a fine line, and context and respect help make that line clearer. Yoga though to me doesn’t even come close to crossing it.
I’m just glad I don’t have to show my church membership to have an Easter Egg Hunt in my back yard. Yes, of course the nuance is lost when we appreciate another culture in a superficial way. I don’t observe Lent after all, so why should I deserve Easter? But nuance doesn’t come when we ignore diversity, rather when we embrace it.
So I’m moving ahead making new traditions and happy memories with my hubby and kids, far away from the land I grew up in. Surrounded by diversity in Canada, it’s easy enough to get into the spirit of other faith celebrations as long as we remember to be respectful and consider the context.
And Easter comes naturally along with spring as we shed our layers and the memory of that frosty windchill. It’s time for new beginnings.