Voting thieves into power

>> Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Ramon Dacawi

Holy week holidays are lazy days spent with old acquaintances and friends at Camp Peppot in Burnham where ties are renewed. Meetings and not so solemn parties are held here from Palm Sunday down to the wee hours of Easter Sunday. Although this time, I am no longer sure if I can stay up that long.
It has been a lazy week that I did not have the energy to think and write a serious article. Anyway, I assumed that Holy Week should be a good time to take a leave from serious and stressful writing.
I was always confused about the Sunday before Easter that it pushed me to write something about it. The names for this, according to the worldwide web come from plants that are used in the Catholic “ritual” – palms.
Hence, Palm Sunday. They may also be any plant branch, thus the terms “Branch Sunday,” Domingo de Ramos and Dimanche des Rameaux.
In some countries in Europe, real palms are unobtainable, so that people use these plants such as olive branches in Italy, yew, spruce, willows and pussy willows. In other places, some plants were called “palms” because of their usage, as the yew in Ireland, the willow in England called “palm-willow” and in Germany – “Palmkatzchen”.
From the use of willow branches, Palm Sunday was called “Willow Sunday” in some parts of England and Poland, while in Lithuania Palm Sunday was called “Verbu Sekmadienis” or Willow-twig Sunday. The Greek Church uses the names “Sunday of the Palm-Carrying” and Hosanna Sunday”.
Hundreds of years ago, it was customary to bless not only branches but also flowers of the season. Hence the name “Flower Sunday”, Flowering Sunday or Blossom in England, Blumensonntag in Germany, Pasques Fleuris in France, Pascua Florida in Spain, Viragvasarnap in Hungary, Cvetna among the Slavic nations, and Zaghkasart in Armenia.
On the other hand, Easter Sunday is linked to the Jewish Passover by having similarities. In many languages, too, “Easter” and “Passover” are identical and very similar terms.
Passover was the Jewish festival that took place before the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ. The two holidays have been entangled from the beginning so that the word “Pasch” that meant “Passover”, later came to mean Easter.
Of course, we know that the Passover originally evolved from the time Moses was ordered by God to confront the Pharaoh as told in the book Exodus. The confrontation gave rise to a competition of powers between the two that resulted to nine plagues against Pharaoh. Still, the Pharaoh did not want to free the Israelites so God brought down a 10th and most fearsome plague.
The last plague was that every firstborn offspring in every house in Egypt would die that night except those who remained in houses where a lamb had been sacrificed and its blood painted on the doorposts of that house. The promise was that everyone would be safe. Death would pass over that house. So this day was called Passover.
For the Pharaoh, his loss if he did not obey, would be that “his son and heir to the throne would die”.
At a time when Holy Tuesday was being observed, President Barack Obama was speaking to Cubans while a seriesof three bombs exploded at the Brussels International Airport, immediately injuring 230, killing 34 and still counting.
What a contrast of sorts. Many Cubans went home after their self-exiles and after Obama and President Raul Castro started talking about rebuilding a broken bond, reconciliation, new life. That was the scenario in Latin America, and while the Christian world was in the Lent and was about to observe the Passover and Easter, Catholic Christians in Belgium were being killed by Islam extremists.

Relatively, I wish to share a story about leaders and thieves in the Biblical past. When the Pilate asked his subjects, “Who should I let go?” Majority of his people answered “Barrabas, the thief.” These days, more than 2000 years later, a scattered majority of people still vote into power none other than thieves. What a contrast. 


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