Easter in an Islamic country
Many years ago, I went to Iran with my then 3-year-old first-born son. I went to work for Bell International, but ended up working for the military because of the benefits.
When Easter came, the NCO club dyed 60 dozen (yes 60) hard-boiled eggs for an Easter egg hunt. First off, let me forewarn you that I am not a holiday person. I really don’t care for any of them. They have become just too commercialized for me, plus they always involve a family crisis. I think I might have liked them when I was young, but all the good feelings have long been shadowed by feelings of dread and forced smiles and relief when they are over.
Back then, however, I had a small child that was still excitable about those things, and I was a long way from home so I tried to compensate. (I should have just quit all together when I had the opportunity.) (O.K. maybe not. Maybe it’s just been a cynical day.) Enough parenthesis.
We went to the egg hunt and of course my little darling found 63 eggs. Now, that sounds like a lot, but when you think about 60 dozen…
Of course the question immediately comes to mind, what do we do with 63 eggs? Well, for those of you that don’t know, Iranians eat a lot of boiled eggs. We like boiled eggs, but they eat A LOT of boiled eggs. Most eat one or two for breakfast every day. Knowing that, I thought it would be a good idea to give away as many of our boiled eggs as quickly as possible so they would not go to waste. My son and I proudly carried a basket of several different colored boiled eggs downstairs to our landlord’s house. They invited us in, and as I told the story of the Easter egg hunts (remember Islamic country; does not practice Jesus resurrection), I noticed they began looking toward the basket. It was hard enough for them to understand how a rabbit brings boiled eggs for kids to hunt as some sort of significance to resurrection and Jesus, but when I handed them the basket their faces were shocked. I couldn’t understand what that look was about until Mr. Shab asked me quite seriously, “How many different colors of chickens do you have?”
They would not eat the eggs, and he politely declined both my eggs and my explanation of egg hunting.