niedziela, 31 marca 2013

Polish-Dutch Easter


- What's happening here? - asks and older Dutch woman observing a parking lot getting filled with cars with polish registration numbers  and a crowd of people with little baskets walking in the direction of a church.
- It's a Polish invasion! - jokes Alex, Agnes husband.

On a Saturday afternoon, suddenly and out of nowhere, a little Poland materialized in a center of Arnhem, close to St. Martin's church. We were also there, proudly holding our little baskets. A Polish congragation did organise traditional food blessing, run by a cheerful prist, who joked a lot and with a huge smile on his face sprinkled the crowd and the baskets with holy water. All the seats were takes and the churched filled with Poles really fast. It's such a extraordinary and a bit surrealistic feeling to see all these fellow-courtymen gathering and uniting around our little tradition, though we're all far away from our fatherland. It must be really surprising and confusing view for the Dutch, who don't have same tradition.  

Our Easter basket with blessed food :)
Spending my very first Easter away from my home and family I decided to introduce my Dutch side of the family to some Polish traditions. We invited my father-in-law and Maurice's sister with her boyfriends to join us at an Easter breakfast. I planned everything well, but there were still few little problems. On a night from Saturday to Sanday we changed our clocks into summer time. As I expected our guests forgot about this change and they all came one hour later than planned. We should actually call it than an Easter brunch :D Neverthless it doesn't really matter, because it's not the hour that is important, but the people who gather around the table and a nice, family ambience.


Our table farm: lamb, chicks and... a butter hen ;)
We had everything that is expected according to the tradition: colored eggs, organic bread, very carefully selected by myself two sorts of ham, mini sausages, horseraddish, cockooflower, veggie salad from my mom's recipe, little lemon-poppy seeds cake and a Dutch accent: cheese, cucumber, tomato and fruit salad, made by Maus earlier that morning. First I told everyone (in Dutch! damn I'm good) in short about the tradition and few customs and than we all shared an already bit dry bread and the rest of the stuff from the basket. Tapping the eggs appeared to be a lot of fun for them and they did it more enthusisticly than I even expected ;) But than, who doesn't like to "attack" an egg of companion?

After breakfast there was still some coffee and mon chou cheesecake and a long conversation. My father-in-law did like the whole idea so much, he declared, that from now on he wants to spend the Easter this way. Every year! 

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