Calgary – I love tradition. All cultures and religions have them. We in North America are blessed with the richness of so many wonderful cultures and so many great, tasty traditional foods. I am writing today about my Ukrainian culture.
I just experienced Easter in Ukrainian tradition. It’s a beautiful holiday, a rite of spring. So much tradition, so much food for thought, food for the soul, and just plain food!
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In our Ukrainian tradition, we take a basket of food to church the day before Easter for the priest to bless. Each food holds symbolic meaning.
- The bread with a lighted candle in it, symbolizes Christ, “the bread of life” and the light of life.
- Eggs are a reminder of New Life and the Resurrection of Christ.
- The meats, usually ham and sausage, represent God’s generosity and abundance.
- The cheese reminds us of our duty to moderation in all parts of our lives; butter represents the goodness of life
- The bitterness of the horseradish reminds us of the passion of Christ, His death on the cross.
- The Salt symbolizes each person’s duty to care for one another.
- Many of us, including me, add a bottle of wine. Jesus drank wine.
- I also added chocolate to the basket, because it makes me happy.
No guilt. Just satisfaction of having tasted beautiful chocolate. I ate a lot of all the good foods and they tasted wonderful.
Why do I speak of these special foods? Just that. They are special. When I taste them on Easter Sunday, I think about what they mean, what they represent. I appreciate that I am part of a fabric of many cultures that have special foods with their own deep symbolic meanings.
All of our traditional foods are a significant reminder about Mindful Eating – thinking about where our food comes from, what it symbolizes, and how it benefits our bodies.
I thought, how appropriate in this season to speak about Mindful Eating? When we are reminded about the symbolism of food, we are eating mindfully. You’re invited to come to my talk, Tuesday April 25. The theme is “Give Your Fork a Break”. It’s a brief one-hour session at the Calgary Public Library, Nicholl Branch, 1413 – 33 Street SW, near Westbrook Shopping Centre in Calgary.
I begin speaking at 7 pm. Come a little early and visit. We’ll have some fun, talking about our foods and Eating Mindfully. It’s free. Register here. Give Your Fork a Break.