13 May 2013

Orthodox Easter Ceremony, Romania

Walking in the night, on the sandy streets of Măgura to go to the monastery, at the time of the climax of the ceremony of the Orthodox Easter. Alex explains briefly his religion to me. We arrive Sfanta Treime where at midnight is the important hour of the ceremony.

According to different specialists, writers, philosophers and journalists; like Ryszard Kapuściński that in his book The Other speak about meeting with “the Other”; coming to the conclusion that there are three common denominators at the moment of the approach between two persons: the race, the culture and the religion. This last denominator is very influential. What drive the individual to gather together in a community, group, family? The history? The affinities? Culture? There is people who needs a belief, a faith, a conviction, to be able to go out forward with their lives; believing helps them day by day, and not only this, but they live through it, with it, it is a part of its existence, they love it. There are many religions in this place we call Earth, beliefs, which are a very important part of the life of it’s inhabitants. Very varied and others not so different, linked. Many religions are caught in continuous conflicts and they profess the love to “the Other”. What creates these conflicts? What makes them continue? Interests? Politic or economic? Both? The fear? Induced by the mass media?

At the moment in which you are immersed in a different culture everything is distinct, another world, in a same concept of life. We should try to assimilate and approximate cautiously, perhaps not so cautious, to the way the locals live, understand them, get involved, respect.

I remember when I was in Cambodia in the temples of Angkor Wat, near the city of Siem Reap. Walking, observing this architectural wonder of the ancient Khmer Empire. I approach two mothers and their children, two boys and a girl, all aged between 5 and 7 years. With their hands and eyes gestured, as if they wanted me to follow them: “come, come with us”. I did. We went room by room putting incense to their gods, to the statues, in different temples, praying. They taught me their culture, their history. Or when I was in Yemen and I woke up before the sun rose to see the people that were going to do their prayer in the morning, the Fajr, with the sound of the mosques reassuring and resonating through the streets of Aden. I saw their culture, their history. Or in Jerusalem, the Western Wall where people made their prayers, putting a piece of paper in the cracks of the ancient rocks of the wall, wishing. Now here, in Romania, they taught me their traditions, their history. What I have seen in these persons, cultures, traditions, races, religions is not that different from one another; people, daughters, fathers, mothers, grandparents, aunts, cousins, carpenters, taxi drivers, cooks, lawyers, who love, laugh, have fun, that are excited, emotional. Diversity is good, very good. Teaches us, we learn and grow with it.