Friday, April 10, 2015

The Significance of Easter
Each year many people celebrate Easter, which celebrates Jesus Christ's resurrection from the dead, is Christianity’s most important holiday. It has been called a movable feast because it doesn't fall on a set date every year, as most holidays do. Instead Christian Churches in the West celebrate Easter on the first Sunday following the full moon after the vernal equinox on March 21. Therefore Easter is observed anywhere between March 22 and April 25 every year.
Easter is really an entire season of the Church year, as opposed to a single day observance. The lent consists of a 40-day period leading up to Easter Sunday, is a time of reflection and penance and represents the 40 days that Jesus spent alone in the wilderness before starting his ministry, a time in which Christian believe he survived various temptations by the devil (History,2015). Even though I am not a Christian I still celebrate the 40-day period leading up to Easter Sunday since most importantly I believe in god and the religion that I practice consists of the 40- day period leading up to Easter Sunday. In fact every Friday I could not eat anything that contained meat and instead we ate seafood or chicken. Furthermore Good Friday, which honors the day of the crucifixion, and Holy Saturday, which focuses on the transition between the Crucifixion and resurrection (History, 2015). Are two important days that are follow by Easter Sunday and in these two days my parents are very strict in eating meat since they observe it as an offense towards god. The 40-day period following Easter Sunday is called Eastertide and includes a celebration of Jesus’ ascension into heaven (History, 2015).
Although Easter maintains great religious significance, many children in countries such as Australia, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, think of it as a time to get new spring clothes, to decorate eggs and to participate in Easter egg hunts where eggs are hidden by the Easter Bunny (Taylor, 2014). For instance during Spring break I went to the Plaza frequently to buy clothes that contained colors that transmitted Spring. Also I went to the stores to buy my nephews candy since in the United States it is consider that some children receive Easter baskets full of candy, snacks, and presents around this time of the year.In addition to Easter’s religious significance, it also has a commercial side as evidenced by the mounds of jelly beans and marshmallows chicks that appear in stores each spring including Easter eggs bunnies, baskets and candy, have become a standard part of the this holiday (Taylor, 2014). In addition I have always wonder myself what does the symbols of the Easter eggs and Easter bunny meant so I did a research during Spring Break and I founded out that Easter eggs and the Easter bunny are both fertility symbols, holdovers from the feast of Eostara (Taylor, 2014). The symbol of the cross and images of Jesus Christ through paintings or statues are remembered on Easter day.
There is a lot of confusion regarding what Easter Sunday is all about. For some, Easter Sunday is about the Easter Bunny, colorfully decorated eggs, and Easter egg hunts. Although most people understand that Easter Sunday has something to do with the resurrection of Jesus, but are confused as to how the resurrection is related to the Easter eggs and Easter bunny. Overall it does not matter if people observe Easter as Easter Bunny or as the resurrection of Jesus since the most important thing is that Easter especially Easter Sunday units family.
"Easter." A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2015.
Taylor, Judy S. "Easter." Articles about. Chicago Tribune, 14 Mar. 2014. Web. 22 Apr. 2015.

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Origin of Saint Valentine

Each year on February 14, many people exchange cards, candy,gifts or flowers, with their special “valentine”. The day of romance we call Valentine’s Day is named for a Christian Martyr and dates back to the 5th century, although the origins in the Roman holiday Lupercalia.
The history of Valentine’s Day is obscure, and further clouded by various Fanciful legends. Borgna Brunner(2007) evaluates that the holiday roots in the ancient Roman Festival of Lupercalia, a fertility celebration commemorated annually on February 15. Even though it is say that the Pope Gelasius I recast this pagan festival as a Christian feast day circa 496, declaring February 14 to be St. Valentine’s Day. Furthermore Brunner(2007) emphasized that St. Valentine, the early pope intended to honor remains a mystery. With factual evidence that has been found there were at least three early Christian saints with the same name. Everything is a mystery since almost anything is known although it is curious that Brunner(2007) illustrates that all three Valentines were said to have martyred on February 14.
Most scholars believe that the St. Valentine of the holiday was a priest who attracted the disfavor of Roman emperor Claudius II around 270. According to one legend, Television Network (2015) the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that all single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families and he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.  
The history of Valentine’s Day and the story of its patron saint- is shrouded in mystery. We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day as we know today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman traditions.

"History of Valentine’s Day." A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2015.

Infoplease. Infoplease, n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2015.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Discrimination on the Ground of Religion or Belief

The meaning of culture takes place in discrimination, persecution and inequality that relates to issues similarity to the speech of Martin Luther King Jr (1963) “I have a Dream” speech discussed the dreams that is very ingrained in the American Dream. That one day this nation will rise up and live out that “all men are created equal”. Culture may be classified as creating ideas and it relates to the discrimination since humans might be thought to believe they might be superior to others.  In similarity, Jordi Moreras (2012) addresses that Muslims are being discriminated against for demonstrating their faith on the ground of religion or belief.
King (1963) emphasized that one day this nation will conduct equal of rights. That injustice and oppression will be transformed into freedom and justice. King (1963) also included his children as an example of hope since he cherished  his children living in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. Evolving that progress will be made when different color of boys and girls will be able to join hands with each other as observing them indifferent. With hope and faith will transform the injustice of the nation into justice knowing that freedom will be acquire.
In general people assume that Martin Luther King Jr (1963) speech “I Have a Dream” was mainly referred to the end of racism and to classify that nothing is impossible. Moreover now on days we all contain the same rights although King’s dream has not come true. Just because over time we have progress it does not prove that racism has become to an end. Now on days stereotypes are the number one cause rather than people getting discriminated based on the color of their skin. Stereotypes discriminates and harms people and unfortunately people don't get a second chance because they are being judged by appearance. Overall it is believe that society is the cause of racism. Discrimination will always exist since we can’t control opinions although the issue has gotten under control since now on days racism goes against the law.  
In addition, Jordi Moreras (2012)  demonstrates the challenge of negative stereotypes and prejudices against Muslims, fuelling discrimination especially in education and employment. Muslim women are being denied jobs and girls prevented from attending regular classes just because they were traditional forms of dress, such as the headscarf. Europe exposes the impact of discrimination on the ground of religion or belief on Muslims in several aspects of their lives, including employment and education. Europe has already raised issues such as restrictions on the establishment of places of worship and prohibitions on full-face veils. Moreover Moreras (2012) mentioned that wearing religious and cultural symbols is part of the right of freedom and expression that is the part of the right to freedom of religion or belief. Everyone has the right to establish places of worship as a component of the right to freedom of religion or belief which is being restricted in some European countries, despite state obligations to protect, respect and fulfill this right.
Overall Martin Luther King Jr “I have a Dream”speech concluded that even though we face difficulties, one day people will be self evident that all men are created equal. Even Though in general discrimination will always exist although the issue has gotten under control with law restrictions. Jordi Moreras (2012) address that everyone has the right to express their cultural, traditional or religious background. However Europe legislation prohibits discrimination under ground of culture even though it creates a major conflict towards a higher rate of unemployment and discrimination among Muslims.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Dia de los Muertos

The Mexican culture is perhaps one of the most fascinating cultures worldwide. The mixture of strong native legends,artistic expressions and Spanish culture make the Mexican culture unique. Being proud of their native heritage, Mexicans have preserved many of their ancestors traditions.
More than 500 years ago when the Spanish landed in what is now consider central Mexico the Spanish encountered natives practicing a ritual that seemed to be mocking death known as “Dia de los Muertos” (“Day of the Dead”) . Although the Aztecs and other Mesoamerican civilizations viewed it  as the continuation of life and instead of fearing death they embraced it. To them life was a dream and only in death they would become truly awake. Unlike the Spanish that observe death as the end of life and considered the ritual to be sacrilegious.The indigenous people had been practicing “Dia de los Muertos” (“Day of the Dead”) for at least 3,000 years. Although more than 500 years ago when the Spanish landed in what is now central Mexico they encountered natives practicing a ritual that seemed to be mocking death.
In the article entitled “Day of the Dead: Celebration, History & Origins” May Herz discussed that from the beginning of time, man have felt the need to explain the mystery of life and death. Causing many civilizations and cultures create rituals to try and give meaning to human existence. Henz explains that the Indigenous people of Mexico, death was considered the passage to a new life and so the deceased were buried with their personal objects that would probably need in the other life. Constantly even their pets were sacrificed in order for them to accompany their masters on their long journey. “El dia de los Muertos”, the “Day of the Dead” has been celebrated in Mexico, and other Latin countries. It is the day in which the living remember their departed relatives. "Day of the Dead" is a beautiful ritual in which Mexicans happily and loving remember their loved relatives that have died.
In addition, in the article entitled “Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)” Constance Cortez describes the festival celebration. In fact “Dia de los Muertos is celebrated on November first and November second. Furthermore Cortez, describes the two special places where this ritual is especially impressive; Mixquic, a small town in Mexico City, and Janitzio, a charming little island in the state of Michoacan.The state where Janitzio is located contains an extraordinary beauty of  lake that was consider the door to heaven and that through it the gods used it to come to earth. Overall Cortez emphasized that the natives acquired these culture with new cultural elements by blending  and adapting  them to their own culture and from this fusion new beliefs and ritual were born such as the celebration “Day of the Dead”.
Mayan traditions maintain present in the Mexican Culture and perhaps the biggest form of expression that represent the Mexican pride. It is fascinating to see how ancient traditions progress through time instead of disappearing like other cultures.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Why I am doing this?

I am really passionate in learning about different cultures. In fact I get extremely enthusiastic and passionate in learning about the history and modern of culture. Every culture has its difference points of views and every culture has a meaning behind it. The believes and myths is what makes the culture more interesting and its what sustain the culture alive. Their are many different cultures in this small world that have many differences although they also contain countless similarities.