Thursday, April 4, 2013

Swiss Easter (and more April holidays)

As I mentioned in a previous post, most people in Switzerland have at least two days off for Easter - Good Friday (the Friday before) and Easter Monday (probably a fairly self-explanatory date, even if you aren't Christian), making for a four-day weekend.

My German class was no exception, which meant that we had almost five entire days off from the language. It seems that several of my classmates traveled or were otherwise occupied and failed to get around to their homework - and none of us had apparently practiced the language in our time off. To put it delicately, some of us suffered more from the break than others (No, I am not going to tell you which group I belonged to. I will say, though, that at the very least, I hadn't lost the ability to conjugate "to be" unlike at least one classmate. Day 1 of class, people, come on!).

On Tuesday, when we all regathered after various adventures, our teacher spoke briefly about Easter - I was hoping for a lively conversation a la David Sedaris (if you haven't read his story about his French class and the Easter bunny, click on the link and do so - scroll way down to find it. It's one of the funniest pieces of writing I have ever come across. Ever.).

Unfortunately, everybody in the class seemed to agree that indeed a Hase (rabbit) is responsible for the delivery of eggs on Easter morning. Although the instructor did stress that the Hase did not bring die Kinder chocolate - my first attempt at this sentence was shot down, although I was unclear if it was due to atrocious grammar or incorrect information. Instead, he carefully mimed his way through his version of a traditional Easter morning in which the rabbit must first hide the eggs, and the children must then find them. It may have just been he was trying to ingrain some new vocabulary, but overall his version didn't feature enough chocolate for my taste (no pun intended, but now I'm keeping it there), and also didn't resemble my Easter mornings as a child, in which there was chocolate waiting for my sisters and me in baskets in the morning and the egg hunt was later and just involved bonus candy.

Certainly there were bountiful chocolate displays in the months (yes, actually months - these things showed up practically right after Christmas) leading up to Easter, and I am hoping that my trip to the grocery store today will reveal that, as with Halloween in the US, somehow chocolate loses its value post-Easter and I can grab some on the cheap. I have no children, so I don't mind if the rabbit visits me a week later than usual. Especially if he's made of chocolate.

I still have high hopes that other Swiss holidays will lead to German class confusion; sometime in the next few weeks, there is a Zurich-specific holiday that involves the (literal) burning of a snowman effigy, which sounds promising. 

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