One Does Not Simply…Write About Anthropology

My Time as a Graduate Student

Easter Weekend

on March 31, 2013

DSCN0088As I have stated before in previous posts, it is hard being over 700 miles away from the ones your love. This is the first Easter that I wasn’t with my family.  With school, it would be a hard and expensive weekend to try to visit the family in Virginia. But soon enough I will be able to be with them in May and June for a short time. Brian was able to travel down here for the weekend and he really hasn’t been here since October of last year. As I think about it now, this weekend was really short and it was really hard to see him go today. Not many people can say that they did what we are doing now. Since we first started dating our time together has been limited, he was at TBS and then school in Va Beach and now he is stationed in Jacksonville, NC., while I have been helping taking care of my father and now in Grad School in Florida. I do not regret going to grad school because professionally it was the right choice, I just miss him. But this time apart, as we have realized, has made us grow closer together, built our communications, and our relationship. And as soon as we get married, there is a chance of him deploying. We really haven’t had a break from being apart. I am trying my best to work on my degree so that I can get a job teaching because teaching and anthropology are my joys and passions. But I still has some work to do with it.

So that is my sob story for the day, but a recap on the weekend.

Not realizing that it was Spring Break here for many of the public schools, our plans to try to go to the beach and to the downtown area failed on Friday. We spent a few hours in traffic and turned around and came back home, that night we did go out to theDSCN0111 beach on the base. Saturday, however, we were able to make to the Pensacola Beach where we walked along the boardwalk-ish area, rode of a Ferris (my first time), and had our traditional trip ice creme.

No matter where I go, the anthro-senses tingle and I have a tendency of people watching (which every anthropologists does). People watching at the beach is interesting because it is an area where you can bare all, drink, and the common behavior is to get drunk in public and try to impress by displaying the body   –  and its the norm of beach culture.

As mentioned, today is Easter and I thought I add some anthropology to it. Like all holidays, Easter is gendered female…why? Well think about all that incorporated with the major holidays…gathering of family, preparing food for a gathering or family, and who does this traditionally? The mother or wife of the household. When we incorporate anthropology of food and preparations, traditionally it is the woman who prepares meals that incorporate the bringing the family together and the preparing of the food is usually a slow and all day preparations to ensure that everything is right for the family. So we genderized this food preparations as female, where as male foods and preparation are fast foods like burgers, hot dogs…food that can be prepared quickly like on a grill. Such as the summer holidays – Forth of July.

DSCN0126There is also the giving of gifts. Easter it is giving of chocolate, small gifts (sometimes big gifts) and eggs. Again there is an exchange of gifts, but it may or may not be reciprocal.

When we look at Easter, it is really the reversal of Christmas and signifies the end of the festival cycle. It indicates Spring, the rebirth of life of Earth where Halloween (the beginning of the festival cycle) and Christmas are within the “dead” months of the year. Easter is the time when Christ is born again from death and emerged from a cave that was his tomb, this tomb is metaphorically a womb and creation of life. Caves in Mezoamerican culture are symbols of life and of the womb, thus the symbolism of birth is gendered female. In contrast to Christmas, which signifies the birth of Christ through the womb of the mother Mary. Both holidays symbolize birth, but in two different ways.

I may have left a few things out with that, I honestly have not thought about the gender of holidays in a long time. I do believe that maybe a side project. However, like everything anthropology…there are bound to be disagreements and such but honestly this is just my take on the holidays…more to come.

Happy Easter.

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