[MGSA-L] How NOT to celebrate Easter

George Baloglou gbaloglou at gmail.com
Fri Apr 22 02:44:18 PDT 2011

2011/4/22 George Baloglou <gbaloglou at gmail.com>:

> This recollection comes from an elderly Ukranian lady (Mariupol
> region, native Greek speaker):
> Prior to 1955 there were no functioning churches in the Ukraine, and
> Easter celebrations (involving red eggs and tsourekia called "pascha"
> by Greek and Ukrainian/Russian speakers alike) were restricted to
> private homes. To prevent children from celebrating Easter, the
> communist authorities devised the following plan and day trip:
> children were expected to show up at school by 8 AM on Easter Sunday,
> carrying a bucket; then they would depart for the fields near the
> river, and there they would repeatedly fill their bucket with water
> and flush rats out of their holes, killing them upon their surfacing.

I forgot to mention a crucial detail: the above described rat hunting
expedition was an once-a-year event strictly associated with Easter
Sunday; I asked my informant repeatedly about this, until it became
clear to me that we are not dealing with a broader local tradition.
(For the record, the Mariupol Greek word for "rat(s)" is
"tzoubrani(a)": the Ukrainian/Russian word is different, so we know
that this one is Greek indeed, even if impossible (for me) to decipher
and trace to an ancient Greek word.)


Γιώργος Μπαλόγλου -- Θεσσαλονίκη

http://www.oswego.edu/~baloglou (1988 - 2008)

http://crystallomath.wordpress.com (2009 - )

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