Holy Cross Day

The Church bells are ringing. Such ear candy. They don’t ring enough here and when I get to hear them, I revel in the sound. Today is an Orthodox holiday. One you are supposed to fast for.. When I looked at the Serbian Orthodox calendar for holidays, this one is highlighted as a STRICT Fasting day. Fasting here is not not eating, it is eating no animal products. Beans are the staple food, breads, and fish add to the meals. It is not as if people don’t eat, but they eat blander foods. Farting after is obligatory!

My mother-law made beans yesterday with no pork fat in preparation for today. I really can’t stand these beans with out pork fat and meat, and even sometimes with it. Other times, I could eat a ton of them with the right pork fat and meat. I think it is the cut of the meat that makes the difference.

She gave us a jar of the said beans as we were leaving and reminded me that “tomorrow is a fasting day”. Even though she knows I am Protestant. I don’t mind fasting so much, as long as there is diversification in food. There isn’t in my Serbian family, Ever!

Thank God I have an Orthodox friend in the U.S. who gave me great ideas for a virtual smorgasboard of possible posna hrana (fasting food).  But because I am in Serbia, most of them aren’t an option much to my regret! (YUM YUM Indian food!) Pasta is the one thing that I can make and probably will. I will dice up some fresh tomatoes and saute them with some garlic and drape it over the pasta. YUM!

With joy, I conclude that tomorrow will not be the traditional “Pass Gas” holiday in our house! Good thing, because it is already the internationally celebrated holiday of my BIRTHDAY! Holla!  And I already got the best gift! A Kiva loan donated in my name! How awesome is that!

Holy Cross day is a celebration of finding the Cross and the miracles that are to have been procured as a result. I would much rather celebrate the miracle of the work done on the cross when Christ gave his life for us. That is what today will be for me… It is like a second Easter. 🙂 With Pasta!


Serbian Sightings_Ninja Nuns

Yesterday, I went to the grocery store. Everything was business as usual till two Orthodox nuns came in. I have only seen them at a monastery previously. On a day when the weather could melt any normal human, I was shocked to see this couple out and about in their black, almost burka type dress. They must have been sweltering! OR they must have super human properties that shield them from heat. I would like to believe that later. It is more interesting.

I was taking the pics on the sly…. as a result, they are BLURRY!

I was at the counter when I heard the cashier giggling under her breath remarking about the Ninjas. I didn’t understand what she was saying as she was speaking Serbian at the speed of light, but the word Ninja was repeated and I finally got it.  OMGosh!! the Nuns did look just like Ninjas!!

I must tell you, that these words are very rude in Serbian orthodox culture. I hope this will not be an offensive, but humorous post. I have nothing but respect for these ladies.

Ninja Nuns sounds really cool too! Imagine the series that could be written about that. In my mind I can see a battle that is a mix of old world orthodox traditions mixed with the interworld battles of  Mortal Kombat. I must say, I fancy that idea more than a “Flying Nun”!

My only regret on this post is that I could not share the mental images I have conjured. Maybe this video will do as a substitute.

Ninja Nun video!

In my search for that video, I found that the idea of Ninja nuns is not a new one. There are LOTS of ninja nun videos. But nun are very good.

The only thing that could have made the sighting even better would have been to see those two in this VW hot rod that was sitting outside.

A worthy Nun-mobile if I ever saw one.

It was even sporting a Serbian flag. Now, all it needs is an Orthodox Cross painted on the hood and we are good to go! Oh, that and a Ninja Nun theme song!

On a very serious note:

My hope with this post is not to offend, but to look at nuns in a light that shows the good work they do. They are selfless in their work for God. This demands the respect you would have for a ninja’s training and skill.

I have studied Islam, and I do know the burka well. It is worn by the women for many of the same reasons the nuns wear similar costumes. At the root it is modesty and the desire not to draw attention to themselves. But, when they are out of their natural habitat, so to speak, it does exactly the opposite.