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Ramadan, Passover, Passover: Gratitude and Renewal Offer Common Threads | Entertainment/Life

The Easter egg hunt continues to be a family favorite.

Last year, I hid $200 worth of plastic Easter eggs to look for our two college-age daughters. They ran around my parents’ yard collecting eggs with more enthusiasm than they had shown in months. Unfortunately, when the search was over, we had only found about $180 worth of eggs. My parents, while weeding their rose bushes and azaleas, continued to find miscellaneous eggs with $1 bills and the occasional $5 bill for months.

I like looking for Easter eggs in the broadest sense of life. The Urban Dictionary defines an Easter egg as a hidden item placed in a movie, television show, or any other visual medium. My oldest daughter and husband are good at spotting those kinds of Easter eggs and love announcing their finds.

Movie Easter eggs go way back.

In 1963 by Alfred Hitchcock The birds, careful observers can see Hitchcock himself walking out of a pet store with two small dogs, said to have been Hitchcock’s dogs in real life. Hitchcock made such appearances in many of his films.

I remember seeing the movie glory road when he first came out and recognize the real Don Haskins pumping gas in a scene from the movie. Haskins was the subject of the film: the incredible basketball coach at the University of Texas at El Paso.

My husband grew up in El Paso and knew Haskins. I was the only one in the Louisiana theater who recognized him on the big screen and I felt like I got an extra jolt of joy that no one else realized he missed.

Most of the time, though, I miss Easter eggs in movies and TV shows. I’m too focused on the story. To tell the truth, I prefer to see the magical moments in real life.

Through a variety of unexpected circumstances, this week I had the opportunity to think beyond Easter eggs, as I ended up having conversations with people who were making plans to celebrate Ramadan, Passover, and Passover.

The intersection of the three holy days and the openness of the people I have met has given me an opportunity to further consider the promise of the common bonds we share as human beings, regardless of religion.

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Like watching Easter eggs on the big screen, the more I learned, the more I recognized themes of gratitude and renewal in my conversations with friends, old and new, about traditions and beliefs.

My Muslim friends and I discussed the opportunity to fast that Ramadan offers. During the 30 days of Ramadan, Muslims do not eat or drink anything from sunrise to sunset. Choosing to fast provides a way to focus on being grateful, recognizing that others may be experiencing involuntary hunger.

I talked a lot with friends about Easter this week. Both Diane and Sam Kleinman explained to me that the focus of the Passover Seder is gratitude.

“The Passover Seder is about us acknowledging that we are together, that we are still alive and that we came out of Egypt,” said Diane Kleinman. “That’s basically what the Seder is about. That we are in this place, that we are safe, that we are sitting together at a table when there are places around the world where we would not be allowed to celebrate Easter and there are people in the world who are hungry.”

Her husband, Sam Kleinman, explained that it is also about recognition of not being a slave.

“We are warned to eat matzah, the unleavened bread. We are supposed to commune with others who are less fortunate than us,” she said.

And then there is Easter.

My family has our own traditions, but this week I spent several hours with young people from Ukraine who made an effort to reconnect with their roots and decorate Easter eggs, something that was taken to a whole different level in Ukraine.

These LSU students worked together, using techniques taught to them by their mothers and grandmothers, while balancing so many emotions. On the one hand, gratitude for their own lives and the opportunities that the sacrifice and generosity of their family have given them. And on the other hand, the pain not only for what is happening in their country, but for being here and not there with their parents, siblings and grandparents to defend the country they love. (Men between the ages of 18 and 60 are not allowed to leave Ukraine at this time.)

Easter eggs, both in the metaphorical and literal sense, can be much more than we usually consider.

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