This April at ILAC International College, students from the Service Excellence for Business program celebrated Easter with a Bunny surprise.

It is a really good idea, it makes my Easter happier. I feel more at home”, confessed Julia from Brazil, her hands full of chocolate. She received the treats from ILAC International College. Kristina and Laura, the college’s Student Services representatives in charge of making students happy, distributed some delicious candy and chocolate carefully wrapped in a bunny shaped paper.

I saw learners and teachers looked at the treats with craving. Ayaka from Japan showed me her empty chocolate egg. She had already eaten everything. Apparently, it was delicious! “I love chocolate. It is the first time I have celebrated Easter”, she realized. She will always remember her first one with us.

This celebration, among other things, marks the beginning of springtime (Canadian spring can be elusive, most would agree). Some countries such as Japan, Korea, Taiwan or China do not celebrate this holiday, while other countries recognize this event, but in a totally different way.

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Easter Cultural Differences

Everybody in the classroom started to explain their own Easter tradition and customs. In Brazil, festivities are held with immense grandeur. They begin with the Holy Week rituals, where everybody gears up for the occasion. Fete and gala carnivals take place everywhere. “Pacoca”, a special Easter food, is prepared in every Brazilian household on this day.

Kassandra from Ecuador explained: “In my culture, we eat a traditional soup called Franesca.” The dish consists of grains, squash, salt cod – and may contain slices of hard boiled eggs, chunks of bananas, fried bread or cheese. A hearty meal!

Radovan from Czech Republic got our attention with his tradition, nothing less than surprising: “In my city, we whip each other with pussy willow twigs to bring health and youth”. Boys who symbolically whip girls on the legs have used it for centuries. What a funny custom! If this doesn’t sound like something you’d be interested in, be aware of their other tradition where a girl decorates Easter eggs to give them to boys on Easter Monday.

Sharing cultural habits with joy and wonder is what I like the most at ILAC International College. Hope your Easter was egg-cellent!

Joke of the Day: What happened to the Easter Bunny when he misbehaved at school? He was eggspelled!

Idiom of the Day: You cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs – In order to do something good, you need to give something else up.

Expressions/Vocabulary of the day:

Holy week: the week just before Easter.

Pacoca:  a Brazilian candy made out of ground peanuts, sugar and salt.

Franesca:  traditional soup from Ecuador, only prepared once a year during Easter.

Cod: a kind of fish.

Pussy willow: a deciduous small tree, from genus of Salix discolours, having silky catkins.

Written by Marine Gas, student blogger for the ILAC International College.