Cultural Weekend

FRIDAY EVENING: SEDER SERVICE

Jake and I got to go to a Passover Service at BYU. A Professor named Dr. Ludlow is over Ancient Studies, and has been doing this passover service for students, families and friends for about 17 years I think he said? That’s a long time! Since I got the chance to study Orthodox Jews in my Religion of the World class, this was really neat for me! They gave us a pamphlet that had a list of all the nights festivities that were going to take place. This is me sitting with aw, that mine had a blue star on the top of my program, and didn’t see anyone elses with a blue star on it.These were are neat programs. We found out that the blue star meant that I needed to read a passage out of the program out loud to the whole group. Good thing Jake is great at that kind of thing, I passed my program off to him 🙂 To start the passover off, Dr. Ludlow reviewed what would be happening that night, and talked about how a passover is held in many Jewish households. We recited (1) The Kiddush, (2) Washing of Hands,
(3) Greens Eaten. You take a piece of greens (lettuce, parsley, or watercress) and dip it into salt water and say, “Praised be Thou, O Eternal our God, Ruler of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the earth.” The salt water is supposed to represent the tears of the Jewish captive slaves in Egypt. (4) The Afikomen. “The leader breaks the middle matzah in two, leaving the smaller piece between the two whole ones. The other half, the Afikomen, is hidden and will be eaten at the end of the meal.” By hidden, the piece of Matzah is put in a napkin and passed around the table underneath peoples laps. You never want to get the Matzah back to the leader. The leader is the Eldest male at the table, and he is charge of leading the whole service, leading and reading. (5) The Passover Story Recited. If you are hungry, eat a light snack before the service because reading the story takes quite a bit of time. It was neat to finally find out the whole purpose of passover about the slaves being delivered out of Egypt and waiting for the prophet Elijah. (I have learned threw the years though, Elijah has already come to Joseph Smith, in the Navou temple, to restore some keys…..But I would say, Passover is still a really cool tradition, something to learn from, and a way to thank God, and prepare for Easter, and what the true meaning of Easter is.) You then do “Dayenu”, go over the passover symbols and (6) The Hands Washed. (the ” marks means I am quoting what was written in my pamphlet..put together by Dr. Victor Ludlow.) “The celebrants wash their hands for the matzah and the meal and recite the following benediction: Praised art Thou, O Eternal our God, Ruler of the universe, Who sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us concerning the washing of the hands.” (7)The Blessings over the Matzah. “A piece of matzah is distributed to each celebrant.” Then you recite another phrase again. Next, was an intense part of the meal.
(8) The Bitter Herbs. On the left, the white stuff is bitter herbs. The right top is what you make a (9) Hillel Sandwich-a reminder of the temple days, sandwich from, and bottom right is the Matzah. So, you start off with a third of your bitter herbs on your spoon and eat it!Next, you eat a piece of the bitter herbs with an apple, fruit concoction. The original sweet and sour. You would think that the sweet apple sauce would make up for the bitter herbs. False, it does not.Yes I know, really attractive picture right? Thank you…Jake caught this picture as I toke my first bite of bitter herbs. Oh yuck. I give people that do this year after year major props.

(10) Passover meal is served. Wahoo! dinner time! The meal was a chicken with potatoes. It was yummy. This was fun during this time because we actually got to talk to our table and get to know the people at it. It was really fun! We had two girls that were from Brazil going to BYU, a couple from Idaho and 2 of their family members. During this time, we kept passing around the Afikomen. Who ever ends up with the Afikomen at the end of the Passover service meal, the leader has to “pay a price” to get that piece of Matzah back. This could be money, favors, trips to Hawaii, ext.A yummy bread was served. You were supposed to rip the bread off with your hands and not cut it to symbolize partaking. I dont remember partaking of what though…I need to look that up.For dessert we had a strawberry shortcake deal. I remember my religion teacher saying that that could be a traditional dessert. After the meal the (11) The Afikomen, is reviled. “At the meal’s conclusion, the children are given an opportunity to bring forth the concealed Afikomen. After the leader barters with the person who has it and redeems it for “a price,” and all partake of it, it is customary to eat nothing else. After that (12) Grace After the Meal is said. I like that. I think is a great idea. To have a prayer, before saying thank you for the food, and after saying thanks again for the food and a great meal! Wonderful Idea. The The Cup of Elijah, which is set in the cenre of hte table, is now filled with wine, or grape juice. “The door of the house is opened. The company rises as if to greet the prophet Elijah, the long expected messenger of the final redemption of mankind from all oppression.” In a household, people could play games, chat, or do activities together as they wait for Elijah to come. As they realize, Elijah is not coming this year, they close the door, and wait again for yet another year. (12) The Psalms of Praise. This is a back and forth between leader, and people at the group reciting phrases. Next, “It is customary at this point in the service for those present to join in hte singing of of Passover melodies, which are to be found in most Haggadah texts.” This part was fun, and nerve racking. The song we sang was called “Who Knows One?” Sister Ludlow mixed up the parts and conducted all over the place, and if you were not looking or following along you may be the only one singing. Then a (14)Closing Prayer, is said, and the night is concluded. We were there from 6:30 to 10:30. I bet in a real home, it may take a lot longer because Dr. Ludlow said that sometimes reading the passover story could take 2plus hours. I bet the preparation to get ready for such a huge dinner, is quite the task, but well worth it in the end. It was fun to go to this Passover service. The Jewish Culture is really family orientated and they have a lot of fun games and traditions. A really neat religion.

SATURDAY: FESTIVAL OF COLORS
This was the add on thier website telling about this years festival: www.utahkrishnas.org

*** Holi 2010 will be March 27th
at Noon and 4pm —
Two Celebrations !! *** Admission is Free!

Holi is the Festival of Colors, a traditional Indian holiday celebrated in our own innovative fashion. By far our biggest festival of the year, during Holi 2009 thousands of revelers flooded the temple and grounds for a day of brightly colored powder, mantra, music and a bit of “holi” mayhem.
This year, realizing that Holi has developed a national following especially among college festival-goers, we are preparing more
parking and more colors (by far) than ever before. The music, the dance, the worship, the facilities — everything is being upgraded for Holi 2010.
This is the temple. Every time I see it, it is shocking to me to see it, in the middle of Utah. Random right? but COOL! We left at 9:30 so we would not get stuck in traffic and be able to have some time to buy our powder and some food. Last year, I tried to come, but I was stuck in traffic for 2 hours and missed the event. It then took 2 hours to get home. I am glad we left super early this year! Worth it!A Elephant.
Oh, I forgot to tell you all I joined a boy band and this is our front cover of the album.

The Temple has many lama friends on the grounds. The temple also has a “lama fest” and other activities threw out the year. The lamas have such nice eyelashes. Its a good thing they do not have to consider getting eyelash extensions. I dont think they would be to still.

We had fun feeding the lamas grass. Their lips were so soft as they ate grass our of our hands. Such nice lamas. I wanted to see one spit. Maybe next year.

Jeff, read the back of the color packets and got so excited that the color powders are scented and flavored! Supposedly, not bad for you to inhale!
When we were getting food, we saw these creepy dolls. They scared us. Later we learned they would be burned for the festival! One for the 12 o’clock throwing and one for the 4 o’clock festival as well. I wanted to learn more about what the Festival of Colors was all about, and why it happens. This is an article I found about it. In the Desert News, by Katie Roundy, March 26, 2010, it reads
“Once a year the air in Spanish Fork fills with a cloud of colorful chalk, part of a celebration to welcome the spring. But the event has become so popular that this year the chalk will fly twice.Last year an estimated 10,000 attended the Festival of Colors, making it the most popular event at the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple. This year temple workers expect even more attendees. “Everyone who came last year will bring four or five friends,” said Charu Das, the festival coordinator.In preparation for the large crowds, the festival has been divided into two separate shows. On Saturday the festivities will take place at noon and again at 4 p.m. Both presentations will include a bonfire and throwing of chalk.
Five thousand years ago Krishna started the festival with his devotees as a way to welcome the spring. “It represents the beauty, colorfulness and fragrance of spring,” said Das. Instead of flower petals, chalk is imported from India. The chalk is made out of cornstarch and scented like sandalwood.”Last year we had 25,000 bags and sold out,” said Das. “This year we have more than 50,000.” Volunteers have been working for weeks to bag the chalk and prepare the temple for the event.
BYU student Carlie Bean is a volunteer at the temple, helping bag thousands of bags of chalk. “It’s the biggest mess in the entire world,” she said.
Guests are encouraged to wear older clothing in case the dye stains. “It’s supposed to wash out of your clothes, but my jeans are still stained,” said Bean.
After an hour of music, dancing and entertainment, it is time to throw the chalk. The emcee counts down and the air fills with a thick cloud of colorful dust.
“It’s really fun,” said Meredith Merrill, a participant in last year’s festival. “But it’s sad because you run out of chalk so fast.”With so many people in attendance, the temple’s parking lot fills quickly, and guests end up parking down the road and walking to the event. In order to ease the traffic and increase safety, festival workers have rented 2,000 extra parking stalls. Shuttles will run to the temple from the parking areas at Salem Hills High School, SF Sports Complex and the Spanish Fork Fairgrounds.
“We’re encouraging everyone to park in the remote locations and use the shuttles,” said Das. “We’d hate to have anyone injured on the way to this fun event.”

We got some yummy Indian food to eat! Most Hindus do not eat meat, so at the temple they only serve vegetarian food. Neat. After eating, I bought some rad silk, MC HAMMER like pants. We toke them back to the car so they would not get ruined by the chalkness about to go on.
It happened to be the most beautiful day out! Perfect for truly inviting spring to come!
I really liked this picture because I thought the clouds were so beautiful out! If you look hard at this picture you can see all the people starting to come to get ready to join in the powder throwing festival.
This is the powder/chalk that is thrown in the air, and at each other. It comes in a variety of bright colors like orange, yellow, pink, purple, green, magenta, ext. Once all the colors are everywhere, everyone seems like a brown blob.
The “throwing of the colors” was supposed to start at noon but they changed it to one. There were so many people so excited, that chalk was flying everywhere up until one pm. We decided while we were waiting on the hill, listening to music and watching Indian dances we would do a little face painting. I never knew Jeff looked so good with a purple mustache. I had no idea. I think I am going to sew him a purple mustache to glue on his face.
Brett, is Jake’s friend from work. He is the one that hooked us up with such an awesome turtle tank! He was fun to have play with us!
Jake’s ready to let the games begin. We are all starting to get anxious for the festival to start!
batman joker?
The best part about this picture is the two girls in the background on the left.
If they throw it, the crowds will come…..its almost one!!!!!!!!!The chalk is staring to be thrown! The count down has happened and color is starting to get everywhere!!!So while everyone was throwing chalk before one, we thought there was no way there was going to be any chalk left over. Ohhhhh how we were so wrong. When the countdown was over and all the chalk was in the air, a huge dark cloud was over us and we could not see a thing. I could barely see anyone in front of my face. The dark cloud over hung us for what seemed very long, but maybe only five or so minutes. It was hard to breathe, and full of fruity fumes, but it sure was fun!COLORS!!! I found this picute online while looking for information on the color festival. It looks like this picture is taken above the whole powder explosion. COOL!
Festive boys.
Not really the best Idea to smile, all of our teethes are full of chalk.

Jeff and Brett.

Good thing I had glasses on! I couldn’t imagine seeing anything in that explosion and not having glasses on. Don’t mind the chalky teeth.

Leaving the festival. We saw many people coming in for round two for the four o’clock explosion. I could not imagine being on the clean up crew for this event. Plastic bags and color everywhere. Troopers.


Braveheart, or a beaten up boy? Lets hope braveheart. After the festival, we went and put our feet in a hot tub to warm up, but we were covered in chalk, so we didnt want to ruin the tub with a muliti colored effect. Then for dinner, Jake and I went and joined his friends Trent and Jessie for Thai food at Thai Ruby. It was a great time! The were fun company! We all had a blast talking about movies, and food. The Thai food was great and tasted good. Jake and I split a red chicken curry dish. We are trying to split food at restaurants because neither of us can finish a whole meal or should….
After eating Thai food, Jake and I went over to BYU campus because there was a Native American festival going on! After the passover yesterday, we saw this poster and knew we had to go stop by. We saw so many beautiful people in fabulous clothing. Oh and lets not forget the smell of Indian tacos, or as called in the Bang home, Indian Fried Bread! OOOOH so good! It made me want to make some asap! They are kind of like a fried tostada. YUM! Jake and I went to the Indian shops and we bought ponchos! I got a sweet hot pink one, and Jake got a cool alpaca wool, light blue/gray one! We want to make friend bread, and go to a park and make things in our sweet ponchos. Then we got yummy mint brownies from the BYU bakery. This weekend was full of cultural experiences! It was the best! I learned alot of great things, and am grateful for where I have come from and been exposed to growing up.Jake saw this sign while we were walking around got a picture of it. One time when I was grumpy and had fallen asleep and Jake was trying to talk to me, I told him I don’t speak Chinese. Mean Kelsey. So ever since then, anything Chinese has been a funny inside joke. After the whole native american festival we were walking out of the wilkinson building and we saw a ward talent show. Jake and I were interested in it so we walked in and we were enjoying it so much we ended up staying and watching the whole show. The ward seemed to be having a great time! It was wonderful! It make Jake and I want to start playing music together. After the talent show we went to club walmart and went grocery and life supply shopping. We saw some play some play pools and we decided to get one for the turtles so the can have a large pond/pool life atmosphere that they can play in this summer. I am so happy summer time is ending, but I can still snowboard and play in the snow! The turtle pool will fit perfectly on the balcony, but they will stay out of harm from predators and be high above them. Sunday morning, Jake and I didn’t realize it was fast Sunday in preparation for General Conference this next weekend! Yes, so we need to fast sometime this week. Maybe on temple day! But besides that we had the best pancakes ever! Jake’s mom sent us a cute package and in it, it had pancake mix, and it sure was yummy! Thanks so much Sister Harris! She even included chocolate chips in it because she knew it was my favorite in pancakes! Then I got to go to some meetings and then church festivities! A great day! In sacrament meeting we had an awesome testimony meeting. I feel like everyone really focused on Christ. I was awesome. I got to bare my testimony and on how the turtles have helped me learn some great lessons of the gospel and how I better understand the Saviors sacrifice for us. Oh such a good day! After church I went over to Jake’s, and he had made me dinner! Hes the best! Then after dinner we had a fireside, girls and boys separate. In the fireside we learned about balance in life, dating, education..ext. It was from President Shalumburger. It was good. After the fireside I got to talk to mama on the phone and clean my room! I love a clean room! It makes everything feel so much better. Got laundry all hung up, and then Jake came over, and we rearranged my room. With our bikes in it, it has felt cramped in my room, but we rearranged it, so now there is lots of space to sew and play! and do some yoga! It was a great weekend! This weekened I am grateful for cultures, travel, food, cleanliness, and sticky rice.

2 comments

2 thoughts on “Cultural Weekend

  1. Hayley

    jake- impressive dinner, and what a sweet mama!
    Kelsey- I'm not sure if that was you or a camel eating those herbs. Either way, thank you for including that fabulous photo and bringing such a big smile to my face! and I'm thrilled to hear the turtles have strengthened your testimony 🙂

    Reply

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