Learning about Jamaican traditions surrounding holidays has been really fun. In celebration of Easter, Good Friday and Easter Monday are both national holidays so we get a nice long 4-day weekend. THAT is a tradition I can support!
It’s funny how something can seem totally, completely crazy when you’re an outsider. Case in point, easter bun and cheese. Easter bun, also called Jamaican Spice Bun, is like a sweet bread/fruitcake mix with a whole lotta spices. It’s ingredients include molasses, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, raisins, pineapple, cherries, aniseed (I don’t even know what that is??) to name just a few. One article I read from a local news source, Six Things to Look for When Choosing a Good Easter Bun, explained that a good easter bun will be more spicy than sweet. Yum? A quick google image search brings up the following examples:
The second part of the combo is the cheese. Any type of cheese will do but if you want it to qualify as true, authentic Jamaican it has to be Tastee processed cheddar cheese. It comes in a tin. Enough said about that.
Put these two together and you get Jamaican easter bun and cheese. You can eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner or anytime in between. As Jamaicans were explaining this cuisine to me I was very perplexed. How did this even come to be in the first place!? and why? WHY!? They kept talking about how good it is and everybody looks forward to being able to dine on bun and cheese.
I tried it, Scott wouldn’t. All the Jamaicans were watching me intently to see how I would react. I was trying to keep my face pretty neutral. I didn’t want to offend! But I think it was pretty clear that bun and cheese is not something I enjoyed. The Jamaicans were all laughing because there was no hiding my aversion to their beloved bun and cheese. After tasting it my question is still WHY!? The Ficklins are going to stick to chocolate bunnies and reeses eggs.
We did manage to have a good Easter sans bun and cheese. The easter bunny found us here in Kingston and Allie was quite pleased. Her eggs were filled with oyster crackers, goldfish, and mini oreos. I betcha can’t guess which was her favorite.
We had the chance to go meet the easter bunny on Saturday at a local ice cream store. I didn’t have very high hopes for a positive reaction from Allie after the Santa Claus incident. She cried and cried. There was a little improvement over Santa because Allie mustered up enough courage to give the bunny a high-five! I’ll take it! Maybe we’ll get a hug out of her next year.
I have always loved Easter ever since I was a kid. Maybe it’s the bright colors, the candy, spring coming in, or the fact that my birthday is just around the corner. I’m not sure. But I’m grateful for a day where we celebrate the life and love of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. It’s been a great experience to attend church among some who have so little. They are so humble and their faith is so great. They make great sacrifices. Something that has been reiterated to me over and over during our time here is that God loves His children. Regardless of state or circumstance, He loves all. His death and resurrection, which we commemorate at Easter, are among the most profound manifestations of His love for ALL people. I look forward to new places and new people we will meet and having my eyes opened once again to the fact that, all over the world, God loves His children.
Happy Easter All!