Easter Break is Sacred

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IT is that season when a segment of our population, as elsewhere, would drink themselves to a standstill or overindulge in one unholy activity or another in the name of the annual Easter Holiday that is celebrated by Christians and non-believers alike.

In the aftermath of these short-lived celebrations, many a family unfortunately would be mourning due to the Easter Death Toll that is a direct consequence of reckless driving or the many loose canons allowed to drive while heavily drunk in the name of Easter.

Simply put, many vehicles would be transformed into mobile caskets ready to claim the next unwitting and unsuspecting victim due to the carefree attitude of certain drivers.

Agencies such as the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVA) have to carry a heavy financial burden in the form of claims submitted as a result of the numerous fatal vehicle accidents that we have resigned ourselves to come each long Easter weekend.

Several noble initiatives such as the Coalition On Responsible Drinking initiated by the Council of Churches in Namibia (CCN), the Namibia Non Governmental Organisation Forum (NANGOF), Namibia Breweries and the Ministry of Health and Social Services, appear to have limited influence on some alcoholics. On top of this, there is also the Xupifa Eemwenyo road safety campaign the Namibian equivalent of the Arrive Alive.

But no matter how good intentioned these campaigns, they count for nothing on many of our road hogs who have utter disregard for other road users.

They would drive even if their eye-hand co-ordination is zero, endangering the lives of other motorists.

Easter to some means drinking themselves senseless or until they are prostrate.

Though Easter celebrations have many customs and legends that are simply pagan in origin and have nothing to do with Christianity, in Christian countries this event is celebrated as the religious holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Scholars, accepting the derivation proposed by the 8th-Century English scholar, Saint Bede, believe the name Easter is thought to come from the Scandinavian “Ostra”and the Teutonic “Ostern” or “Eastre,” both Goddeses of mythology signifying spring and fertility whose festival was celebrated on the day of the vernal equinox.

Traditions associated with the festival survive in the Easter Rabbit, a symbol of fertility and in brightly coloured Easter eggs, originally painted with bright colour to represent the sunlight of spring. Just like Christmas marking the birth of Jesus has been commercialised, this holiday will have so many “Easter Specials” in all forms and sizes.

As resourceful as ever many shops, supermarkets and wholesalers are stacked with all sorts of Easter Eggs and chocolates made in the image of a rabbit sold as “gifts” particularly for this holiday and as usual Easter this and Easter that is on sale.

Christian celebration of this event embodies a number of converging traditions with emphasis on the relation of Easter to the Jewish festival of Passover, or Pesach, from which is derived Pasch another name used particularly by Europeans for Easter.

But in the din of the global celebrations that started last night lasting until Monday its true meaning is lost because the things that we will be doing such as barbequing, drinking Brandy and coke or the famed Windhoek Larger are far short of being religious.

We are not trying to be judgmental. All we are saying and suggesting is that those of our readers who will have time to read this editorial should spend the Holy week in a Holy way such as observing Palm Sunday, while today should be commemorated as a day of the Last Supper the night before the Crucifixion of Jesus, who we are told, died for us.

We could help in our small way to minimise the worrying death toll on our roads particularly this time of year when it is unacceptably sky-high by trying to be holy by not being tempted to visit the pub strategically located within walking distance.

Easter is Holy and should not be used for sacrilegious acts such as binge drinking,
womanising, thieving and wife battering, among a host of other deadly sins.

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