Before marrying my wife I converted to the Serbian Orthodox church, for her. My family is not overly religious, and I believe in the word and faith but regular church attendance and recognition of customs was never high on my list of priorities. Conversion for spouses seems to be a small tradition that my family has as my paternal Grandfather did it, and my sister did it. So, it was not a huge controversy when I did it. I was glad to do it as it has brought me closer to my wife and has helped me understand her family and culture better, and the church is central to the Serbian people.
Today marked the first day that I am fasting for the Easter season. Posit or post or posti; these are all words I have heard used when talking about it. What it is: a Lenten style fast in which I don’t eat meat or anything else from an animal. That means no cheese, milk, dairy, eggs, mayonnaise (made from eggs), ice cream or anything that might have those ingredients in it. I have often accused my wife of taking this to an extreme. She insists on reading ingredients to make sure that there is no dairy or meat by-products in the food during this time. But I heard her mother remind her not to use a fork until it had been washed because it had been in a dish the contained cream cheese. So, evidently this is how things are done, in her family at least. The Serbs have come up with some tasty dishes to help us get through this time. Like today I am having pasulj for lunch. It’s just white beans boiled up with pepper and spices but it is tasty. It’s nice to have in the cold winter months, its hearty. There are also cabbage rolls, sarma (sp?) and of course all the fish and seafood you can handle. I’m a big fan.
This goes on for a week, then we go to church for communion. This all came as surprise to me in the early going but I’ve gotten used to it over time and it’s not that big a deal now. But, at the end of it all, on Easter…….OH BABY!! We go to the wife’s parents house and they put out a feast. Her dad roasts a whole pig and we gorge. It gives us all something to look forward to. So it’s not all bad.