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Thursday, April 2, 2015

I Taught About Easter in China, Round 2

John 11:25. Image source.
I teach English to adults in China, and last year I wrote a post about the lesson I created to teach them about Easter. I was super-worried about it at that time- oh goodness, am I allowed to mention Christianity in class in China? Isn't China full of scary persecution? Am I going to get kicked out of the country?

Uh, no.

So, whatever. I taught them about the religious parts of Easter and Christmas, and nothing bad happened. It's fine.

Like seriously, no one cared. I mean, of course the students cared because they want to learn interesting things about American culture, but that's all.

I've done a bunch of classes on Easter during the past week or two. Basically I started out asking them "what do you know about Easter?" and I always get a few who are just totally lost until they look it up on their phone and find out it means 复活节 [fù huó jié], and there are always some students who say they know about Easter eggs but that's it, and occasionally, when I'm lucky, one of the students knows that it's about "when the Jesus was new life."

Then I gave them a handout I made with a bunch of Easter traditions- both religious and nonreligious- covering everything from the Easter Bunny to Lent to Easter egg hunts to Good Friday services. And let them read it and look up all the complicated religious vocabulary on their phone dictionary apps (I actually just copy/pasted from the internet, and then simplified the language a lot, still a lot of hard words for them though), and then we discuss the different traditions. And supplement it with Bing image search when they ask me what deviled eggs are.

I think it's a fun class. I really like talking about Easter. Easter is just the coolest thing ever, you guys. AND CAN I JUST SAY, it's nice how the vast majority of my students are not Christians, so they're not going to tell me I'm not a real Christian.

A few fun bits:

So we were talking about Good Friday, and I said it's a sad day because Jesus died. So the students asked me, then why do you call it "Good" Friday? Ah. Indeed. That is a good question. I guess I've never really thought about it. I told them, maybe because for Christians, Jesus' death is really meaningful and important.

Another time, we were talking about the specifics of the story of the resurrection, and the question came up about who saw Jesus first. One of the students- who I think had visited churches in the US before- said it was some women, and then Peter. I said actually in the bible, there are four stories about Jesus, and they have some differences in that part. Then one guy was like "Which one is right?" and yep, if more people were asking that question, I would be a lot happier with the state of Christianity. But no, I didn't say that out loud.

Then they asked me what's the difference between Good Friday and Black Friday. Fun times.

Happy Easter everyone! 复活节快乐!

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