Easter is the moment to celebrate and commemorate the central event of the Christian faith: the resurrection of Jesus Christ three days after his death by crucifixion. In Australia, Easter is enjoyed as a four-day holiday weekend to celebrate Easter starting on Good Friday and ending on Easter Monday. The four-day Easter holiday is an opportunity for Australians to get together with family and friends.
As a member of Gerakan Mari Berbagi who had an opportunity to join home stay program in Australia and stayed with Australian Family, I had to join all of the activities of my host family, even Easter celebration. Almost every year, my host family does camping activity to get together with their big family and their community as a part of moments for celebrating Easter.
When I asked my host family how many people who would join camping activity, my host family answered around 30 people. At the time, celebrating Easter and joining camping with my hostfamily was one of the biggest fears for me. It was not easy becausea lot of ‘Christian’ people would join the camping activity and I started got a lot of worries. I was worried I would get discrimination; I was worried I would be an alien; I was worried I would be aloneevery time at the camping site. I realized I came from a different religion and culture from all of them. How could I mingle with them and enjoy the camping activity?
It was easy for me to find the reasons that I could not join the camping activity as easyas saying that I have another agenda and let me stay at home. I reflected to myself at the moment, why am I here? For what I have fought for this opportunity? The reflection process was not easy because I was fighting with myself between my fear and my willingness. I tried to kill my fear. It was not easy to be part of this program so I had to use this opportunity to fight with my fear not with myself. Finally I pushed myself and I was in the car at the time.
The car was going so fast and brought me to the location of the camping; in Murphys Creek, near Toowoomba, a city in the Darling Downs region of Queensland, Australia. For two hours we spent time in the car and it was the most worrying two hours of my life.Even when I arrived at the camping site, I did not open the window of the car. I was not ready to meet them.
I spent the afternoon focusing on myself and erecting my tent. I met the other campers at dinner time. They prepared dinner and asked me to join them. When met them they were all very friendly and welcoming. The thing that made me surprised was almost of them know me so well; who am I, my background study, and my interest and passion. They were enthusiastic to know and e a friend to me.
Time ran so fast. It was the last day of the camping activity, I did not want to say goodbye with all of people in the camping site. Even though I have a different religion to them, they treated me like I was apart of theirs. With their treatment of me, they answered my worries easily;there is no religion that teaches us to hate each other, to fight each other, and to kill each other.
It was only my worries.I was totally wrong about my worries! In fact, they gave me smiles, they gave me hugs, they gave me love, and there was no you and me, there was a totally US. Even though they did some religious activities at the camp, they were not disturbed by my participation, and they even prayed for me and wished me good things. God, this is a peace that I really want! There was no alien, there was no border, and there was no prejudice. There was only love and respect for each other.
Are we bigger than our God to judge other people? Have we had a deep understanding aboutthe meaning of the religion itself? Have we implemented the value of our religion?You are too arrogant if you only think about heaven and hell, you only focus on yourself and forget that we are living together and connect with each other.
Easter is always related with eggs. From a Christian perspective, Easter eggs are said to represent Jesus’ emergence from the tomb and resurrection as a new hope and new life. And for me, I will always remember my first Easter and the egg. My first Easter gives birth to the new me; me who realized that I am not bigger than my God.
Participant of GMB Homestay Program 2016