A is for Ash

The following conversation took place during an English lesson at 9.00 am on a Wednesday morning, Ash Wednesday morning. Me (the English Teacher) and Wing (the adorable Korean student).


Wing – I don’t understand why everyone has dirt on their face.


Me – It’s not dirt. It’s ash. Today is Ash Wednesday. It’s a Christian holiday for the beginning of Lent.


Wing – Ah, OK. OK.

*4 seconds later*

Wing – What? I don’t understand.


Me – You know Jesus?


Wing – No.


Me – Really. Jesus Christ. The man on the cross.


Wing – Ah. Hhhhhe-Zeus. On the stick. Yes. I know.


Me – Well, he went to the desert (not the dessert… now… the desert) and he didn’t eat and drink for 40 nights.


Wing – OK… (wondering where the hell this is going and regretting saying anything)


Me – So, every year we honor that by not eating chocolate.


Wing – For 40 days?


Me – Yes.


Wing – No chocolate?


Me – Yes. These 40 days are called Lent. It’s like Ramadan for wimps. 


Wing – Wimps? OK.


Me – And the end of the 40 days, we get a big chocolate egg. And the day before Lent we eat loads of pancakes.


Wing – Yes. My host mother make pancakes.


Me – Yes. That’s Pancake Tuesday. Today is Ash Wednesday. So, people have some ash on their heads.


Wing – OK. So, he die. You have ash face and then you no eat chocolate and get a big egg after 40 day. An egg of chocolate? Big egg…


Me – Exactly.

*4 seconds later*


Wing – I like Christians.


Me – Christians are Amazing. Now, let’s open our books on page 30. 


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