Monday, April 7, 2014

F is for Fasting

Most of the country is Ethiopian Orthodox, and religion plays a big part of the culture here. More than I've seen any place else. Thus, fasting influences everything.

On a weekly basis, Orthodox followers fast on both Wednesday and Friday – no meat or dairy. It's in respect for Holy Wednesday and Holy Friday, but it's practiced year round and not just before Easter. It's not uncommon, at least in small towns like most PCVs are in, for restaurants to not even offer meat on these days. And it's just as likely to only be able to get vegetarian days on these days. If I want shiro (a chickpea powder dish) on a Thursday, 3 out of 4 times the restaurant will tell me they don't have it.

It does mean however during the big fasts, before Christmas and Easter, the price of eggs drop and I'm more likely to get milk from the local cow owner because demand is down. I have so much alfredo sauce during those times.


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