No, its not a funny ethnic or bar joke but what I am about to share really happened and as a result, I learned something new about Palm Sunday and the celebration that precedes Easter. Here’s my story: My neighbors who are Catholic and/or Christian left a Palm Cross in a cooler we keep at our front door for milk delivery. They left it on Sunday and sent me an email on Monday letting me know that they left a Palm Cross in my milk cooler. They had a nice message too- that they wish us peace as their neighbors whom they adore. What a great gesture I thought, but not knowing what a Palm Cross was, I replied, “thanks… I hope it does not melt. We will not be home until later tonight. I am sure the girls will really enjoy it. Thanks- Peace to you as well and Happy Easter!” I kid you not. I thought it was a chocolate cross or something because growing up a Hindu in America, I always got Easter baskets from my Catholic neighbors full of chocolate eggs, bunnies, and yes, once, a chocolate cross- it was yummy! But never before had I received a palm cross and nor had I heard about it. I even attended Vacation Bible School (VBS) one summer and recited the Psalms (we had to memorize it to get colored paper for our little paper church) but I did not know what anything meant. Also, while I have heard about Palm Sunday, I never knew what it signified.
As my husband broke it to me gently over e-mail, “it will not melt, dear, because it is a cross made out of palm- ya know? the foliage.” I was quite shocked and embarrassed that I did not know something about a major religion – something perhaps so basic to Catholics and Christians so I decided to do some research into this whole thing and thus, a Hindu began her journey into learning a little more about Easter and the Palm Cross. What I found was fascinating and as a result of this blunder, I feel more enlightened. Have a Good Friday and Happy Easter!