Sunday, April 19, 2009

Happy Easter (Orthodox)

This photo shows a young Macedonian waitperson serving red Easter eggs on Orthodox Easter to the patrons at the restaurant where we had some very good food, and I had Skopje beer, which is quite good, by the way. I'll enjoy it again before I leave.

Today was a Bellingham weather kind of day: some light rain, sunshine, clouds, and then full sun after we took shelter from a cloud with lots of thunder rolling in the background. Felt right at home, at least weather wise. Most people don't speak much English, although the satellite TV has plenty of British channels. I was taken aback by all the sex channels, pretty explicit in what I considered to be a rather strict government ("Hot Arab Sex!" "Iraqi Sex Kittens!"). It does make me wonder if repression of women's rights leads to men objectifying women in this way.

Take a look at this statue we happened upon. Mickey is "talking" to her as she carries on with her cell. She's got such a low-cut dress that in real life she would be arrested in the US for indecent exposure. I notice a lot of the women dressing in what I would consider revealing attire.

And then just around the corner from that bronze statue is a shrine to Mother Theresa, who was born in Skopje. It's a lovely place with a small garden and a bronze statue (seen in yesterday's blog post) and another beautiful marble statue seen here. Since it was Easter Sunday, everything is closed down (and will be tomorrow, Monday, as well). They are observant Christians here in Macedonia, pretty much, with definitely contrasting cultures. I was going to attend Easter services, but I opted instead to go outside of two churches during services and light candles for the souls of my departed children. Mickey also lighted candles, but he chose to light them for the living Macedonians who are suffering in political and economic difficulties.

I see by the clock on my computer that it's almost 10:00 am on Sunday morning in Bellingham, while I'm looking at the clouds again covering the sky as it nears 7:00 pm in the evening. Tomorrow the meeting begins, and I will be working hard to help it become a success. Most of the participants have arrived at the hotel, and I notice that several of them speak little to no English, which is supposed to be the conference language. Should be interesting to see what happens. I also see Mickey is pulling one way while the other organizers are pulling in another.

See you tomorrow! Hope you are enjoying reading these as much as I am enjoying writing them. By this time tomorrow I will have recovered completely from jet lag, but right now I'm beginning to fade a little. A glass of good Macedonian wine should do the trick when I need it tonight.


  1. It seems hard to pin a specific cause to any specific effect. Depending on where and when you are, an increase in women's rights might lead to more revealing attire (preferred by some women), or it might lead to restrictions placed on revealing attire (seen by other women as contributing to or aggravating the base tendencies of men). As you say, repression of women's rights could lead to men objectifying women, but it could also be that men objectifying women is what leads to the repression of women's rights. Of course, objectification can go in any direction (and will probably never disappear from the world of human sexuality), but men's greater potential for using violent force, *combined* with his objectification of women, is the real genesis of repressed societies (in which women are typically hidden or over-exposed, as the men see fit). But, assuming we can somehow avoid destroying either the planet or all of the life on the planet, I think modern communications technology might actually be helping to create (very, very slowly) a new kind of common consciousness, and common conscience, that could go a long way toward eventually suppressing the worldwide acceptance of violent potential and replacing it with something more feminine. Many things in the way, though, not the least of which is religious fundamentalism. I guess my hopes are for those living centuries from now.

  2. Wow, Buz, that's good, but sort of hard to understand. You're right, but it's hard for me, an American, to think of children being exposed to this sex stuff on TV. Maybe it's only in the hotel, I don't know. Last evening after the meeting Mickey and I hung out with three wonderful Bosnian women who are definitely liberated and interesting, and speak a zillion languages. I'm learning a lot!

  3. After the independence in 1991, there was an outbreak of "indecent" TV content. Nowadays, it is quite put in to formal and legal frame and you cannot see explicit scenes, and softer scenes are after midnight, or at least after 9 PM and they tend to be marked with the age ratings. BUT, in general, Europe laws are quite more relaxed so what can be seen in cinemas can be shown on TV, so every channel is like HBO here. No edited for TV needed :)
    Hotel TV is different story, so it has all the inappropriate cable channels provided...


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