|Last saturday in Milano, the line before the gelateria|
Each religion has something with food: Muslims shouldn’t eat pork meat while for the Hindus a cow is sacred, Catholics avoid meat on Friday and Jews only eat something when it is raised and prepared Kosher. But besides all the difference they also have one thing in common: all of them avoid eating food – or fast - for shorter or longer periods every year.
The principle of fasting dates back to the origin on many of these religions. It reminds the present-day-man of the periods when their almighty decided they had done wrong and therefore had to suffer. But there are more reasons why people may decide to cut back on their daily food. It is to remind them of the ones that do not have daily access to (sufficient) food, to remind them of the times things weren’t that easy or to proof themselves that they can do without it.
For the Catholics the period of fasting is halfway. After the feasting during carnival (it ended on the 12th of February this year) the disciplined believers should have started a period of 40 days in which they only take the highly essentials of their energy supply. No sweets, no fat and the rest only in limited quantities.
In Catholic Italy I would also expect the people to slow down on their food intake. But in this country full of sweets it doesn’t seem that pastry shops are having hard times. On the contrary, if haven’t seen it as busy as during the last weeks.
Where did it go wrong? Where did we decide to only celebrate the good times and forget about the times which were more difficult? Because we can?
I have never ever fasted. I am not a religious person and there hasn’t been any other reasons why I decided to do it anyway. But the idea to at least try it seems interesting. Why not force yourself to at least not eat any luxury products – likes jams, cakes and other sweets – during a certain period. Just try to eat only the three meals a day, maybe complemented with something ‘sober’ in between. You can find a reason. It might be your diet, the beggar in front of your supermarket, your colleague which cannot eat sugar for whatever reason or just because you’re curious to try it.
I’ll take the coming days to consider a reason and find a way to fast my way. See where it brings me.