PURITANS AND PILGRIMS

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PURITANS AND PILGRIMS

Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday have just passed, but not everybody knows the meaning and story of Thanksgiving Day.

After the Church of England had split off from the Roman Catholic Church, a few Christian groups that didn’t identify themselves with the Anglicans, took root in England.

Puritans were a dissident faction who wanted to “Purify” – hence their name Puritans – the Church of England from the trappings of Catholicism.

Pilgrims, also called Separatists, aimed to separate themselves from the Church of England which they considered corrupted, and give rise to an autonomous entity.

Both groups were not tolerated by government authorities, but Separatists were persecuted to such an extent that they were forced to leave the country. They settled in Holland, where they remained for a long time.

In 1620, around one hundred Pilgrims landed on the shores of Massachusetts. Once there, they came in touch with the Native Americans and established a good relationship with them. They sowed a field with the seeds they had received from the Natives, and the following year they had a good crop. They gave thanks to God both for the crop and everything. Ever since that time, Thanksgiving Day is celebrated in America.

Puritans emigrated to America as well, and it seems that later the two groups merged together.

Puritans have greatly influenced custom, literature, and politics. They aimed to enhance each individual in his everyday life, rather than considering society as a whole. Modern novel – expressed by the first novelists Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson and Henry Fielding – originates just from Puritans’ way of thinking and living life.

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind

www.sbpra.com/ettoregrillo

WHAT IS A BALUT?

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Traveling across the world, it has happened to me to eat every kind of food. I have eaten cockroaches, worms, grasshopper, frogs, raw meat, raw fish and so on, but at first glance what I was not able to eat was a balut.

What is a balut? It is a fertilized egg, that is an egg with a chick inside. It is considered a delicacy by the local people in Thailand, Vietnam and Philippines.

While I was travelling Indo-China I came across a balut twice.

The first time in Thailand. I was in Chang May, eating at a restaurant, when I saw a pile of white hard-boiled eggs in the shape of a pyramid that were kept warm by steam.

I was attracted by those eggs and ordered two of them. When I removed the eggshell, I saw some strange red veins. “This egg is not good!” I said to the waitress.

“No, it is very tasty! There is a chick inside” she replayed.

Despite her insistence, I was unable to eat that strange food and paid in vain.

A few years went by, and in Vietnam at a restaurant a waiter served me another balut. This time I wanted to try it, and little by little I ate both the chick and the egg.

Why I am writing about a balut? Because I want to draw attention to the fact that very often we humans cringe if a chick is eaten or a nest is destroyed, but we are left completely indifferent whenever thousands and thousands of migrants drown in the Mediterranean sea while trying to reach the European coasts. There are even people who love animals, but hate their neighbor. We had better observe reality as it is, regardless of our feelings of pleasure or displeasure, taste or disgust.

 

Ettore Grillo, author of Travels of the Mind