Easter in Saudi Arabia

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April 4th 2010
Published: April 4th 2010
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Marshmallow PeepsMarshmallow PeepsMarshmallow Peeps

These are popular at Easter-time in the United States. They are made out of marshmallow.
April 4, 2010

Today is Easter Sunday. As you might imagine, this holiday is not really big here in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In fact, the celebration of Millard Fillmore’s birthday (one of the less significant US Presidents) is more celebrated more than Easter in Saudi Arabia.

Since today was the first day of the first assessment center, I felt like I needed to do something Easter-oriented. So I brought from Minneapolis two packages of marshmallow Peeps. These are quite popular in the US at Easter time and they come shaped as either little birds (hence the name Peeps) or bunnies. They come in bright springtime colors such as yellow, pink, light blue, purple, and green. Peeps are made out of marshmallow and covered with colored sugar. I suppose you could toast them over a campfire and make peep-s'mores, but I've never heard of anyone doing that. S'mores are toasted marshmallows, a piece of chocolate, sandwiched by graham crackers. If anyone needs more details, let me know and I'll send you a recipe!

My colleagues reacted pretty much the way I expected. The Americans thought it was hysterical that I brought these from the US, but they
They are made for eating.They are made for eating.They are made for eating.

However, I thumb-tacked them to the flip-chart.
refused to eat them because they are all health-nuts. The Europeans thought they were the most disgusting things they had ever seen and refused to try them at all.

I gave one to the person from India who I work with and another to Mohammad who is Lebanese. They both tried them, made awful faces, and were very polite about it. However, it was clear they were not favorites. So all in all, the Peeps did not go over well. They are lucky that I did not bring lutefisk from Minneapolis (which is not an Easter food, but is eaten by Minnesotans and Norwegians - it’s cod dried in lye and is nasty).

Other than the cultural food barriers, today’s session went well and all of the Participants showed up, which is always nice. I found today to be 1000 percent better than the first session we had in February (yes, I know that’s not mathematically possible, but I never claimed to be a math major).

To all my Christian friends, Happy Easter. To all my Jewish friends, Happy Passover. To all my Islamic friends, Happy April 4.

Additional photos below
Photos: 3, Displayed: 3


4th April 2010

I laughed out loud about 15 times while reading this! Though I do hate to think about how it reflects on us as Americans - celebrating our biggest holidays by eating processed sugar wrapped in processed sugar...
5th April 2010

Holiday Candy
Yes, I think you are right Jess - To Americans, holidays = calories!
5th April 2010

Cultural Icon
Don't they understand that the "peep" is a cultural icon. They could bury the peep in a time capsule and 10,000 years from now, it would still be the same peep...and ready to eat! God give the Peeps to the rest of the Universe I say! Go Ted. e
5th April 2010

Peeps as Office Decor
Ted: I loved this blog so much I printed it out in color and posted it in my office. And I just found out that there was a shortage this year of the yellow and pink peeps. Only green (what is a green peep anyway...it must be pink or yellow?) available. So maybe your purchase impacted the Peep economy????????????????? e
5th April 2010

A colorful way to celebrate Easter...
Just catching up with your posts this time around, Ted, and had a giggle over this one. It seems that push-pinning the Peeps to a flip-chart turned out to be their most entertaining use ;-) Being a furrnerr, I've never heard of them...but their electric neon hue doesn't scream "natural food product", so I can't say that I blame your colleagues for their reactions! (Although I am a bit worried that you may have been taking the Easter re-enactment of the crucifiction a bit far...). Glad to see that your accommodations are improving in leaps and bounds!
5th April 2010

Wow--I am truly surprised that the Peeps weren't a hit! More to microwave then...
5th April 2010

Heather, I could have guessed you would think that Peeps were another shocking example of questionable American culture. Please note that no Peeps were injured in the creation of any blog photos. They were all stunt-peeps.
24th March 2013

Peeps are Haram
Hi, Your Muslim colleagues could not eat these because they are made of marshmallows and marshmallows are made with gelatin and gelatin is made from pork which is forbidden to them.

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