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About Easter

Small, fluffy, yellow chickens have become such an important element in Croatian mythology that, even when we see them in reality, they are no longer completely realistic creatures. Waving their tiny wings and walking on their clumsy legs, they themselves are a lovely exercise of life – Easter itself. City folks and children mostly see them at fairs, in cardboard boxes, stuffed and stacked one above the other, under the other, next to the other. A cumulative choir of peeping and flapping, a choir in the form of a happiness package. They were simply born and, with them, the world begins. But not only were they born, they also cooperated during their birth; they alone pierced through their space capsule, the shell of their egg. They chose this world, colored it and gave it a sound, and I guess that world is good if they are getting around in it so beautifully.

We don't usually ask where they came from: postcards have taught us that they and others like them run across green grass and eat oats and worms. The sweet thought of them usually vanishes at that point. However, from time to time, we find a picture of a loaded chicken coop with no green grass or worms, in which hundreds of thousands of these little lives see nothing but their egg and the plate they eat from. There, they stop being lives and become matter that, if charged well, grows quickly, effectively and lucratively. The other day, a photo of Chinese multi-story buildings for breeding animals was published. It's not like we never ate this produce: it's just that it used to come from life. It brought into us its sunshine, its early bedtime and its sleep. The life of such beings stopped at one point, just like ours does. Their life stopped because of us. Those running along green grass fields in these days are exceptions. What do the others bring into us besides their suffering?

Lovely little yellow chicks, like the ones on this year's Croatian Post Easter stamp, still remain a symbol of Easter. When we see them, they spark joy. But somehow we've become aware that their connection with Easter is more meaningful, and that it includes not only Sunday, but also Friday, and that this applies to the whole Earth, which permanently needs Easter... Just like we were promised.

Academician Željka Čorak