Lebanese Memes: Lent

Everyone of us knows at least ten people like this:

Have a blessed lent everyone!

One Month Phoneless

On March 12th, my iPhone’s power button decided to sink in and become unusable. After asking around, it seemed that any attempt to fix it in Lebanon would render the warranty void, so my friend Ali agreed to do me a favor and I sent him the phone on March 14th to Canada so Apple could check it out.

Ali postponed his flight to Lebanon due to unforeseen complications and Apple eventually replaced my phone with a new one. How awesome is that?

But I’ve been without phone for a month.

Many people asked why I didn’t just use any other phone. Apart from the unavailability of any other phone (I’m not going to buy a phone just to use it for a few weeks), I also have to get my simcard replaced since my iPhone uses a microsim, which I decided not to do.

Instead, I convinced myself that I’d be sort of giving up my iPhone for lent.

So what did I learn from a month of being phoneless?

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Drunk Thursday

It is that time of the year again – the time where we attempt to celebrate our ancestor’s traditions in the period leading up to lent.

One of the most loved traditions will take place tomorrow: Drunk Thursday, aka the only day of the year where getting wasted in front of your parents is met with cheers.

The tradition – or at least what I’ve come to understand of it – goes as follows. On the last Thursday before lent, the whole family gets together for one last shindig before lent starts. It used to be that people gave up everything that made them happy for the lent period, alcohol included. So this “drunk Thursday” served as their last serious farewell to the substance, giving it up until Easter rolled over.

Disregarding what alcohol does to your liver and other vital organs, I think it’s an awesome tradition. It just has this Lebanese familial feel to it that I believe has been decreasing over the years. It’s always nice to sit with your parents over a glass of wine and chat. Now take the wine and extrapolate to a certain unknown power and throw in a few extra family members, some of which you do not want to mingle with and you’re in for one exciting evening – be it you are an atheist or not. This is not a religious occasion, per se.

I’ve personally never celebrated the day properly with my family. Other people my age have had their own share of “Drunk Thursdays” but getting drunk has always eluded me. I have no idea why. God knows I’ve tried. I’ve also taken up drinking quite late compared to other Lebanese my age. Apparently the “acquired taste” of alcohol required extra-acquiring by yours truly. So it looks like this year will be the one time my family gets together to “celebrate” this day properly. And I have to say, I’m excited about it!

Keeping up with traditions – even though our understanding of them might have become different – is always important because it roots us further in our identity. Even if the tradition is as simple as binge drinking with your dad.

So is your family getting together tomorrow to get drunk?