I definitely approve of a country where they enthusiastically celebrate Shrove Tuesday with buns containing cardamom, almond paste and unreasonable amounts of whipped cream, but have very little idea what Lent actually is, let alone any willingness to give up good things.
Chelm stories should not mention the Holocaust. Really. I know there's an actual town called Chelm, but it's not the same as the mythical place where the inhabitants got an extra share of foolishness or wisdom and nobody knows which. And it's deeply creepy to say that 8000 inhabitants were murdered or deported by the Nazis as your introduction to a jolly little story about trying to trade moonlight.
There was a really good and satisfying snowfall this week. I'm a little jealous of Swedish kids who get weather like this reliably for at least a couple of weeks every winter, and get taken on sledging outings during play-time. OK, they don't get a day off school every time a few flakes of snow fall, but still.
Lots of friends and Jewish community folk are really upset about the prospect of my leaving Sweden, even though I haven't committed to anything like that yet. This is making my social interactions a little embarrassing, as people don't know whether to encourage me in job-hunting or hope that everything goes wrong so that I have to stay here. If I actually end up leaving it's going to be unbearable.
I am really enjoying playing with programming for Dreamwidth. It's satisfying, and it makes me regret spending 20 years not coding at all ever.
Hm, I don't think Passover is strictly analogous. I don't feel proud of myself for resisting the temptation to eat bread and pasta during that week, it's not a self-denial thing at all. I do keep two solemn calendar periods where I refrain from alcohol and partying, plus a couple of full (no food or drink for 25 hours) fasts, which are probably more similar.
Actually I'm not at all bothered by religious Christians who use Lent as a period of reflection about incidents in Jesus' life, and who abstain from meat or alcohol or whatever as part of that devotional practice. What I find strange is people who are not religious at all, but insist on giving something up "for Lent" in order to set themselves a test and prove their willpower. But I'm really only joking about what a good thing it is that Swedes don't keep Lent, I just like the idea of having a Shrove Tuesday indulgence with lots of rich ingredients, and then not giving anything up afterwards!