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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Invitare Peccati!

It began innocently enough with our exercises and homework being checked and corrected in class this afternoon.

We had to expand some dairy entries of a young woman and tell a story about her life as given in point form in one particular exercise. One of the priest read out his piece he did and our teacher brought out a point concerning a romantic candle light dinner (cenato a lume di candela). First, our China priest was asked by our teacher (in Italian, of course) what is the Chinese phrase for 'candle light dinner'. He was confused and thought she meant if he had seen candles in a shrine. When he finally understood what the question was, he quickly told her that people in China do not have such practices. :-)

It's not that they are not romantic, mind you, but just that this isn't in their culture. But modern Chinese nowadays may be more attune to this, nonetheless.

Next, another point was brought out by our teacher that usually in candlelight dinners, the lights would be turned off or dimmed. One of the African priests in our class put up his hands and asked why are the lights switched off. "Is it because the couple can have the better freedom to express themselves?", he continued. That's when we all burst out laughing and the lessons took a turn for the funnies! :-D

Meanwhile, another African priest in the class was quietly observing and reflecting all this and when the description of a candle light dinner continued to be explained, as our teacher did her best to highlight this special occasion between two persons on a date, of which she herself had been through before, this priest suddenly interjected with this comment that it was "invitare peccati. (inviting sins)" The jaw of the teacher dropped as we all burst out laughing again! :-)

Tip: when you are talking to African priests, do not, I repeat, do not mention anything about candle light dinners!

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