Monday, 8 October 2007

Sometimes I despair...

Did you ever feel like your religious beliefs have been hijacked? Or maybe trampled underfoot?

During the residential course last week, I was playing Trivial Pursuit with some of my students one evening. There were several of us playing, and we were in teams of three. The question came up, "What is the English equivalent of Mardi Gras?"

The following discussion ensued between the members of the team:

"Oh, that's in New Orleans, isn't it?"

"Yes, and San Francisco I think. Isn't it that gay festival?"

"Oh yes, that's right, so the English equivalent must be Gay Pride."

"Of course - that's our answer, then."

And sure enough, that was their final answer. The English equivalent of Mardi Gras is Gay Pride.

At least the students had the grace to look slightly abashed when they saw that the answer on the card was "Shrove Tuesday".


Ma Beck said...

Okay, I belong to an ultratrad parish, albeit one in the US.
For a couple of months after Mary was born, people would ask, "Oh, how old is she?" and almost without fail, when I answered, "She was born on Shrove Tuesday", I would be met with a few moments of blank stare.
When I followed up with, "She's a Mardi Gras baby" THENNNN they would say, "Ohhh, neat!"

Dracunculus said...

Mind you I can see how the train of thought was going and I suppose it's easy to get confused with all those sequins and feathers and stuff.

I assume that none of them spoke French so missed the "Mardi" clue in the name :)

newhousenewjob said...

To be fair to them, I think they were confused by the wording of the question - it's actually more of a straight translation than an "equivalent".

Ma, I think in the UK the thing people would connect with would be "She's a Pancake Day baby". We're very simple over here.

Amy Caroline said...

Oh my goodness! How sad. And *gasp* I never heard it called "Shrove Tuesday" before. Only Fat Tuesday! So there you go. I like Shrove much better!

newhousenewjob said...

Well, 'Fat Tuesday' is the literal translation of 'Mardi Gras'. So many possibilities that I could have accepted as the correct answer...