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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Nun Guilt Trip

Substitute "X" in the following sentence with a country/region - and I'll tell you what decade you went to grade school in - assuming you went to Catholic school and had nuns.

"Don't you know children are starving in X?" [followed by] "They'd be happy to have those raisins / cream of wheat / lima beans and corn which were retrieved from civil war rations, " [Or whatever it was you were trying to stuff in the school garbage bins after lunch.] Nuns had eagle eyes then, and no compunctions re: laying a guilt trip on you.

1930s - China
1940s - Europe
1950s - Korea
1960s - Biafra
1970s - Cambodia
1980s - Ethiopia
1990s - Romania
2000s - Sudan / North Korea

Did I miss any?


Adrienne said...

Actually my nuns just said "the world". Nothing like not pigeon holing yourself....

gemoftheocean said...

;-D I asked a friend of mine, and she said "The Armenians" and then it made sense because I realized that when she was in grade school in the early 50s HER nuns had been in school in the 20s...and the nuns hadn't updated it.

And I must say it was imressive in school if some kid had a bloody nose. Sister managed to pull a bedsheet sized hankie out of her sleeve. 10-1 she had a blanket and pillowcases in there too.

Anonymous said...

My parents usually said Europe or Africa. Ironically, I mentioned this to some friends in Austria, and after they stopped laughing, told me their parents always pointed to South America.
Nuns and parents are the same everywhere, only they have different geogrphic perspective.

gemoftheocean said...

Dino, you bet!! I bet there are pockets of Africa where they say: "There are children in appalachia who'd love to have those fried trantullas!

Enbrethiliel said...


I was in elementary school in the 1980s. My teachers and family alternated between Somalia and Bangladesh--but I guess Ethiopia is close enough!

If it's not physical poverty, however, they will find something else. Several years ago, after one Sunday Mass, I remember overhearing a lady from the choir saying to some people, "You should be thankful you live in the Philippines! People don't go to church in Europe anymore!" (What a way to make us feel better about living in the Third World! =P)

gemoftheocean said...

Right on, E! I remember being shocked when a Frenchwoman told me less than 10% of Catholics went to Sunday Mass.

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