In Western musical theory a cadence is a particular series of intervals or chords that ends a phrase, section, or piece of music. Cadences give phrases a distinctive ending. An analogy can be made with punctuation, with some weaker cadences acting as commas, indicating a pause or momentary rest, while a stronger cadence will then act as the period, indicating the end of the phrase or musical sentence.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Ethiopian Frankincense

There are a few days in your life that are memorable..and that lingers in your mind..for ever..Today was one such day...Me, Nola and Kassa (My friends from IVGRAD) set on an adventurous mission to attend an Ethiopian Church service on this sunday morning.. The service is at 7:30 and it takes about 40 minutes to get there by car.. So for the first time after coming to stanford I woke up at 5:45 AM (midnight!!)  and we all started by 6:45AM. We had lot of fun on the way.. Coming from a hot and humid climate back in India..I always get fascinated about foggy and misty weather..Our drive thru US 101 towards San Jose was mostly foggy and I just said to my friends that It (the fog and stuff) was so beautiful... That's it..Nola (an American) was surprised and started making fun at me...for her the fog isn't very special and ofcourse she was driving and isn't very admirable for her :-) ..anyways it was all fun and we reached the church. The people there wore a white robe around them (both men and women) before entering the church and you are supposed to leave your footwear outside, unlike the other American churches. Kasssa was an ethiopian and I with my complexion (? :-) ) fitted the place very well but Nola looked different among others..anyways Kassa gave a few instructions to her about the service and we departed and can't see each other for the next 4 hrs (!?)..Because the men and women have to sit in separate groups . The service started and it was very similar to the orthodox churches in India.. But i have never attended a full orthodox service in India.. This is my first time.. The priests wore ornamental robes and a golden hat.. Most of the text was sung rather than being read (which is the case in many Lutheran and other Protestant churches). And every now and then the priest had a incense bowl using which he came around all the people in the church and spread the frankincense.. Wow i just looked at the ceiling to see if there is any smoke alarm..Thank God there weren't any..Definitely they would have got special permission from California state government.. It's been more than hour and we were still standing..Kassa was standing next to me..and probably he would have noticed me pulling out my legs and feeling tired, asked me to sit and told me that he will let me know when to stand.. And for about an other hour there was continuous recital of verses.. Then the priest came and gave the sermon..which I couldn't understand( of course  I can't -  But later after the sermon I was surprised to see Nola - could guess the theme of the sermon - she is a linguist !!). Also I felt bad that I couldn't control my sleep..After all that, finally came the church choir and they sang a few wonderful songs..Although I couldn't understand it I joined with them in clapping the hands..It was really wonderful..with huge drums and music.. Finally after getting the blessings from the priest we came out and had some bread and tea.. During that time Nola was sharing the funny experiences she had... It was a truly amazing time.. I was really fascinated to see the different ways with which people worship God..It was really amazing..So after all the frankincense Nola offered us a thanks giving treat in a nearby Ethiopian restaurant.. I was taken by surprise when i found that the food..esp the spices tasted pretty much like that of the south indian food...(It could be possible because the south india and Ethiopia are in the same latitude May be ?) It was an awesome lunch and during the lunch we just had a game where in I wanted them to spell the word 'thamizh' in my mother tongue.. They couldn't get the 'la' part of it..It was total fun.. and Nola in turn gave me some word from Texas english accent..something like 'shudder down' and i didn't get the '..eeeerrrr' part of it correctly.. It was all fun on the way back to Stanford...In return I invited them for a dinner on Wednesday (26th Nov) at my apartment...There will be three people and American, African and an Asian (Korea)... It's gonna be real fun...anyways it was a wonderful day .....

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