Culturally you are what you wear

Posted: 2013/11/22 in Uncategorized

When my daughter was little, about 10 years old, she loved to go to cultural events with me. We live in Los Angeles and almost every culture is represented here with the exception of a few.

We have eaten Bangers with the British, Flatbread at PowWows with the People, Sauerkraut with the Germans, Baklava with the Greeks, and Fish and Chips with the Scottish. Even Enjera and Goat with the Ethiopians Just to name a few.

This is a Banger

Almost without exception, the men in each culture we visited at the fairs seemed to gravitate towards weapons, exhibition of strength, and military arts. The women tend to lean toward clothing and fashion. This is my observation only, and may not be the case in every culture or even what you may have observed.

All cultures had dances that were unique to their cultures and each culture seemed to embrace a common religious belief and eat food they learned to make that has been passed on through the generations.

Dress and clothing played an important roll in distinguishing each culture. The styles down to colors, patterns, and symbols on the clothing each told a story.

In the New Testament Gospel of John, the writer takes the time to give details of the trial and mockery of Jesus, particularly to a Purple Seamless Garment given to him by the soldiers.

And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe,
John 19:2
Pontius Pilate

They said therefore among themselves; Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which said, they parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture, they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.
John 19:24

They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
Psalms 22;18

To make the Purple Seamless Robe requires expensive dye. Beginning in about 1500 BC, Ancient Phoenicia, a sea snail called the spiny dye-murex was a source of purple. The deep, rich purple dye made from this snail became known imperial purple.

Purple Murex_pecten_shell_3

It takes “twelve thousand snails to yield no more than 1.4 g of pure dye, enough to color only the trim of a single garment.

It is understood, that the garment was valuable, if only for its purple color.

Orthodox Christian Tradition holds that a Jewish Rabbi named Elias, who was present in Jerusalem at the time of the crucifixion bought the blood stained holy coat from a soldier.

When he returned to his native town of Mtskheta, Georgia, where it is preserved to this day beneath a crypt in the Patriarchal Svetitskhoveli Cathedral. The feast day in honor of the “Chiton of the Lord” is celebrated on October 1.
Holy Coat

Others believe that the garment woven by the Blessed Virgin for the Child Jesus grew with Him, and was thus worn by Him during His entire life on earth and is in Europe.

Brother Ron has no idea who has the holy coat, nor do I believe it matters where it is either.
Jesus was killed at the hands of men then rose from the dead. What the Roman soldiers cast lots for was a garment that they themselves had given him to mock him.

Why the garment was purple might have been for the evidence Pontius Pilate needed to show the charges of sedition and treason against Rome were founded and to justify under Roman Law putting him to death.

The color purple was expensive and reserved for royalty, therefore it would be reasonable to believe that Jesus intended to provoke or incite rebellion against government authority, or an actual rebellion against Roman authority.

My daughter admitted to me now that she is a adult with children herself that more than anything she enjoyed my company and spending time with me. I know for me those short day trips will forever be in my heart because of the bond we shared together.

We both learned that the cultures we visited where organized; that clothing is one of the most easily observable expressions of privilege and status.

But most importantly by learning about others we were able to learn about ourselves.

Father and Daughter

The writer of the Gospel of John certainly gave us a lot to think about.


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