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Creating a Culture of Belonging: Celebrating Easter at Travis Perkins

Our Awareness of Cultures and Ethnicities (ACE) network enables us to acknowledge, celebrate, and educate one another about other cultures and ethnicities. We are committed to creating a culture of belonging where everyone feels welcome and confident to be themselves - you be you, it makes us, us! 

In Spring, we celebrate Easter, the oldest and most important festival of the Christian Church. As we shine a spotlight and educate our colleagues, communities, and customers about different cultures, we get closer to fostering an inclusive and welcoming culture for all. 

What is Easter? 

While in the UK we now think of Easter as a time to eat chocolate eggs, its religious significance is much more than this and throughout Europe it is marked by different traditions and celebrations. 

The festival honours the resurrection of Jesus Christ and falls on the first Sunday after the spring equinox. The 40 days leading up to Easter Sunday are known as Lent where Christians fast, pray, and repent. The last week of Lent, Holy Week, includes Palm Sunday, when Jesus entered Jerusalem, Maundy Thursday, which marks the last supper with his disciples, and Good Friday, the day he was crucified and died. 

How is Easter celebrated?

Many Christians attend Church on Easter Sunday to celebrate Jesus Christ’s life, decorate and hide Easter eggs (which represent new life), and get together with family and friends for a special meal. They also give back to their communities through charity work.

Easter is observed in many countries around the world and depending on the culture and traditions of that particular country, the way it is celebrated varies.

We caught up with colleagues with Lithuanian, Serbian, and Polish heritage to learn more about how they celebrate Easter! 

Lithuanian Easter Traditions

We spoke to Artur Galazaciov, Tool Hire Driver, Travis Perkins Ealing Branch, who is from Klaipeda, Lithuania. 

What traditions do you have and do you do anything differently to celebrate Easter?

“We celebrate Easter in many ways. We go to church and celebrate together. Each family member will prepare an Easter dish to contribute to the feast, and share this with the whole village. It brings families in the community together. 

We decorate boiled eggs in traditional ways. In our family, we use plants and flowers from the yard with wax or oil to hold them in place, or we use the wax to make floral or Easter patterns on the egg. We place the eggs in old stockings, tie them together and boil them using natural food dyes such as cabbage, beetroot, or onion skins. We normally display them in nests made from twigs, straw or foliage from the yard.

After church, before breakfast, we would play games with the eggs. We all take turns cracking each other's eggs, and the person with the less damaged egg wins the game.”

Why is it important for you and your family/your community to keep these customs and traditions alive?

“We like to keep these traditions as it brings the family together. It's a special time of year for the children in the family. It also brings the towns and villages together for a big celebration.”

Polish Easter Traditions

We spoke to Anna Lucuk, Corporate Affairs Director, Travis Perkins plc, who is from Poland. 

What traditions do you have and do you do anything differently to celebrate Easter?

“In the run-up to Easter we make sure we set some time aside to dye, paint and decorate eggs - pisanki - which are then used to decorate the home for Easter. Growing up, Easter Sunday lunch was always as important as Christmas dinner. We have a Baranek Wielkanocny, a traditional cake shaped like a lamb that plays a central part on Polish dining tables during Easter. Before the meal begins, everyone takes a slice of boiled egg and wishes everyone at the table Wesotego Alleluja (Joyful Hallelujah) or Happy Easter.”

Why is it important for you and your family/your community to keep these customs and traditions alive?

“It's part of who I am and helped me appreciate, understand and celebrate differences between

communities and so I'd like my children to do the same. These traditions are also hands-on and colourful activities to pass on to my children that do not involve screens or chocolate!” 

Serbian Easter Traditions

We spoke to Branka Warren, Customer Relations Team Leader, Travis Perkins Merchanting, who is from Serbia and Hungary. 

What traditions do you have and do you do anything differently to celebrate Easter?

“In Serbia, Easter is celebrated with lots of traditions such as spending time with your loved ones, fasting, colouring eggs, praying and then eating lots of amazing food! The most common Easter greeting in Serbia is “Hristos vaskrse” (Christ has Resurrected). The reply to that greeting should be “Vaistinu vaskrse” (Indeed, he has Resurrected). 

The most popular of all the traditions has always been egg colouring. Traditionally natural colouring such as onion skin and flowers are used to colour hard-boiled eggs. However, nowadays, there are many techniques used to achieve those intricate colour designs. 

The first coloured egg is always red. It is set aside and kept near the family icons for the entire year. As an amulet of sorts, called Euvarkuca (the keeper of the house). I always keep one in my fridge. On Easter morning every child would pick a coloured egg and play a game to see whose egg is strongest. It's a proud moment if you win! There is always plenty of good food and a feeling of unity.”

Why is it important for you and your family/your community to keep these customs and traditions alive?

“As I live so far away from home, I find it challenging to keep all the Serbian customs and traditions alive. At Easter, we always colour eggs, play games and make some delicious Serbian food. It is important to keep the traditions alive as they create a feeling of belonging. 

I do my best to pass them on to my boys who will hopefully pass them on to their children one day. All the different traditions make the world a more colourful place and are a glimpse into the way our ancestors used to live. There is always a lot of wisdom and meaning behind them and it would be a shame to let them become a thing of the past.”

Be your authentic self at Travis Perkins 

We want everyone to be at their best and it’s our ambition that everyone within our Group feels confident to be their authentic selves and that they belong. 

Our five diversity and inclusion networks are driving real, positive change. With one of our networks dedicated to the Awareness of Cultures and Ethnicities (ACE), we are focused on creating a culture where we attract, retain and develop all colleagues from diverse backgrounds. 

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