Bread and Salt

Our niece with whom we went to the zoo yesterday for horse riding (well, actually this memory is 20 years old but it still feels that way) now has finished her studies and moved to her first big flat. I can hardly believe how quick this little girl turned into a grown woman earning her bread herself.

When I was a child my mother gifted always a fresh baked bread with big lumps of salt on it. We have that German saying „bread and salt – may god preserve“ (well, in German it is in rhymes and so rather catchy) as both were considered the staff of life and therefore almost magical. Bread was giving strength and salt could be used to preserve. Salt was also quite expensive and called the white gold. Therefore bread and salt were given when moving into a new home or on a wedding as they symbolize hospitality, togehterness of two people, health and women’s fertilty.

In our affluent and knowledge society these things have lost their meaning but in my opinion there is still some charme to this symbolic gesture. Therefore the niece got a glass decorated with shamrocks filled with danish simmered salt, a dish towel embroidered with that saying (design by Die flinken Spulchen), a keyfob by Orange Elephant Embroidery and a belgien Pain Paillasse made by our village’s baker. Our niece loved this little gesture as I was the first visitor thinking of this tradtion even though she has been living there already a month.

So how do you handle such tradtions? Which creative ideas do you have? Because when everyone would give bread and salt it would be boring.

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