Don’t Take It At Face Value

| Sweden | Working | September 5, 2013

(I am volunteering in a spiritual sanctuary retreat, along with several other young girls who are on their first volunteering experience. There are many objects lying around the sanctuary, such as bags of medicinal herbs, incense, candles and other ritualistic things. It’s an unsaid fact that you shouldn’t touch them. I am working in the kitchen when I hear loud singing outside.)

Young Volunteer Girl: *singing* “He’s there; the phantom of the operaaaaaa!”

(I shake my head and go back to work as she continues singing. Some time later, she bursts into the kitchen wearing a mask which, granted, does look a lot like the mask from ‘The Phantom Of The Opera.’)

Young Volunteer Girl: *still singing* “Beware, the phantom of the operaaaaaa!”

Me: “Uh, where did you find that mask?”

Young Volunteer Girl: “I think it was in [room]. It’s pretty cool, huh?”

Me: “I don’t want to spoil the fun, but that is a sacred mask. It’s used in rituals, and only certain people are allowed to wear it.”

(The girl stops singing, and takes off the mask. She shuffles around uncomfortably.)

Young Volunteer Girl: “I guess I’ll go and put it back then.”

(As she leaves the room, I sigh and shake my head. She wasn’t fired, but after that she was particularly careful not to play with objects of which she didn’t know the use!)

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