The Day of The Dude

 |  February 25, 2010

If you ask most foreigners what they’re doing in Thailand, they’re likely to tell you they’re ‘on holiday’. Yet few realise that the word literally means ‘holy day’. With its roots in ancient religious history, taking a break from the world is still one of the most spiritual things one can do, even if your holiday consists only in getting sunburned, overfed, and inebriated.

It’s no secret that western religions put a lot of faith in the holy notion of rest. God’s supreme accomplishment after creating the world, after all, was knowing when to kick back and take it easy. Consequently, we commemorate God’s day off by setting aside a weekly day of leisure, which the Christians call ‘Sunday’, the Jews call ‘Shabbos’, and Thailand calls ‘shopping’.

In our holy text, The Big Lebowski, the main character of the Dude is unemployed and spends his free time doing what he calls the usual: “drive around, bowl, the occasional acid flashback”. He also bathes to tapes of whale sounds and does tai chi on his rug while drinking a white Russian. Indeed, as he puts it, his “career’s slowed down a little”.

Now, lest ye be the first one to throw rocks, when’s the last time anyone heard anything from God? And Jesus seems to be taking his own sweet time getting back to work. So where does that leave us? Like the Dude (and God and The Jesus), we orthodox Dudeists aren’t content to be merely 1/7th holy. Thus we strive to increase the days of rest to the point where they threaten to take over the entire week. You might say that we want to be wholly holy.

For inspiration why not consult a calendar and see if there’s a holiday you can observe. With 192 countries in the world, there’s bound to be something to celebrate (and an excuse to get off work) every day of the year.

For the moment, make sure to set aside this March 6th. It’s ‘The Day of the Dude’, the holiest day of the Dudeist calendar, which commemorates the release of our sacred film, The Big Lebowski in 1998. Please join me and other Chiang Mai Dudeists at a local bowling alley for white Russians, oat sodas, bowling and the occasional acid flashback. Details can be found here:

Until then, take ‘er easy!

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