By Lisi Niesner
Egg. Or as it’s known in other languages:
Ei, яйцо, jajiko, muna, uovo, ägg, yumurta, oeuf, αβγό, tojás, vajce, بيضة, aeg, jaje, ovo, yai, 雞蛋, telur, huevo
It’s the hard-shelled reproductive body produced by a bird and especially by the common domestic chicken, which is the definition that first comes to our sense. Obviously an egg is much more than the daily of decision how we like to have our breakfast: scrambled, fried or poached. Tea enthusiasts use a tea egg and we call someone naughty a bad egg. We walk on egg shells when we act cautiously as well as using eggs for certain sayings: no two eggs are exactly alike, for example.
Even scientists, theologians and philosophers have spent quite a lot of time thinking, discussing and literally quarreling about the egg. The question of how life began has always bothered mankind; we come up with approaches and theories to answer one question in particular: which came first, the chicken or the egg?
The egg plays a special role in every culture around the globe. It is the beginning and the end, life and death, birth and mortality. In many cultures, eggs were and still are symbols of cure, fertility, hope and sacrifice. They are also given on the way to the afterlife in some faiths.
In Chinese mythology, earth (yin) and heaven (yang) are formed from the world-egg Panku and ancient Egyptians represented the sun god Re as an egg. The Greek mythology of creation describes that Eros, who set the world in motion, arose from the silver world-egg. In Hinduism, Brahma and Shiva were born from the cosmic egg and Christians believe that the egg symbolizes hope and resurrection. Just to mention a few examples of how the symbolic character of the egg survived over centuries in different and widely separated civilizations.