Friday, October 03, 2008

Navratan










At the moment we are in the middle of Navratan, a Nine Day Festival to honour the Goddess Durga...
in Hindu beliefs, there is only one supreme being but being all encompassing it is rather hard to get your head around...so it is worshipped in its various elements as separate God and Goddesses.
Durga is that fierce, protective part of the feminine principle that would stand up to Demons to protect her brood.
This festival leads up to the major one later in the month of Diwali- the Festival of Lights http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diwali whose underlying theme is your own inner light overcoming areas of darkness within yourself.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durga This link will give a bit more info on the festival and stories. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durga_Puja
Celebration of Navratan takes many forms, here in Pushkar it is normal to fast during the day, make puja or blessings in the evening and then dance to celebrate.

Last night was the big night for dance so all through the village people gathered together...I was lucky enough to be invited to the home of some of our school children....
every one turned up to watch
Some of our Mums...I was made a delicios and very sweet cup of chai upon arrival...lovely smoky flavour from the dung fire used to heat it.



The family cow was rather disappointed to be moved from her familiar night's spot right next to the house, but not at all unhappy to watch and provide a place for others to lean...

The fabulous dandia dancing... clapping sticks and twists and turns , all could be involoved from youngest to oldest although it is mostly for the children and younger adults.

Some of the children asked me if I wanted to eat chapatti...not thinking of what would happen I said, "oh yes please!"

Being Australian I thought of dinner with the family...being Indian my hosts were thinking -sit her in the corner on the only pillow like a queen and produce a huge pile of chappatti and wonderful spiced dal and vegetables and we all watch her eat!

First they were amazed at the slow speed I eat at...at one stage some of the girls were even offering to feed me! not a problem for them...and then I made the faux pas of dropping food on myself--aahhh...this is with about 12 people watching and various neighbours wandering through to witness the family's good fortune of having a foreign visitor in their home,... and continuous questions -me with sssooo little Hindi, they with so little English -about all our lives and families.

Luckily Ramsingh was dragged in as well and I could persuade him to share the food. None of my hosts could do that as they were the host, and I know it is most improper to waste any food. a moments panic at the end as they kept offering seconds and I thought were about to take my bowl and fill it forcably...

All in all a wonderful experience, this is not the place to be shy...

Ok, workman finished dirt and dust everywhere I am off to swill water all through the house and clean up for the next tradesman to come and make a mess...oohh don't think I am grumpy, eveything is so new it is better to be happy and amused by it all...and think of the lovely exercise I am getting- cheaper than a gym and more productive....

I must tell you about clothes washing sometime....

1 comment:

fibresofbeing said...

Thanks for the wonderful read each time Fiona - including the challenging and important ones. It seems a long time since we talked at an ATASDA meeting in Sydney and you were just planning an overseas trip away from your boys - I think the first time.
I've left a little thank you gift on my blog, fibresofbeing.
Judy