Tuesday, July 20, 2010

all blessed and 140 people for dinner

The actual ceremony around the Holy Fire early in the day got off to a good start- we had drizzly rain happening, the ceremony itself was a little daunting occasionally.
A string is attached to my veil which is then linked to Praveen my husband, basically I sit there and he acts for both of us through most of it.
I could understand enough to have the impression we worked our way through the Dieties asking for their blessings, the alter was full of flowers and bowls of dried grains and lentils and nuts etc. We were hopeing for prosperity in the way of happiness and family and food and all good things to call on us.
Seemed pretty good to me,
Then we had to get up and wander outside and I became the centre of attantion, this is where it got a bit daunting, seems my role focuses on collecting  the water [here we are entering for the 'first' time following the priest. I have the water pot on my head, my husband is just strolling along and Kanchen has her face veiled because a priest is present.

Next we went inside around the fire, here a broom was blessed for me and I had to sweep the floor [nearly lost it here and you could feel those who know hold their breath- I actually do a lot more than quietly keep house!!] and a stove was blessed for me....
I get it and actually like the strong couple/family orientation of life here. People do see these ties as binding not disposable and stick by their relationships in general.
In many ways things have pulled to the other extreme in the world I came from, I did everything in my family, was the wage earner, and the home maker- it nearly killed me making a home for my boys.
Not bad if people have different roles in a relationship and they are apprecaited for their role because all are valuable. It just seemed I was asigned only one role and the rest of me not ackowledged....ohh well it is the custom, this was a traditional ceremony and most of the blessing ceremony felt like a blessing for our new home.
Will have to ask Praveen for a transaltion on what I missed- what is his asigned jobs? Best he does not think he can walk along leisurely while I carry the waterpot...we share.

For a dinner like this, people wander in over a few hours, have dinner and wander out again....many people we know through our Stitching Project or building the house also wandered into the role of helping cook or serve food. Very kind of them. This is Gopal-ji our screen printer and it seems butti maker extraudinaire
Chugin, who is a tailor, Panalal's right hand man is also a salad maker, and kept serving dinner to others until I had to forcefully grab him and get him to stop to eat- really nice man, along with Krishna Panalal's eldest girl.
The food was really good- our caterer did us proud, little bit of a panic at one stage we guessed 50 or 60 people would turn up ordered food for 100 and ended up serving 140...so bit of mid term unexpected etxra butti [bread type ball] making happened
Many guests, it was a hot and steamy night, the previous one listening to music had had a small gentle breeze....
Our house feels good to be in and was a great space for lots of people, when you have so many to visit it makes you realise what a large space we have...soon fill it with garden it has such potential!!
Really love it.
Visitors very welcome, do come on by :)
In true Indian style all the rubbish was just thrown outside the front gate,
Dogs and cows soon arrived - from where??? we are quiet a distance from the next house and 1 km from the village,....for a while there we had dog and cow wars as they manouvered for what they could get- all was vegetarian, cows ate the paper plates, dogs licked what they could clean.
Mukesh will need to pick the rubbish up this morning and burn it- all that could be re-cycled has been removed, and learn the Australian way- no dumping rubbish like that, we sort what we can drop into the re-cycler in town  and the rest, which amounts to the plastic bags that milk comes in will need to be burned. Perhaps we can by milk locally and collect it in a milk can?- hope so.

1 comment:

Bia, from Brazil said...

Amasing!It seems to me this could only happen there. Enjoyed every word of your narrative.