Posted by: janpierce | November 23, 2010

Hindu weddings on Auspicious Days and other stuff

This is harvest season in India and according to Hindu priests who consult the astrological signs, we’re in the middle of many “auspicious days” for weddings. We both see and hear the celebrations. There is a wedding parade in which decorations are held overhead and are linked together in threes. Then along comes the groom on a white horse. He’s wearing a turban and white outfit and looks handsome. The brides often wear red. The wedding “function halls” are all lit up and the music and fireworks go on late into the night. There were evidently as many as 2,000 weddings on one day recently in Delhi. There were over 200 here in Allahabad one day last week.

I’m always fascinated by the way households run here. There are usually servants who work their hearts out all day long as the tasks are so much more labor-intensive. The laundry is done daily and hung up on the rooftops to dry. The marble floors are swept, the plants watered and cared for, the meals and teatimes prepared–there is an endless list of chores and they can’t be done by one person. The lady of the house has to oversee and coordinate the work. Americans are repelled by the idea of having servants, but anyone who has lived overseas knows that even a trip to the vegetable market can take half a morning. Rohit is the worker here and he is a hard-working fifteen year old boy from up north in tea plantation country. He’s learning English and how to do all the jobs, and he cooks and cleans and serves us so well. For him, who has never been to school, this job is a chance to learn skills that will give him life work. It’s a good thing for him.

Today we watched a cow in the yard across the street eating away at the trees, we watched a milk delivery man carrying an open pail of milk from house to house, we met two young women who came for yesterday’s Bible study today, but when they realized their mistake, stayed for tea and a nice conversation. They’re both teachers in a private school. One of them teaches first standard and has 62 students.

Today is David’s mother’s 92nd birthday so Diana has baked a cake, David has bought her flowers and they leave soon to celebrate with the family. It’s very important here to show great love and respect for parents.

We sampled a corn chapati today and had a vegetable dish which is very common made of potato, okra (ladyfingers), peppers and other vegetables. Very delicious. Last night we had a popular dessert which are little balls, kind of like donut holes which sit in clear syrup. It is made from a milk base and squeaks when  you bite into it. It comes in a can or you see children walking down streets with them in plastic bags tied at the top. We get some western food here with David and Diana, but we’ll say goodbye to that when we head for Delhi in a week.

I’m hearing the drumbeats and sounds of yet another wedding…time to head up to the rooftop to see what I can see.

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