Wednesday, March 06, 2013

"Madam, Madam"

One day I went out with a friend and she wanted to buy a towel, so I took her to the place I normally buy mine from (also recommended by MIL).

While we were walking to the place we were crossing one of the roadside stores that sells sheets, pillow covers, and bed covers. All of a sudden I hear "Madam, madam, come here. Pillow covers, bed sheets..." I know they are talking to me because they normally talk in bengali and they only ever talk in English to me (this is a normal thing...) so I ignore them.

We are walking back the same way when the same thing happens...all of a sudden I got very annoyed and turned back and said "Jodi dorkar chillo aami aapnake boltam" (If I had needed them I would have told you) and walked on.

Needless to say, I probably shocked my friend.

First "aashirbaad" (blessing)

Up until last month all the family weddings that I have gone to were for the groom. Last month I got to experience what it was like being from the bride's side of the family.

It all started with a lunch the day before the wedding, called Aeiburo Bhaat (literally Feasting of the Bride) I went with MIL and SIL, since it was pretty much all girls. When we arrived the bride was sitting in the middle of the room and people were blessing her. This meant that the person who was doing the blessing was holding a golden plate with a lit lamp (and a few other things...) while standing up. The process was to take some dhurba ghass (a special sort of grass) and some dhaan (rice that had the husk and everything on) and place it on her head, and wait for a second while they took a picture then feed her a small spoonful of paesh (a sweet dish made of rice, milk, cashew, cardamon and raisins, and can be made with or without nolen gur - the date palm jaggery) and then hand it off to the next person. This was my first time, and had to follow the MIL, so I watched closely. This was how it happened...

Me : Are you ready for this?
S : Yep 
Me : I hope you are, because this is my first time. 

Done! It was funny the whole interaction because I was the only foreigner, and I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. 

Then we had the typical Bengali meal of rice, daal, shukto (I like this stuff, and this lady's blog rocks!), chingri maach (big huge prawns), doi maach (fish cooked in yogurt, normally my favorite, but since I had fish the night before I declined...)