Friday, August 05, 2011

8/5/2011 Indian Wedding

Thursday: Julian's Kung Fu class, practicing some sort of punching/kicking exercise. He's liking it! He's ready for a yellow-belt belt test, which I signed him up for on Aug 20.

Today Dave and I both took the day off work. We'd planned to go to lunch together to drop in on -- of all things -- a wedding! Since I had such a tough week and Dave had a dentist appointment anyway, it was a good day to just take the whole day off.

Julian informed us last night that he was in a play at CDC camp today, that was performing at 9:30am today. Nice to know!! (Our CDC is running the "performing arts" and "culinary" camp, and with all 3 of our kids there, it made sense to separate the boys with Julian in performing arts camp.)

So before the wedding, Dave and I attended a hastily-arranged "Hansel and Gretel" performance. Julian had a non-speaking role as a tree. He took it pretty seriously though.

I think he needs to practice the silent role more, he did well.

The wedding is for a longtime friend and former coworker of Dave's, Uday, and his longtime girlfriend, Joann. Uday also has a 9yo son, Kirin, who spends the summer with Uday here (he lives in Cleveland) and has had playdates with our boys.

The "wedding" is complicated, because the bride is from the Midwest and the groom is Indian, so they're having several ceremonies and celebrations. Today's was (one of?) the Indian celebrations, in which ceremonies and banquets occur all day long, and apparently guests are invited to pop in and out as they please. There's also a "white wedding" on Sunday (I think that refers to race and wedding-dress color!), and another celebration in India in a few months. And I thought Western weddings were tough!

When we got to the wedding, we'd missed one of the first ceremonies, which according to the program including 25 steps of blessings, songs and rituals, but we'd arrived in time for one of the many photo sessions. Many of Joann's family (caucasians from the Midwest) dressed in sarees, that was interesting to see. So decorative and sparkly!

Joann and Uday were wearing garlands made of real flowers -- fragrant and heavy.

Later another ritual started, in which Uday and Joann sat while a cross-legged cleric chanted and sang and sprinkled them with things for about an hour. Meantime, guests mingled and ate and chatted -- it seemed disrespectful not to pay attention to such an intense and solemn ceremony, but apparently that's expected. Joann had changed into a beautiful pink saree, and even changed the jewels on her headdress and forehead.

What a difference from a Western wedding, but very interesting! I really enjoyed talking to their family and friends. I'd quizzed Joann several times in past years about what it's like growing up with two older brothers, for Katrina's sake. Nowadays the question seems irrelevant, because as a mother, my childraising experience is dominated by the boys' tumultuous relationship.

I met Joann's mother, who'd also raised two boys and a girl, and she confirmed my experience -- that two boys and a girl is mostly about the brother relationship. At least, for the mother it is. But I appreciate Joann's perspective on being the younger sister, ostensibly to help Katrina -- lately it seems more like she doesn't need much help; if anything she relieves the intense fraternalities around here. Anyway, it was nice to be there for our friends, in whatever way we were there.

Unfortunately, the day was marred with yet another horrendous behavior report from the CDC about the boys. That doesn't happen nearly as much with girls. Argh!


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