Hello again… well I thought I’d write a little post while I wait to hear from Adriana. I realised that while Yumi was ahead of me in time zones, Adriana you are quite far behind so there’s bound to be a bit of a gap as we change over.
I’m sorry not to have seen any of your recent comments, my dear readers :-) they must all be mixed up with lots of spam… either that or everyone’s disappeared! :-)
Today I’m on holiday from work – hurrah! It’s Janamashtami which is Krishna’s birthday. If you’d like to find out more about how and why this day is celebrated you can have a look here.
I’ve always been fascinated by the variety of religions in India and the energy with which religious holidays are celebrated. This time of year there are quite a few important dates from the four major religions – Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism and Christianity. Last Tuesday we had another Hindu holiday – Raksha Bandhan (I hope I’ve spelled that correctly). On this day, girls traditionally buy pieces of decorative thread to tie around their brothers wrist. In return, their brothers promise to protect them forever and they also give them gifts! It’s a great day to be a girl, as long as you have a brother! Actually, it doesn’t seem to matter too much if you don’t because you can include your male cousins as brothers and it’s quite rare for someone not to have any brothers or male cousins. In fact, lots of people refer to their cousins as brothers and sisters, rather than cousins. I think this is a result of the tradition of living in joint families which we’ve discussed before.
From the Hindu calendar, I think my favourite holiday is Dussehra. This day celebrates the triumph of good over evil, as it marks the occasion when the God Rama defeated the demon Ravana who had kidnapped his wife – Sita. This event is marked by the destruction of huge great big effigies of Ravana which involves lots of fireworks and LOTS of noise! Neighbourhoods all over Delhi have their own Ravanas which are ceremoniously blown up in the evening, accompanied by cheers from the crowds that gather.
Dussehra is closely followed by Diwali which celebrates the return of Rama to his kingdom following the rescue of Sita from Ravana’s clutches. Even more fireworks for this festival – it all gets a bit noisy for me! Both of these events come from the epic tale of the Ramayana. I really love the story – I first came across it when I was about ten because we did a play of it at school – I was a mermaid and had to sing a solo! Dussehra and Diwali are about a week or so apart and normally fall in October/November. Adriana and our readers – I wonder what your favourite holidays are?
Well I’m off to yoga now – it’s my first class since I’ve been pregnant. I used to do lots of yoga in England but haven’t done any since I moved to Delhi! That’s a bit ironic isn’t it! A friend of a friend is a yoga teacher and is also pregnant so the plan is to go to her house once a week. I need to get fit and ready for the birth! I’ll let you know how it goes.
All the best,
Vocabulary definitions from the last post…
To stuff your face: to eat A LOT – NB. This is very informal (some people think it’s a bit rude to say this!)
To be over the moon: to be extremely happy
To cope with something: to be able to do something even though it is very difficult or perhaps unpleasant.
… and some more!
To be bound to be
To come across
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