Monthly Archives: October 2011

Celebrating the Bhai Dooj festival!

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Celebrating the Bhai Dooj festival!

Today we celebrated a festival called Bhai Dooj.

The festival of  Bhai Dooj is celebrated by Hindus on the on the last day of the five-day-long Diwali festival.  On this day, sisters pray for their brothers to have long and happy lives by performing the tika ceremony, and brothers make gifts to their sisters. Carrying forward the ceremony in traditional style, sisters perform aarti for their brother and apply a red tika on the brother’s forehead. This tika ceremony on the occasion of Bhai Dooj signifies the sister’s sincerest prayers for the long and happy life of her brother. In return brothers bless their sisters and treat them with gifts.

My lovely brothers, Uddhav, Mudit, Rohan (big), Sushant and Rohan (little)

On the day of the festival, sisters invite their brothers for a sumptuous meal often including their favorite dishes. The whole ceremony signifies the duty of a brother to protect his sister, as well as a sister’s blessings for her brother.

Helping to serve lunch for my brothers.

Oh brother..

I was just thinking that I know Ro is supposed to protect me but who will protect me from Ro?

Happy Diwali!

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Happy Diwali!

Yesterday we celebrated Diwali! Happy Diwali to everyone! Here are some photos to show you what we did.

Our family home was decorated all over with lights, candles, flowers, rangoli (patterns made from coloured powders) and flower petal designs.

As it was a holiday my whole family was at home and we had a lot of fun with everyone!

This is the puja room where we had our family Diwali prayers. Nani was making sure everything was in place and I was helping her.

Everyone wore smart and bright coloured clothes in the evening for when our celebration began with the puja (prayers).

Sitting with Bapa (grandpa) for the puja

After prayers we put our hands with the help of an adult around the aarti – oil candle flame and blessed the gods and ourselves. (Mummy has found more about that and we have put it in in case you would like to know more about why).

Aarti In Sanskrit, the term aarti can be broken up into two words – “aa’ meaning towards and “rati” meaning the highest love for God. Traditionally, aarati is done two or three times a day, at the conclusion of a puja, bhajan or havan. It is a mandatory ritual performed on all auspicious occasions of Hindus. The aarti lamp is circulated in front of the deity and arti song is sung by all members present there. When aarti is performed before God, it is believed that the light get blessed by the deity.

The person leading the prayers passes on the aarti from one person to another, present there, who cup the flickering fire lightly with their down-turned hands. Then, they put their hands over the flame and then touch their forehead, as a gesture of seeking holy blessings. Aarti is also performed in front of a person, either as a welcome gesture or to ward off bad influences from him. Infact, the whole purpose of arti is to ward off the evil spirits and bad omens.

After aarti my bhaiya Mudit (cousin brother) put a small dot on my forehead.

This is called a tilak and is the the ritual mark on the forehead. It can be put in many forms as a sign of blessing, greeting or auspicious (lucky). This is usually made out of a red vermilion paste (kumkum).

When we first came to India Rohan thought it was blood and was very worried why everyone had blood on their foreheads. He was sure he didn’t want blood on his head. He has now gotten used to it as you can see.

Ro with our really cute twin niece and nephew Ansh left and Saira right.

After the prayers were over we all had dinner together and then went outside to take some family pictures and watch the fireworks go off. We had a very long set of bangers which went all the way down the driveway! It was very noisy! I liked the sparklers and the fountains best. Ro didn’t like the banging at all, he went inside to watch with Nani, she doesn’t like bangs either!

Mummy and I with Mudit bhaiya and then Shweta, Siddhika my beautiful didi’s (cousin sisters) and Uddhav my favourite bhaiya (cousin brother).

Above pictures – My Nana, little Nani as Ro calls her, Mama’s Mami’s and all our family. Simran my lovely bhabi (my Sushant bhaiya’s wife and Ansh and Saira’s Mummy).

My Shweta didi, Uddhav bhaiya, Bantu Mama, Bhawna Mami and Siddi didi

My Mudit bhaiya, Shibani Mami and Ashu Mama

Below is Nani (or big nani as Ro calls her).

Ansh and Saira’s papa and mummy Sushant bhaiya and Simran bhabi with Munna Mama on the right

More photos to come!

Sending you lots of love Anisha, Ro and Mummy especially to Pa as we all missed you a lot today! x

Diwali Show at School!

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Diwali Show at School!

Ro and I had our Diwali show today.  Diwali is known as the festival of lights.  The story behind Diwali is in the Ramayana (a bit like the bible).

According to Ramayana, Rama, the prince of Ayodhya was ordered by his father, King Dasharatha, to go away from his country and come back after living in the forest for fourteen years. So Rama went on exile with his devoted wife Sita and faithful brother, Lakshmana. When Ravana, the demon king of Lanka abducted Sita and took her away to his island kingdom of Lanka, Rama fought against and killed Ravana. He rescued Sita with the help of Hanuman (the monkey god) and returned to Ayodhya after fourteen years. The people of Ayodhya were very happy to hear of their beloved prince’s homecoming. To celebrate Rama’s return to Ayodhya, they lit up their houses with earthen lamps (diyas), burst crackers and decorated the entire city in the grandest manner.

This is believed to have started the tradition of Diwali. Year after year this homecoming of Lord Rama is commemorated on Diwali with lights, fireworks, bursting of crackers and merriment. The festival gets its name Deepawali, or Diwali, from the rows (avali) of lamps (deepa) that the people of Ayodhya lit to welcome their King.

This is our headmistress Mrs Robbie lighting the Diwali diya (oil lamp) to open the show.

The whole school joined in with the celebrations.  The little children in the photo below are dressed as the characters from the Diwali story.  From left to right. Ravan (baddie), Rama, Sita, Laxman and Hanuman (all goodies)!  The bigger girls and boys doing their dance. They were brilliant!

Ro danced to a traditional Konkani Goan song with his partner Sweetie!

I have been going for practice every Saturday to learn the steps.  I really had fun and Ro was really good too!

I also sang Doe a Deer from Sound of Music with Liberty and Freya.

Today was the last day of school. We are off to Delhi tomorrow for our holidays to visit our family and have Diwali. Night night.

Exam Results!

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Exam Results!

I had a big surprise when I went up with Mummy to get my exam results.  I was really happy that I had passed. I worked really hard to catch up and had to change things like my handwriting to fit in.  Mummy says that I had the biggest smile on my face when I saw the blackboard in our classroom.  Now I can’t stop smiling!

My teacher Ms Celine and I!

 

At the market!

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At the market!

Here are some photos I took with Mummy when we went to the market very early in the morning to get some vegetables.  It was already very hot.  I wish the computer could make you smell how the fish smelt or feel how hot it was. My favourite photo is the one with the tiny bird on the flowers!

Leading assembly and computer exams

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Leading assembly and computer exams

This morning I was asked to lead the prayers…

and our exercises…

Also to sing the Indian National Anthem.

We had our computer exam today I think it went okay.  I feel like I got all the answers right but am not sure.  After school we went to an ice cream factory to get some yummy ice cream as a treat we even got to taste a new flavour it was chocolate and coconut. Yummy!! : )

Playing before school and more exams!

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This morning before school Ro and I were playing in the playground as we got there early.  I had yoga and then we started with assembly.   We then had a snack and had our History exam.  It was good I think. It wasn’t too hard but I am not sure how I did.  This afternoon we revised for tomorrow’s Computer exam.  Wish me luck!