Sunday, August 17, 2008
Andrea Madonna (aka Raj & Florence's baby)
Sunday Aug 10 was the BIG day. Raj & Florence's baby naming/christening. We picked Sue up from the airport bright and early, gave her a chance to catch about an hour of sleep, shoved breakfast into the kids mouths and we were "off" for the big celebration.
If you are Hindu, the baby is officially named and the name is announced at a baby naming cermony around the 3 month mark. This includes prayers to the appropriate gods, pooja, feasting and in at least one case we have heard of, the sacrificing of a goat.
If you are Christian, but of Indian desent, I think the traditional ceremony has been amended. Its a bit like a christening or baptism, however, this one took place in Florence's family home. This is a 2 bedroom 1 bathroom flat. Little did we know it could hold 50+ interested and related people.
Now, I am not sure that we had any set expectations of the event itself, but I was a bit surprised about a couple of things...
~ they held a full christian service in the living room for all 50 people - no one complained or pushed or shoved, just got real cozy with each other
~ they gave the service in English and then translated it into Tamil - I made a major blunder when I laughed during part of the sermon. The minister said in English "it doesnt matter how rich we are, how many nice clothes we have, or how expensive our car is...". What I caught in Tamil was "tamil tamil tamil tamil tamil tamil BMW car tamil tamil tamil"
~ singing is a VERY interactive event - these folks could put the best gospel singers to shame
my personal favorites of the day were "Jesus is a winner man, Satan is a loser man, I am on the winning team"
~ Raj and Florence bought US new outfits!! I was ushered into a room and changed into a full gorgeous turquois saree. Tom was outfitted in a handsome Kurta of light blue. We were embarrased by the generosity of the gifts, especially since we had all gotten dressed up in our best Indian outfits for the occassion. When I teased Raj and said "were you nervous we wouldnt be dressed appropriately for the event?" He laughed and said "yes, ma'am" (no and this was not after he told me I looked dull or fat, other common phrases he has told me in the past:)) Well, I wasnt sure I should be offended or not! I mean, we do wear rather casual clothes around Palm Meadows, but we have gotten rather dressed up for other big events like Saravanan's wedding.
The family went all out and treated us as the chief guests! We had our own table of food that they kept refilling and refilling. Not mention the never ending beers they kept putting at our table. It almost felt like the Taj West End brunch:) Raj even "robbed" some chicken from the caterers in the kitchen and made spicy chicken for just Jimmy.
The baby, Andrea Madonna, was splendid and we all had a great time holding her. Jimmy had her for about 30 min's straight when Kay made her play and entertained her for another 30 min's. Billy, in the meantime was with me in one of the bedrooms, playing with another little 2 month old baby. My kids are baby kids, what can I say. They were all too sweet.
All in all, as you often hear us say on this site, it was a cool experience and only one you could find in India:)
All the best baby Andrea!!! We love you!
(I am sorry but I can not get "Baby Madonna with children at your feet, how do you manage to get any sleep" out of my head. - Tom)