If you come in my cage I'll eat you too!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Deepevali festival

On Saturday I went to the Hindu temple in Fremont, California to celebrate the Indian festival of lights, southern Indians call it, Deepevali. Northern Indians call it Diwali.

My friend Lakshmi, who with her husband Rama is owner of the corner grocery near my house, asked me to go with her to celebrate her birthday, which was Friday, and Deepevali. I was curious to go to the temple and I really like Lakshmi so I agreed.

Lashmi called on Saturday and left a message on my answering machine to see if I was coming. I needed soda so I walked to the liquor store to get some and tell her that I was going to go with them.

As I entered the store, Lakshmi asked quietly,

"Are you on your period."

I said, "No, why?"

"Because you can't go to the temple, if you are," she said.

"No problem, I said. I am clean."

I am not sure what happens if you start your period while you are actually inside the temple. Maybe the Godess Kali comes and destroys the world.

The temple is beautiful. I underdressed for the occasion, not wanting to stand out, I ended up standing out even more. You think of churches, temples and especially mosques as conserative places, but the Indian woman really dress up for Deepevali. They wear their most brilliantly colored saris and scarves and jewlery. They looked stunning.

I was one of only 2 non-Indians at the temple out of over 5 hundred people. There is not much inter-marrying going on in the Idian community. The other anglo-American present besides myself was one of the musicians playing in the temple. 1 or 2 people looked at me curiously, but that was it. I felt entirely welcome.

The only thing I knew to expect beforehand was that I would have to remove my shoes before entering the temple. So I wore shoes that could be easily removed. As Lakshmi and Rama bowed and prostrated themselves before their various dieties, I stood about a little stiffly, but it wasn't too bad. One of the dieties they worship is the "Goddess of Education, Saraswati" to whom they pray when they want their daughter to do well in school.

We left the temple to find our shoes, then we went to tables they had set up to hand out Indian sweets. I was reluctant to take them, but Lakshmi told me that was important to take everything that was offered. Then we went to an area out side the temple set up for dining and were treated to a free, restaurant quality vegetarian dinner. It was delicious.

Lashmi and Rama go to the temple every Saturday even after working at the liquor store from 8am to 8pm. They rush home to bathe and change clothes before driving over 30 miles to the temple.


At 10:45 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

psst...E pluribus unum....Habibi. E pluribus unum.


At 9:56 AM , Blogger Miss Carnivorous said...

is that you Abu R?

At 2:34 PM , Blogger Urbanleftbehind said...

northern Indians and southern Indians....grrrreeeaaatttt.....I just hope that doesnt evolve into another Noreno/Sureno beef

You dont see too much intermarriage cuz them Indian girls are amongst the most high-maintenance around. If Italians are "stupid joos", then Indians are "smart Mexicans".

At 3:07 PM , Blogger Miss Carnivorous said...

I dunno, Urban, Lakshmi's has never said a word against her husband. There's was an arranged marriage. She defends him tooth and nail, even though he is kind of an asshole, which may have something to do with the time he got shot at the check cashing place he worked at.

Anyway Lakshmi is loyal as hell and I think would be as much of a sex symbol to guys who know this about her as the old lady who fought the mountain lion off of her husband last year was amongst the men I work with. They were all saying they wanted a woman like that.

At 6:07 PM , Blogger staghounds said...

Hinduism is the only religion that seems to encourage fun for its own sake.

Do you have a Kali night light?

At 10:35 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

yea, nice to see your still gettin your culture on.


At 8:22 AM , Blogger Miss Carnivorous said...

I always be gettin' my culture on on account I am so right-winged and racist and be hatin' on the brown peepols and shit.

At 8:25 AM , Blogger Miss Carnivorous said...

Yeah Abu R, I just went to the Arab cultural festival with you so's I could report your activities to the gubment. I really am not the least interested in "other cultures" Same same for the hindoos!

At 8:35 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

to funny, see you at the Bu Rak festival next week. Enjoyed seeing you a few weeks ago, King Fahad said "who is the beautiful Amreekee, can you grab her"? I said, Sheeeitt....Khyber Pass will open to Amreekee tourists first.

At 12:28 PM , Blogger Miss Carnivorous said...

Did Fahad buy the house?

At 7:17 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

waiting for O'bama to win first.

At 10:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

O'bama won, now the deal is done!

At 8:49 AM , Blogger Miss Carnivorous said...

Rahab was waiting for a Muslim to become president?

At 9:58 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

there are built in speakers in every room with a THX sound system, this way, one can enjoy belly dancing from any location in the home while looking out onto the SF skyline.


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