Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"party on", Hindy festival




My journal entries are dated with statements such as “two days ago, yesterday, maybe Thursday”. It kind of feels like I am not even living in my body anymore, I am just an observer. Today I will try to get them back together again. Driving through the villages and towns a few days ago we started noticing neon lights strung up on the side of the road (the long ones you normally see on the ceiling) and large lit up Hindu Gods placed next to small temples near the roads. It turns out that the villages have a yearly village festival honoring their God and most choose to do it in June and July. Sunday night we walked over to a nearby village festival. We could hear drumming and bells as we got nearer to the crowd. It smelled like jasmine and fresh fruit. At first all we could see was the back of a cart with a large neon rainbow on it. As we got around the huge cart, weaving in and out of villagers carrying trays with half a coconut, fire, and a small Hindu sculpture, we saw dancers and Brahman? Priests that were offering fruit to the village God, and giving blessings. The dancers were jumping and taping their bell clad bodies to the rhythm of the drummers. The villagers seemed happy to have us there for the most part, they offered us some dried fruit and put fresh strands of white jasmine into our hair, then put some orange and white powder of our foreheads (a blessing). The cart was being pulled by a tractor and every ten feet it would stop and the villagers would come and offer fruit and receive a blessing. Others would place offerings and babies in front of the procession. A family grabbed my hand and brought me to the front of their house and put a tiny baby girl in my arms. Then they just smiled and watched as I held her. Allot of people wanted their picture taken. I’m not sure if it was so they could see it on the screen after or that, hopefully this is not the case, it is because I am white. No celebration is complete without henna so I got that done; they used a stamp and a shoe polishy paste to apply it. This was the point where I started to feel a little bit sick and realized that if I didn’t find a bathroom post haste it would not be good. All systems were down, all systems. So I talked to a sweet woman that works for rising star and she led me to her friend’s house. I walked over at least ten sleeping bodies to get to the place, and was led around back to a nice little room with a squatter in it. It was a really nice bathroom, I think I need to write them a thank you or something or bring them some jackfruit. I went back and joined the girls to watch a comedy show on a small stage. We headed back pretty late and just as we left fireworks started going off. We were escorted by some men who work for Rising Star. I am pretty sure they were there so we didn’t run into any cobras, but they kept saying, “No cobra!” Why were they carrying sticks and keeping their eyes on the sides of the roads then? I kind of want to see a cobra now.

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