Monday, March 30, 2009

It's Always a Holiday!

Right now it's the holiday time called Navratri. This happens 2 times a year in our area of South Asia - in the beginning of Summer and the beginning of Winter. This one is called Vasant Navaratri. This holiday lasts for 9 days. For this holiday, people do special fasting and they worship a goddess called Durga. They are only supposed to eat one time a day, so in some markets they set up tents and feed people. I was in a busy market yesterday and they had this tent set up. They blow a conch horn to tell everyone that they're ready to serve, and people get in line to eat.
I want you to notice the lack of Personal Space here :) Most of the people in line don't know each other, but yet they are REALLY close to each other :) You see, if they leave a space between them and the person in front of them (especially in a food line), then someone will get in that space :) So, you have to be close together. That, and their idea of personal space is WAY smaller than the American idea of personal space :)
They are only supposed to eat one meal a day (usually after sunset) and can have juice, milk and fruit during the day. When people fast here, they usually aren't fasting from food, but just from certain foods. For this holiday they aren't supposed to eat grains, garlic, onions, eggs or meat (some Hindus do eat meat regularly). Grains are a HUGE part of the meals here. In our area, they eat bread with every meal, so going without grains is a big deal. So, for this holiday, they make bread out of water chestnut flour - weird hunh? I didn't know you could make flour out of that!?! Here they are cooking food for a ton of people!
Some people say that, if they can, during this holiday, they are supposed to sleep on the floor or couches during these nights and not in their beds.
And one last picture...These guys were funny, so I took their picture :) Not everyone wants their picture made, but these guys did!

11 COmMeNTs FrOm PeOpLe wHo ROCK!:

Carie said...

Andrea, you continue to amaze me with your amazing posts!! I love your pictures and your writing!! Keep up that good work!!

Erin G said...

wow, those guys are CLOSE!

Intemann Family said...

Personal space is also non existent here in Poland and while in the States I sometimes found myself standing too close to people in line. They would keep looking back at me and giving me dirty looks like I was going to rob them or something. I finally learned and have now adjusted back after being back in Europe. Fun stuff.

Bri said...

you make me want to visit!!!

Roberts said...

I learn so much on your blog. I never knew why they would give away a big amount of food at this time of year! I love the very orderly line for food. How often does that happen? :)

Bethany said...

Wow! I have never seen strangers stand that close before.. not even in China where personal space is also hard to come by. You may want to consider teaching someday... I learn so much from this blog!

SouthAsiaRocks said...

haha! Thanks everyone :)

gloria said...

thats so interesting!!!!!yea, nobody has their own bubble I see. I love the fact that they are so comforatable with touching, hugging etc. I really like their culture!!!!thanks Andrea!!!!amazing blogs!!!!

allhisblessings said...

No personal space!! AIYEEEEEEEEEEE! Being in that line would make me crazy. And run away. Typical American...

Deanna said...

I love the cultural posts you do! Thanks! I've been recommending your blog to all kinds of likeminded folks here in Atlanta.

SouthAsiaRocks said...

Fun! :)