Of Festivals And Food…

“Did you celebrate Halloween as a kid?” asks my four and a half-year-old, as I try to paint fangs on her face.

“No,” I told her, “we celebrated Indian festivals. Halloween is mostly an American festival.”

“Ooh! I love American festivals!” exclaims K, as I think to myself, “Oh you firang!”

The black outline mixes with the wet white paint, and the fangs I am trying to make on my daughter’s face turn a sickly blue-grey.

“Must do them again,” I declare as she rushes to the mirror to check the out. The paint is wiped off and we try again. This time making white triangles directly, a little splotch of red. For the blood. My little vampire is ready. For surely a vampire is unrecognisable without some blood on the face.

With bats on her dress and painted fangs on her face, the kid is happy. A very happy vampire.

K vampire

20 years ago, I would never have imagined taking an active part in a festival I had just read a bit about or watched glimpses of on TV. And frankly, I found it terrifying, the menacing pumpkins (I could never for the life of me understand why someone would do that to food!), the creepy costumes, the more fantastic the better. Of course not the candy. That part always fascinated me. The loads of free candy that those kids seem to get. I would have loved to get my hands on that.

And here we are today. All excited. Secretly proud of the fangs I managed to paint with my non-existing painting skills. And also happy to have expanded our festivities. Being able to participate in many more festivals than that our religions and communities allowed at one time. Maybe it is the food that brings us all closer. For surely, we all relish Lohri’s gajjaks, Holi’s gujjiyas, Diwali sweets, Guru Purab’s prashad, Eid’s sevaiyans and now even Halloween candies.

Here’s to the festivals of the world and the specific delicacies that they bring!

 

[WORDS DO MATTER! This post is written for the latest edition of #WordsMatter linkup hosted by CorinneParul and Shalini. The prompt for this edition of #WordsMatter linkup is ‘20 years ago, I… ’]
I received this tag from Anjana at Myriad Musings. It’s my pleasure to pass on this tag to Jyothi at My Bucket List Diary. There are 29  of us on this Blog Hop and it will be spread over 3 days – 1st, 2nd and 3rd November  2019. Do follow the #WordsMatter Blog Hop and prepare to be surprised! 

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22 thoughts on “Of Festivals And Food…

  1. Food is the one big cultural uniter, isn’t it? I thought about that when we were celebrating Diwali, at work. A colleague talked about the importance of food at every major life event in India, and I thought, well, same here – exactly the same, here. Of course, we’re moving closer and closer to dropping off a pallet of frozen dinners to a funeral, these days, than to bringing the sixteenth handmade chicken casserole to the bereaved, but food still brings us together. Sharing a meal, talking face to face – the only thing about food that ever divides us is hoarding it in a shortage, I think.
    I think it’s fun to read about Halloween through other people’s eyes. In my own childhood (and I grew up Protestant Christian), it was never taken seriously as a “religious” or “irreligious” holiday. It was ALL about dressing up and getting to run around the neighborhood with ALL the other kids, AFTER DARK, and finding out which houses gave out the best treats and which curmudgeonly killjoys were most likely to find their trees festooned with toilet paper and their windows obscured by dish soap or eggs. (There were RULES to be followed – no egging cars, ever, and those who “TP’d” someone’s trees usually got to help with the cleanup in a day or two! Dish soap… well, that one usually went unpunished, I think. I was only ever in it for the candy and the dress-up play!) I never knew anyone who “celebrated” the occult or believed that real devils roamed the night in search of souls to steal.
    You do have the cutest little vampire I’ve ever seen, and those fangs are lovely and clever! So much better than the plastic, glow-in-the-dark kind I used to love – that pulled a veneer right off my previously broken front tooth, once, as a kid. 😦

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  2. I like your positive perspective Geetanjali! Instead of complaining and revolting on things, it is better to look at things in a positive fashion and unload the burden of hatred from mind. Lovely fangs by the way. 🙂

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  3. Awww she is a cute little vampire. I have never celebrated it as it is not as big in Australia. But it has always fascinated me. A night of celebration dressed like ghosts and witches and supernatural. Reminds me of fancy dress competition in school that we all waited for.

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  4. Ha ha ha – this here is the cutest interpretation of the prompt. I’m sorry to tell you that your little munchkin looks not one bit scary, blood or no blood. She only looks immensely huggable. Mercifully my children are grown up enough to manage their own makeup and the sweets and candies remain a huge draw. You’re right though – 20 years ago Halloween hadn’t come to India except in books. This integration of cultures is a good thing – more reasons to celebrate :-).

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