Saturday, August 7, 2010

Valaikappu (Indian Baby Shower) ~7th August 2010~

My Valaikappu (traditional Indian baby shower) was held on 7th August 2010. I was 29 weeks pregnant at that time. 

This ceremony is performed during the odd months of pregnancy mostly during the seventh month for the expectant mother in her mother's house. Prayers are invoked for the well-being of the mother-to -be and the foetus. Mostly women are invited for this function. The expectant mother is made to wear a lot of bangles mostly glass ones of red and green colors and the sound of these bangles are supposed to reach the womb.

My mom insisted that she wants to do all the cooking by herself - she refused to cater. So, it was a merry occasion with all my relatives helping to bring their own home-made dishes to the ceremony.

Tairu (yogurt) rice made by my mom

Pulli (tamarind) rice courtesy by Aunty Seetha

Tomato chutney made by my mom

Ponggal (sweet) rice made by Bala Sinamma

I made this vegetarian butter cake

Idli by my mom

My husband and I

We started the ceremony at about 6 p.m. All my aunties were there by the time. The ceremony starts by Alfred having to break a coconut and put the garland around me.

Next is the bangles ceremony. 9 married ladies blessed me by adorning the bangles on me and prayed for a safe delivery and a healthy baby.

Next, I was asked to pick one of the three bundles of rice tied in a white muslin cloth. The three bundles being ponggal (sweet) rice, pulli (tamarind) rice, and tairu (yogurt) rice. It's a old wives' tale that if you pick the tamarind or the yogurt rice (both of which are sour), you will be having a baby boy and if you pick the sweet rice, it's predicted that it's a baby girl. Back in those days without the modern-state-of-the-art ultrasound device, they relied on this method to guess the baby's gender. It was fun for us as well since we don't know our baby's gender - we are leaving it as a surprise until the big day arrives. 

I picked the sour rice - so everyone is guessing a baby boy :) Let's wait and see!

My husband feeding me the rice
My mom feeding me

A shot with my sisters and cousins

With my uncle, aunties and grandpa

Chin Lay, Me, Shuba, Durai and cute Nithish
I was so happy to see my good friends Chin Lay and Shuba and Shuba's family. It was a great celebration filled with love and joy. I feel so blessed. 

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