Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Indian Culture

So I mentioned in the cultural tid bit post that Durban has the highest Indian population after the country of India itself. I'm not sure all of the reasons for this, but most of the people I've interacted with this week are Indian. James and Ella's church is predominately attended by Indian people, DBC is primarily Indian students etc.

Last night I had the priveledge to spend the night with an Indian family. Pricilla (mother) and her two daughters Anneline (27) and Cordelia (18). Pricilla's husband of late (as they would say), passed away 7 years ago from a major heart attack. Very hard for the family and his work community. I was told ahead of time that Indian people love to cook and cook a lot. It's true. They made an incredible tuna curry with rice and sausage. Like a true American I dove into my meal eating with my fork...it was effecient and got the food where it needed to go, my mouth! Ha! I watched them all begin to eat the same thing with their fingers. They mix it all up, clump it in a ball shape and literally (for lack of a better term) shovel the food into their mouths. I say shovel because as I set my fork down determined to eat like the Indians eat they promptly began laughing in unison at me for "dropping" my food into my mouth from above. I had it all wrong. Long story short, about 3 helpings later I had "mastered" the clump and shovel technique. They made the recipe milder for me so I could enjoy the meal and not be fried out. They LOVE HOT food!!

After a great meal the girls and I and a couple of guys from their church worship team sat at the table and sang worship songs together for about 1.5 hours. This was probably the greatest blessing of my time with them. Both daughters play guitar and piano and sing beautifully. We all harmonized parts. It was a low key but intimate time of praising God in their home together.

Before the evening came to a close we played "dress up." For those who know me you know dress up is one of my favorite things. Whether it be a WBC wiffle ball tournament (ref/cheerleader), youth disco night, ballerina pink marshmellow or cowgirl you name it, I'll be it! I asked the girls and Patricia if they would try on a sari for me. They decided instead to dress me up in fancy Indian clothing. It turned out to be a 3 piece modeling show. First they dressed me up in a traditional Indian "sari" which would be worn to a wedding or engagement celebration. Next they dressed me up in Patricia's wedding dress which fit like a glove. The final "piece" was a deep plum and gold "gharara"...more of a dress suit for formal business engagements. Of course they had to add "bangels" (bracelets) and other fancy jewelry. Along with that came DARK make up. Indian people pride themselves on wealth and looking beautiful. They wear a lot of jewelry and have the most gorgeous long black hair. So we had a blast pulling out clothes and taking pictures.


carrie said...

ok... where are the pictures? I can't wait to see you in an Indian wedding gown ;-)

ace said...

I can't get them go download right now. I'll have to try later! :-)

Kari Smith said...

You better get them up later...those I gotta see!! :)