Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sweet Sixteen, Indian Style!

This evening I was invited to a colorful, noisy, joyful Sweet Sixteen celebration of the daughter of a friend, very honored to be included in this otherwise all Indian gathering of friends and family and dance groups -- daughter is not only an A student in high school, but an exhibition dancer -- and to be made very welcome. The family were very good about including me, and I knew another family, also friends of mine, who were there, and made big efforts to make sure I was entertained and fed and generally happy.

Which I must say I was. I wasn't feeling up to a party before, on account partly of Fluffy, partly the cold which will not go away no matter what remedies I apply, oh well, but I was so glad I went.

The food was excellent -- in an Indian restaurant, dishes specially chosen by the mom, all vegetarian because of their religion, and just excellent. No idea what I ate, but it was very very good. The company was fascinating to watch -- the older generation, meaning middle aged parents, in traditional fabulous saris, the younger generation, mainly girlfriends of the hostess, in tiny short tight dresses like fancy bandaids. Since most of them are dancers, they were slim and looked like models in these outfits. Including amazing high heeled sandals, no idea how they managed them.

The same girls reappeared more than once in different dance gear and barefoot, to do some amazing fast moves, they were really good, great to watch

dancer exiting after an amazing solo

And a young boy did a feature dance

and in the middle of the last group girls' dance, a little girl about five was brought in with them and busted some moves that stunned the place and caused a wild cheer! it was over too fast for a picture, but it was so cool. And the older dancers, only teens themselves, were so generous to the kids, giving them center stage and applause.

The scene's set. Note the throne for the birthday girl!

And the guests are arriving

The girl whose birthday it is really had to work this event! she danced with various groups, and ended the performance part of the evening with a solo

That was after the candle lighting ceremony, where she made a number of speeches.

First candle dedicated to God, then the first blue candle to her parents

There was also a ceremonial eating of cake after the whole company gathered to sing Happy Birthday

eating of the first slice by her and each parent in turn

cake brings out a crowd

and a ceremonial dance with her father, first a brisk Indian dance,

then a more sedate Western style waltz.

I had no idea how elaborate this event was to be, though I had heard a number of accounts of arrangements being made, and balloons being hunted down and centerpieces arranged and on and on...but it came off really well.

I lasted for several hours, but had cautioned my hostess that I might not last the whole evening, so she would know that I'd only slipped away because I was tired. Really not used to crowds and LOUD music, but it was fun anyway. Now I know what dancing goes with the music I hear from next door!


  1. Wow! Looks like it was quite the party! Glad you were able to go and enjoy it...I bet your ears were ringing when you left. :)

  2. I just love the colours and fabrics of the saris. I can't wait for Diwali each year so that I can enjoy my Indian workmates' beautiful clothes. Lucky you to have, next it will be her wedding and that will go on for days.

  3. Gosh. What a nice celebration to have.

  4. Sounds like such fun! The saris are so beautiful - I guess they'd be upset if we followed them around with scissors and just took a teeny tiny bit of the fabrics for creating with. Too bad!


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