Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Thread Ceremony - Upanayanam - the pregame show

A relative had his thread ceremony, and we attended day 1, more focused on the parents than on the boy. What is a thread ceremony? If you are Christian, think confirmation; Jewish, bar mitzvah. According to the invitation: This is one of the most important events in a boy's life. Of the 4 stages of life, Upanayanam is when he completes his 1st stage and enter his 2nd stage of life. He is given a thread (actually three) that denote thought, word and deed. We didn't actually attend the ceremony itself, but the elaborate full day celebration the day before. As with all such Indian celebrations, there are fabulous silk saris, overwhelming good, and lots of food.

Oh, and a bunch of priests sitting around a fire that fills the function hall with smoke. The fire is the witness to all things important in Hinduism. No one seems to worry about the smoke.
The kids, most in their silk finery, and including the boy who will get his thread, find a way to have fun no matter what is happening with all the priests.
We are in Bangalore which still produces large quantities of fresh flowers, so there are flowers everywhere, at the entrance above, and decorating the stage below.
The crowd mainly doesn't pay attention, just like at weddings.
The mother has a long sari with the gold belt.
Multiple scenes on the stage.

Multiple meals are served. All vegetarian of course.

As in weddings, banana leaves are used as the plates, and men come around with big buckets of food, waiting below.

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