Monthly Archives: September 2011

Engagement ceremony

After AS told me he loves me (Our unconventional love story), everything went in fast pace. We continued to Skype and phone and by the time he was going to be in Nepal, we both were sure this is what we wanted. Even it wasn’t long, it felt like we been together for life time. I think as we were friends for so long, it helps us to bridge the distance we had.

The next step for both of us was to tell our parents as we want them to stop looking for match for us. We were planning to do that around the same time so we know straight away how things are going to work out or not. Both of us are from same culture, same ethnic background and same cast so it seems done deal. But until we really make that step we were worried. We didn’t have any other plan if our parents said NO for any reason.

With the grace of God, both our family took the news very well and they wanted to meet each other officially. They were happy that we made a good couple. So the date was fixed for meeting where they were going to officially ask my hand for marriage called “Kochi” ( Newari word for fix).This is a tradition in Newari / Nepali wedding.

That was one of the scary days for us as things were happening too fast. We know it was going great but still scared if something will come into picture and ruin everything. But after our family meeting in one of the restaurant in Kathmandu, everything went well.

As both of us were leaving Nepal again, both the family though it is wise to have engagement ceremony to announce that we are engaged to be married soon. For AS and me it was great relief that things were going as we wanted.

Both families agreed that ceremony should be small and for only close family and friends. But I forgot in Nepal, small is not really small and it turned out to be ceremony for almost 150 people. Initially, we were planning to have the ceremony at my house, but with 150 people, it was not possible so a date and venue was arranged.

I was dressed in red sari with golden work. Had my hair and make up done Nepali bridal way. AS was dressed in dark blue suit and I swear he looked so handsome. My mother in law, following traditional way, has brought trays of sweets, fruits and gifts for me.

The ceremony started with welcoming everyone to this big new family. It followed by elder putting Tika (a mixture of rice, yogurt and vermillion) on our forehead. At the end , we had so much Tika on our forehead; it kept sliding to our nose.

Then in front of our families and friends, we exchanged rings and we were officially “ENGAGED”.

After that we cut cake, had photo time with everyone. It was followed by snacks and main meal. And of course there was much-loved dancing.

It was really a great days for both of us. We never expect it to be so easy and quick but we didn’t mind.

This ceremony was followed by

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Dashain aayo

As anyone who is slightly related to Nepal in anyway will know, Dashain ( 15 days long celebration of Hindu) is just around the corner. This year it starts from 28 September and Tika (Dashami) is on 6 October.

Australia is in Southern hemisphere so the weather for Dashain will be windy and wet unlike in Nepal where  it is perfect weather for celebration but we have to make most of the situation.

As this is going to be our first Dashain as married couple and we are away from our family, we are planning to have jamara on Ghatasthapana. As I have missed last 6 Dashain and AS have missed last 10 Dashain @ home, we thought having jamara will help us to be involved in our culture and at the same time I want to prove my in-laws and my mom, I can be modern and traditional at a same time. 🙂

So we are going to  get some sand. I have bought some barley seeds. I hope it will work and  turn into five or six inches long yellow grass by 6 October.

Will let you know the progress.

Happy Dashain !!!.

Reliving our Big day

It is 95 days since our wedding. I know it is funny I am counting days and I hope to count them in years as time pass by. We had big wedding (Big, Loud, Crowded, Nepali wedding) and I enjoyed every minute of it. It involved lots of culture, tradition and people I never knew. So I decided I should write about my experience before it goes fuzzy in my head. We had Nepali Newari wedding. I am going to write about our engagement and will continue with all the steps of our wedding. The steps were as follows:

  •  Engagement ceremony –  The day we were officially engaged.
  • Mehendi” ceremony – The day where all girls including Bride get henna tattoo on their hand.
  • Supari” ceremony (from Groom to Bride) – The day when Groom’s family send lots of gifts like jewellery, Saris, cosmetics, shoes, bags, fruits, Nepali Roti , Masala and much more.
  • “Swayambar” ceremony -The day where all the marriage ritual happens and groom put Sindoor (Vermilion) on bride’s forehead and parting of her hair.
  • Bride side Reception – Reception from bride and her family for all their relatives and friends.
  • Janti -The day groom and his family come to bride’s home to take her to their home.
  • Groom side “Supari – The day where Bride is officially introduced to Groom’s family and they give bride jeweller or money.
  • Groom side Reception Reception form groom and her family for all their relatives and friends.
  • Mukh herne” ceremony – The day when Bride’s family come and meet Bride with lots of gifts like jewellery, Saris, cosmetic, shoes, bags fruits, Nepali Roti , Masala and much more
  • WanjalaThe newly married couple visit the temple (Kul Deuta)
  • “Jwain Bhitraune” ceremony – Days when Groom is invited to close relative of Bride for Sagun.

Our Unconventional love story …

As I mention on my previous post Big ,Loud, Crowded, Nepali wedding”, I know my husband, AS since high school. But our story is nothing like childhood sweethearts with happy ending. We were just friends at that point and never in my wildest dream thought will we end up marring each other. It is so true when they say, “You don’t know what future holds for you”.

I was ready to take next step of my life – marriage and family. The only problem with my plan is I have no plan. I didn’t know what I really want. I have never thought in my whole life I will agree with arrange marriage. But as I can’t find the man of my dream, I thought, I will hand over the duty to my parents. As my parents always nag me about marriage, I thought this will make them busy and I always can say no. They were more than willing to take the charge and was so proud that despite living abroad for almost a decade, I choose to go traditional way.

AS is not a very social person so we used to be out of touch for ages. Our email frequency used to once every 6 months. But thanks to Facebook, which I was genuinely surprised he had one, we start talking again. Our infrequent message turned into more frequent one and it was like high school all over again. We had same memories, same friends and it was easy. During this period, I told him one day what I told my parents about looking for a guy for me. To this he said that his parents are looking for a girl for him as well. And then we used to joke about how life has turned out and may be we will meet again only when both of us will be married and have kids. He used to be in US at that time and I was in Australia.

That year I decided to go home for holiday and I had 12 hours transit in Singapore airport. I told him, if he had any time I will appreciate the company over net as I don’t know what else to do in Singapore in the middle of the night. As the time difference was right for him, we chatted for almost 10 hours out of 12. (He told me later he made a special effort that stage.) I think that probably was the first time I felt more close to him. We made fun of each other and asked silly questions and it was great. I wasn’t bored at all and hoped he enjoyed it too. During this conversation, he told me he is planning to come to Nepal as well and try to make it when I will be there. I was really happy thinking at least we can meet again.

We didn’t meet until next 3 weeks but lots of things changed during that period. We used to Skype a lot and talked about my “Possible husband “. It was not that they were bad but I was not ready to meet anyone new so I just made any excuse not to meet them. And numbers of photo was increasing as my parents were determined to find someone before I leave Nepal.

I think my frequent mention of these eligible bachelor made AS realise that the plan he had to express his love for me after he sees me Nepal can’t wait till then. He has to do something otherwise I may be engaged before he knows it. So while we were talking on phone one day, late at night for me and early morning for him, he expressed his feeling for me. He told me how he was in love with me since our school and I am his first love who he never forgot. I was surprised that I never saw that vibe from him ever but I was happy at the same time. During last few months I felt closer to him but I was so sure he will never fall for someone like me; I even try to set him up with one of my good friend. She will kill me if she finds out now. Anyway that was how we started our journey for our happily ever after :). And after all I am not the “Arrange Marriage Type”.

Making a cup of tea…

This post is not another recipe. This is a post from a woman who is recently married and learning about marriage. How simple is it to make cup of tea?Anyone can do it and it takes a minute. But this simple task of making a cup of tea has become so complex in our household.

Both me and AS enjoy our cup of tea hot which means, not microwaved and no electrical kettle of hot water. I am not a big tea drinker but when I have one, I like to boil my water, milk, tea and sugar together. I enjoy steaming hot tea. Before I got married to AS I never made tea for myself unless I have a visitor.

After our marriage, we started having proper breakfast every weekend which means, in winter, tea was a part of our breakfast. So in the beginning, we had our tea as AS liked it since I have no preference. Strong with less milk and less sugar. But after few weeks I realised that every weekend after breakfast, I had mild headache and it lasted for the whole day. It was nothing sever but I just mentioned that to my cousin (who is a doctor) when we were talking. He asked me if I was having tea or coffee and if it happened after I had one. It gave me a clear picture what was happening to me. I tested it one weekend without tea and yap he was right. I am caffeine intolerant. He told me I still can drink tea but mild ones.

I stilled wanted to continue our breakfast ritual for weekends as I loved them. But the problem is that now it takes so much longer to make a cup of tea. This is how we do it. We first boil the water on the stove with 2 teaspoon of loose tea and 2 teaspoon of sugar (one for me and one for AS). After the tea has boiled for a minute we take out half of it into a cup (this is for me) and let the remaining tea boil for a few more minutes. Once it is dark, we filter it into a cup with just a little milk. AS tea is ready now so we rinse the saucepan and add my half of the tea from the cup, add lots of milk and a teaspoon of sugar and boil it. So we have two every different cup of tea ready for two people with different taste.

I know it sounds all complicated and we could have done it in two saucepans and make it simple but this works for us. I am learning a lot about marriage from this simple step in our life. Marriage is all about compromise and I am happy, we both are willing to leave aside our individual differences and strike a common balance between us. It makes me so happy that even though we are worlds apart in personality, we can make things work between us no matter what obstacles life will bring us.

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*From independent, confident strong women to dependent, needy wife *Ta, Timi, Tapai and Hajoor *With love, to my dear husband

What’s in the name (Surname)?

It has been exactly 90 days we have been married. 🙂

The day I announce my wedding at work, one of my colleague asked me “So you will change your surname, what’s it gonna be?” The question caught me off guard as I haven’t thought about it at all. Taking your husband’s name is the traditional option (especially in Nepal) but we never discuss it. I am sure both our family expect me to take it but I was in no rush. I have seen my friends change their surname in Facebook the day they got married (I am not sure if they have done legally too) or have used both surnames but I have always thought it can wait few years. Many women will say that their husbands/in-laws  wanted them to change their surname. So they did.

I am not against changing surname if you want to as I also want to do it before we have kids. I am planning to be MJS, mine surname followed by his.  My friend AS is the reason, I will defiantly do it before we have baby as I don’t want to go through the same path as hers.

AS decided not to change her surname when she married CJ (Nepali guy). When they have a baby girl, her mother in law came to visit her in hospital. While she was holding her new grand-daughter, she was shocked to see the tag called her, Baby S instead of Baby J. She made sure AS knows, she didn’t approve of that. But in the birth certificate, hospital wrote baby S as per mother’s surname as well. Because it was in birth certificate, they thought it will be easy to use the same surname in other official documents as well .Now the baby and mum have same surname and dad has different. It created lots of confusion in all the legal documents and I don’t want to go through that.

Back to my situation, I am planning to keep my surname until I can as I want to avoid the hassle of alerting everyone and going through all the paper work right now. Its not  easy to change the name on everything from your driver’s licence to your library card. I know I have to do it one day but mentally I am not ready right now. The most annoying change will be for my passport. I love my passport as it has so many stamps and visas I collected travelling over the years. It is like a story to me and has high sentimental value. Once I change my passport, I will lose all my memory.

All this question is coming right now because my in-laws made official document in Nepal(Relationship certificate) and they send us a copy in case we need it. In that document, they have my name as MS not MJ. My in-laws have never asked me to change it but I think they didn’t as by default in their mind, I am MS not MJ but I want to be MJS in future not MS. 

When I talk to AS about it, he thinks it is normal of his parents to think I am MS now as that in what happens in Nepal. I haven’t changed my Facebook name either (I know it is easy but …) I want to do it in my own pace and I hate it if anyone forces me to do it. He knows what I am planning and he is ok with that but of course he can’t control what his parents think.

Just want to put it out there” Am I allowed to wait until I am ready to change the surname or it is expected to change straight after marriage, especially in Nepali culture?”

Yomari Recipe

It was my nephew 4th birthday yesterday , so my cousin sister (D) decided to make Yomari to celebrate his birthday in Newari tradition. In Newari tradition, we make Yomari every even birthday (2,4,6,8,12) until a child turns 12. Yomari defined by Wikipedia is “a delicacy of  Newars. It consists of an external covering of rice-flour and an inner content of sweet substances such as  Chaku (Molasses)”

I have helped my mum make Yomari before but never knew the step. Finally I know how to make it and I am sharing here if anyone else want to experiment. So this how we did it.

yomari

Ingredients

  • Rice flour
  • Hot water
  • Sesame seed
  • Chaku(Molasses)

Steps

  • Mix rice flour with hot water and make dough. Make sure you don’t make the dough too soft. Cover the dough with a warm and damp cloth and rest it for 10-15 minutes.
  • Use fry pan to heat chaku (molasses) to get a liquid chocolate like mixture.
  • Mix Chaku and fried sesame seed.
  • In a small bowl pour some water and oil. Now take small amount of dough in a hand and make a round shape.
  • Now press the dough to make a cone-shaped crust as shown in picture.Yomari
  • One side of Yomari should have long tip and other side is hollow.
  • Fill it with mixture of molasses mixed with Sesame seed.
  • Using both hand slowly close the hole and make shape as shown in the picture.

  • Steam it for 15 min.
  • Now it is ready to serve. Enjoy!

 We made 4 with only rice stuffing inside to make Yomari mala (garland) for birthday boy  and rest was made with chaku  (Molasses) . It was yummy.

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