Monthly Archives: November 2014

Our Story – “Jwain Bhitraune” ceremony- Part 47

This is a continuation of my previous posts. Please read the previous posts here.

Jwain” means son in law in Nepali. After the wedding when the newly married couple visits the bride’s home for the first time, the groom has to give Supari to all the close members of the bride’s family and is introduced to the members of the bride’s family. The event also comprises of the bride’s family presenting the groom with gifts such as clothes, shoes and even jewellery.

When we (me and AS) came to my parent’s home for the first time, all my relatives were waiting for us. It was exciting as it was the first time a son in law visits the house after the wedding. It is the ceremony where the, groom is introduced to the bride’s family members. The funny thing was he already knew all of them.

The preparation was all done before hand so we went straight to the room where Supari ceremony going to start. AS sat down alongside his brother and my aunt (the eldest member of the family) started the ritual.

Jwain Bhitraune (1)

Like most ceremony, she put tika to Lord Ganesh and then to AS. Then AS gave supari to my parents and it return they gave him a suitcase which had a suit, a shirt, shoe, socks and perfume. Then Supari was given to rest of the family and my brother gave him a watch and other relatives gave him money.

Jwain Bhitraune (2)

As it was only close relatives it didn’t take long. After that we had dinner. It was fun to be back at my parents’ home.

Jwain Bhitraune (3)

The days following the wedding, AS and I had to visit all my close relatives. They performed simple puja and give him Sagun. It is called “Jwain Bhitraune” in their home. Normally this process takes many days as you go to various relatives one day at a time but we finished this process all in one day. We visited all my relatives and we had breakfast, snacks, lunch, dinner and more snacks in different relatives’ homes.

In Nepal, everyone loves to feed you and they don’t like an empty plate so by the end of that day we had so much Sagun and food that both of us were completely stuffed. My relatives also gave us some cloths as gifts.

Till then, take care.

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

P.S: Do not forget to vote your favorite blog . NEPALIAUSTRALIAN’s Blog Award 2014

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Our Story – “Mukh Herne” ceremony- Part 46

This is a continuation of my previous posts. Please read the previous posts here.

Mukh Herne is the day when the bride’s family comes and meets the bride at the Groom’s place, with lots of gifts like jewellery, saris, cosmetic, shoes, bags, fruits, Nepali Rotis , Masala and much more.

Mukh Herne literally means “looking at the face” and traditionally it is done after the bride spends a few days with the groom’s family. All the bride’s relatives then visit the groom’s home so they can “look at the bride’s face” and see if she is happy and being treated well.

During this ceremony every member of the bride’s family gives her money or jewellery as Mukh Herne gift. The groom is not allowed to be present while this ceremony goes on.

Once I came to AS’s house I was looking forward to this day. I hadn’t seen my parents for four days so I was very excited when the day finally arrived.

Wedding Ceremony

I woke up early, went to the beauty parlour and got ready to go to the venue. I was wearing a pink Sari with a green border (a gift from my mother in law) along with lots of accessories and bridal makeup.

Wedding CeremonyOnce we were at the venue I called my dad to check where they were. He said they were on the way. When they arrived at the venue, it started raining heavily. This is what is called a Monsoon Wedding I guess. Every time any big event was about to begin, it started raining during our wedding.

Wedding Ceremony

It was so nice to see my family again, my dad was there with my brother, my sister-in-law, my uncles, aunts, cousins and close friends. According to the tradition, my mum hadn’t come. I wished she was there too.

They brought everything that was sent from AS’s family during Supari ceremony except perishable items and they had added more items so there were heaps of trays decorated nicely.

Mukh Herne (4)Wedding Ceremony

They also had a cake (the two tier with bride and groom topping), a decorated yogurt, Saris, bags, lots of Rotis and fruits. They also had decorated fish, and a coconut.

Wedding Ceremony Wedding Ceremony

Once everything was organised for the ceremony I was asked to sit to start the ceremony.

Mukh Herne (6)Wedding Ceremony Wedding Ceremony

Then the ceremony started with Tika being put on my forehead by my uncle, the eldest male in the family. Then he handed me the red Dupatta Sari. I had to go and change into this new Sari for the remainder of the ceremony.

So I took my cousins and friends to help me change into the room next door. It was a big job as it was a Dupatta Sari and it takes an expert to get it right. On top of that my mum had forgotten to cut the blouse piece from the Sari so there were people running around looking for scissors. We didn’t mean to take long but it took us a while to get the scissors, cut the sari and for me to get ready after that. I was really grateful that my friends and cousins were there to help me.

Wedding Ceremony

Finally, wearing my new Sari, I came back to the event hall. There were more rituals to go through. The priest from my family was instructing my dad and uncle on what to do and they were following the rituals.

L-R My brother putting a ring, My dad putting bangles and ring, my sister in law puting bracelet

Then everyone who had come from my family came one by one and met me with gifts like jewellery and cash. It looks like the bride is the ultimate winner in a Nepali wedding.

Wedding Ceremony

This process took a while but it was so fun. I received lots of gold and diamond jewellery, watch, sari and lots of cash. 🙂

Now it was my turn to cut the cake again. The cake was given to everyone and then it was time for dinner. On the way to the dinner hall everyone from my family side received Masala (a Sagun bag with lots of dried fruits and nuts).

After dinner, my family left and I was a bit sad. I knew I had a new home with AS and his family but I still missed my parents and the home where I had grown up.

More on wedding next post.

Till then, take care.

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

P.S: Do not forget to vote your favorite blog . NEPALIAUSTRALIAN’s Blog Award 2014

Our Story – Groom side Reception- Part 45

This is a continuation of my previous posts. Please read the previous posts here.

After I came to live with AS’s family, there was a reception organised by the groom’s family so that all their friends and family get a chance to meet the bride. I knew that it was going to be a big event yet again but this time I wouldn’t know most of the people.

I was a bit nervous for this ceremony as I would be meeting lots of new people. On top of that I would need to bow to all of his close relatives and greet the rest with a Namaste. Most of these people would be meeting me for the first time so there was the extra pressure to have a good first impression.

Groom side Reception (2)

That morning I asked AS to introduce me to all his relatives so I would know who the people were, but his response to this was “I wouldn’t know half of them as I haven’t seen most of them for over a decade.” As AS has been living away from Nepal for more than a decade, I did understand his answer but that didn’t help at all.

Anyway, I went to the kitchen where my mother in law was busy preparing for the day. She asked me to have breakfast and get ready so I went to the beauty parlour to get ready. Probably this was the only day in which I was worried about the way I would look. I asked the lady at the beauty parlour to make me up into a typical Nepali bride. I wanted to fit in as much as possible.

I wore a red Dupatta Sari with a matching shawl and jeweleries that were given to me by both families. Even though I don’t believe in the theory “More is more”, I had to wear lots of jeweleries like a diamond set, a big gold set and tilahari on top pf that. I was wearing many gold bangles and many gold and diamonds rings.

I had roses in my hair and was feeling very traditional for sure when I left the beauty parlour. I always feel saris are sexy, feminine and so much fun to wear.

Wedding Ceremony

By the time I returned to AS’s house, the photographer was there waiting for me. AS was already ready in his grey suit and was looking very handsome :).

We took a few photos at home and went to the reception venue. AS’s brother drove us there and the guests started arriving a few minutes after we got there.

Groom side Reception (1) Groom side Reception (3)

The venue was nicely decorated with flowers. At one end there was a DJ playing music and at the other end there were dinner tables. The entrée was already on the table nicely decorated and there were chairs and tables everywhere for guest to sit and enjoy the day.

Like my mum, my mother in law also had given Sari to all her close female relatives, so I knew when I saw the sari that they were close relatives.

Within a few hours there were hundreds of people at the venue. I seriously lost of count how many people I bowed to. I met countless number of people that evening and had small chit chat.

I think I stuffed up a bit as well, I bowed to the relatives I didn’t have to and then greeted with a Namaste to some people I should have bowed to. Anyway lots of them brought us cloths and flowers. From time to time I saw familiar faces of his cousins (I know some of them through Facebook) and my in laws but the rest of the time it was all new faces.

Most of the time AS was sitting next to me but when he had to go somewhere his relatives were there talking to me. It felt strange thinking that none of my family member was there. Suddenly I am part of this new family who I have known for a very short time only.

AS did get caught a few time when the guests asked him if he remembered who they were; he really didn’t remember them. 🙂

I think after 5 hours when the guests started leaving we had dinner as well. Then his cousins came and took us to the dance floor.

I was not sure if I should dance my normal way so just did a couple dance with AS in one song and stopped. As there were so many eyes watching us I didn’t feel comfortable and decided to get off the dance floor.

It was really nice to have all these people come to celebrate our happiness.

More on wedding next post.

Till then, take care.

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

P.S: Do not forget to vote your favorite blog . NEPALIAUSTRALIAN’s Blog Award 2014

 

Our Story – Groom side “Supari”- Part 44

This is a continuation of my previous posts. Please read the previous posts here.

As soon as the Janti left the wedding venue, it started raining. I was happy that we were so lucky that we were able to finish all the rituals without getting interrupted by the rain. It was important that there was no rain otherwise we all would have been soaking when my brother was taking me around the car. I was telling AS that the gods are crying with me as well because I was crying as it is such a sad day for my parents. I know that they are very happy that I got married but at the same sad that I will be a part of a new family from then on.

It was only a short drive to AS’s house from the venue so it was still raining very heavily when we reached there.

The wedding car stopped in front of the house where most of the groom’s family members had gathered. As it was raining, there were umbrellas everywhere. When we got off the car, one of AS’s brother and aunt came out with a big umbrella and escort us to the main door of AS’s house.Groom side Supari (1)

At the house my mother in law, along with other female members of the family, was at the door to welcome us in, which is called Vitryaune, a welcoming ceremony for the bride.

Groom side Supari (2)

They performed some Puja and put Tika on my and AS’s foreheads. It was followed by some more rituals as per the priest’s instructions.

Groom side Supari (3) Groom side Supari (4)

Aarati was done to keep away evil spirits and usher in good fortune. Then I entered the house holding one end of a special key (symbolising the key to the house) and the other side was held my AS’s eldest aunt. At this point the Groom has to hold the Bride’s shawl and follow her into the house. This is a tradition in Newari / Nepali wedding.

Groom side Supari (5) Groom side Supari (6)

At the main door, there were ten of AS’s cousin sisters standing blocking the door, with other family members watching. They demanded money before they would allow us to proceed into the house. Everyone was having a lot of fun haggling about the price of entry. They negotiated how much they wanted and this time AS had to shell out RS 10,000. Once they let us in, I continue following his aunt to the prayer room in the house. There we prayed for a while and left the key there.

Groom side Supari (7) Groom side Supari (8)

Now, we sat for the Supari ceremony. In this ceremony, AS would introduce me to his family members and I have to give them the Supari and touch their feet (if they are older than me). They would then give me money or jewellery as a welcome present.

Groom side Supari (10)

As AS has a big family, this ceremony took quite a while. It started with his grandma, parents, brothers then continued with his uncles, aunts and cousins. I got many types of jewellery from the family and money too.

Groom side Supari (9) Groom side Supari (11) Groom side Supari (12) Groom side Supari (13) Groom side Supari (14)

It was followed by some more ritual Puja and “Thaa Bu” eating as in the Kanyadan ritual.

Groom Side Supari (1)

Then we started the Sagun ceremony. Sagun typically consists of a boiled egg, smoked fish, a “bara” (deep-fried black lentil patties), “haku chhoila” (smoked buffalo meat) and “ayela” (wine) and ends with “dhau” (yogurt).

Groom Side Supari (4) Groom Side Supari (3) Groom Side Supari (2)

All the close member of groom’s family bring Sagun along with gifts for the newly wed. Sagun is also given to the groom’s parents.

Groom Side Supari (5) Groom Side Supari (6) Groom Side Supari (7) Groom Side Supari (8)

Finally, all the rituals were over and I was asked to go and rest in our room. I was really tired as the rituals has been going on for more than 12 hours by then but I knew that I could not sleep yet as there were a lot of relatives still upstairs. However, I was glad to be in our room anyway so I could stretch my legs and rest for a while.

Groom Side Supari (9)

When I entered our room, I was really happy as it was decorated with flowers everywhere. On the door, they had garlands of chrysanthemums, and on the walls, there were lots of roses. The Dressing table and the coffee tables were also decorated with flowers and there were lots of rose petals scattered on the bed.

Janti (3) Janti (4)

This was going to be our room for the rest of the time I would be in Nepal. Next is Groom side Reception and I will write about it in my next post.

Janti (1) Janti (5)Till then, take care.

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

P.S: Do not forget to vote your favorite blog . NEPALIAUSTRALIAN’s Blog Award 2014

Chicken Saag

Saag” means green leafy vegetables in Nepali. In this case we are using Spinach.

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 250gm of frozen spinach
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • Few dried bay leaf
  • 1 large brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic and ginger paste
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 3 teaspoons chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Salt to taste
  • 410g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek-style yoghurt
  • 500 gm chicken breast fillets cut into cubes

Method

  • Heat oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over medium-low heat.
  • Add cumin and bay leaf and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant.
  • Add onion and cook, stirring, for 5 to 6 minutes or until softened.
  • Add chicken and cook for 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

chicken saag (1)

  • Add garlic, ginger paste and chilli and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add coriander, garam masala and salt; cook, stirring, for 1 minute
  • Add tomato and stir occasionally until slightly thickened.

chicken saag (2)

  • Add spinach and stir and simmer for 2 minutes or until combined.

chicken saag (3)

  • Add yoghurt while slowly stirring the chicken and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low for a few minutes and Chicken Saag is ready.

chicken saag (4)

  • Serve with rice or roti

Take care,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

P.S: Do not forget to vote your favorite blog . NEPALIAUSTRALIAN’s Blog Award 2014

Chu la (Minced chicken curry)

Chu” means minced and “La” means meat in Newari. You could make this recipe with any meat but I am using chicken today. This is one of my favourite curry when I was in Nepal and my mum definitely made it best  🙂

It is one of the easiest and tastiest recipes that I loved to make once in a while. It goes well with rice or roti and is healthy as well.

Ingredients

  • 500gm chicken mince
  • 1 large onion thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Large tomato diced (I used 250 gm diced from a can)
  • 1 table spoon of garlic and ginger paste
  • A few bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 2 teaspoons chilli powder
  • ½ cup of chicken stock (use water if you don’t have stock)
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh coriander to garnish

Method

  • In a wok, heat the oil, add turmeric powder and bay leaves.

  • Add the sliced onions and fry for 15 minutes or until golden brown, stirring regularly.

  • Add all the other spices , garlic ginger paste and fry some more.
  • Once onion is cooked, pour diced tomato and let it cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

chu la (1)

  • Mix well and add the chicken and fry until the chicken mince is cooked.

chu la (2)

  • Try and break the mince as much as possible as you cook it so it does not have too any lumps.
  • Once the chicken is cooked, add the chicken stock.

chu la (3)

  • Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes, or until tender.
  • Garnish the chicken with fresh coriander.

chu la (4)

  • Delicious minced chicken curry is ready and it can be served with rice or roti.

Take care,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

P.S: Do not forget to vote your favorite blog . NEPALIAUSTRALIAN’s Blog Award 2014

Our Story : “Janti” ceremony- Part 43

This is a continuation of my previous posts. Please read the previous posts here.

The morning of the Janti was the most emotional and chaotic day that I think I will ever face. The day was filled with tears, panic and more tears.

Janti is the groom’s wedding procession which goes form his house to the bride’s to bring the bride to the his house. The Janti consisting of the groom’s family members, relatives and friends, sets out for the bride’s home. The Janti is accompanied by a musical band, indulges in dance and merrymaking all along the way. This ceremony is a very joyous event for the groom’s family while it is a bit sad for the bride’s family as she will be leaving her house to start a new life with her husband.

As this ceremony was in the morning for us, I got up early and got ready for the day. I wore a red Dupatta Sari with a green border and a matching shawl around my arms and a red veil covering my head.

Janti (3) Janti (6)

I wore my jewellery including the Tilhari and Chura (bangles). My aunty and friends did my hair and make-up. Once everyone was ready, we went to the wedding venue.

Janti (2)

In the meantime, in AS’s home, they were getting ready as well and his family performed a Puja with the help of the priest to start the rituals.

Janti (7)Janti (10)Janti (11)

Then he asked for the blessing of his parents and left house in a decorated car with all his relatives following him and a band of colourfully dressed musicians, with drums and trumpets, in most cases performing very loud music.Janti (12)

Before AS left his home, two decorated gagree (pitchers) were placed on either side of the main door of the house in which AS put some coins, asking the blessing of the gods before he stepped out of the house.

Janti (13)

The procession moved along slowly around the area, a way of letting the community know that the person is getting married.

Janti (14)Janti (21)

Once the Janti arrived at the venue, AS and his family were welcomed by my dad and my family.

Janti (15) Janti (16)

He was offered a seat on a sofa waiting for me to arrive near the mandap where the wedding ritual would take place. His relatives were seated in the chairs nearby. They were served with cocktails and drinks.

Wedding CeremonyOne of my favourite traditions in weddings is that of “Jutta lukaune” or hiding the groom’s shoes. So the tradition starts when the groom sits for the puja, he takes off his shoes. At that point, the bride’s sisters/cousins/bridesmaids/friends steal the shoes and hide them. It is the job of groom’s brothers/cousins to not let the bride’s entourage to steal the shoes, and at the same time the bride’s side has to try their best to get the shoes and hide them. It is not about the money, but the fun that comes along with the tradition.

janti (1)

Before AS could sit in front of the mandap, he had to take off his shoes. I have lots of cousins, so as soon as AS was about to take off his shoe, they jumped in, trying to get his shoes. His brothers tried to make sure, my cousins didn’t get the shoes and there was a Tug of War. The poor shoe was damaged in the process but finally my cousins were able to get one of the shoes while the other was still with AS’s family. It was quite fun to watch.

janti (2)

Once the “war over the shoes” was over, AS sat down next to me.

Janti (19)

He was wearing a black suit with a traditional Nepali topi. I was happy looking at him through my veil that we are now goona be together forever. Everything we went through until that moment was worth it to see AS by my side with both our families so happy with our union.

Janti (8) Janti (9)

The Puja started with the same two priests as before. There was also one elder from each family (the eldest male of the family) sited next to the priests in front of the Mandap and the Puja went on for an hour. This process is called Kanyadaan where the bride is formally handed over to the groom by her father.

Wedding Ceremony Wedding Ceremony Wedding Ceremony

Then it was followed by AS and me sharing food from one plate called “Thaa bu” which had eggs, yogurt, wine, fruits, Roti, meat, fish and much more.

Wedding Ceremony Wedding CeremonyJanti (4) Janti (5)

After that, the eldest from AS’s family, put Tuuti Bagi (Special marriage anklet which literally means a carriage for the feet) on both my feet indicating I am married into their family. This is a tradition in Newari / Nepali wedding.

Wedding Ceremony Janti (7)

Now came the hardest part. It was time to give Supari to each member of my close family and say my good byes. In turn, they would give me some gift or money and take Supari from me. I promised myself I would not cry when I left to go to AS’s house since I don’t want to start a chain reaction with everyone crying after I did. I had seen how much my aunt had cried at her wedding and how everyone in her family started crying too. Therefore, I was keeping strong. This process went for a while, as I had to give Supari to almost 40 people with my parents coming at the end, just before I left my parents’ house forever.

Wedding Ceremony Wedding Ceremony

When I was half way through giving Supari I heard my mum sobbing. I was teary-eyed but I hadn’t started crying yet. Hearing her sob, I couldn’t stop but sob. Ohoo it started the chain reaction as I had predicated and most of my cousins and aunts started sobbing. While I was giving Supari to my parents, both of them were crying. It was such an emotional moment. It was as if you were saying “I am leaving you guys”.

Wedding Ceremony Wedding Ceremony Wedding Ceremony

And the band didn’t help any by playing the emotional song “Maitighar timro hoina...” which translate to, “The home of your birth is not yours anymore, you go to your husband’s house. Do still come and visit your parents sometime…” or something along those lines. Anyway, it took a few of my relatives to help my mum away from me. I couldn’t stop crying after that.

Wedding Ceremony

It was now time for me to leave my parents’ home and go to my husband’s. My brother carried me to the waiting car. He needed to go around the car 3 times before he could put me inside.

Wedding Ceremony Wedding Ceremony

In the meantime, there was a big negotiation going on for the shoe (which my cousins had taken) between AS and my cousins. I think he gave them RS 5000 and finally they gave him his shoe back.

Wedding Ceremony

Once, AS got his shoes back from my cousins, he joined me in the car but I was still sobbing. I hugged my dad, mum and brother before they closed the door of the car.

Janti (4)Red and gold cloth was put on the top of the car and everyone showered the car with rice, flowers and Sindoor. Inside, AS was consoling me as the band started up with the music and AS’s family said their good byes.

Wedding Ceremony

The car we were in was decorated with lots of flowers and with our initials at the back of the car.

Janti (4) Janti (5)

I was off to start my new life with my new family!

More on the wedding in the next post.

Take care,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

P.S: Do not forget to vote your favorite blog . NEPALIAUSTRALIAN’s Blog Award 2014

Go to Part 44