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Pasni party for Chhori

After the pasni puja was over, the next big day was the party day.

Chhori is so blessed to have so many loved one come to visit her after her birth. So I wanted to invite everyone for the celebration and to share the day with us.

As with other celebrations, I had many ideas that I wanted to execute for her special day.

So I started planning for the big day months in advance. I wanted a big enough venue that served good food and had great ambiance. After a very tiring search, we finally found it.

The next part was to find a good baker to bake a special cake for Chhori and a photographer who could capture the special moments. Once everyone was booked, I started on the entertainment. I wanted to put on a few performances so I asked few of my friends and they agreed to dance and sing on the day. Altogether, there were going to be 5 dances and a song and I was performing a dance with my sister in law as well.

I always liked dancing but I haven’t performed since high school so I was excited and scared at the same time. We practiced for almost a month every other day and though we were not very good in the beginning as the days passed and we practiced more, we got better and better. I was really happy with where we were headed.

In the meantime, we also designed place cards and arranged the table sitting. It took a while but when everything were done, I was super excited for the day.

On the day of party, I went to the beauty parlour to do my hair and makeup. It took almost 2 hours to get ready and I was happy with the result. I had ordered a special lehenga saree and that was what I was wearing. AS was also looking really handsome in his new suit and bow tie.

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Chhori also had a special dress made for her in a boutique in Nepal by her grand ma which I loved a lot. She looked absolutely gorgeous.

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Once we were all ready, we went to the venue. It was decorated, nicely.

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The cake was also already delivered. We placed all the place cards in the right places and were set for the evening.

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It was early and the photographer was there as well so we spent an hour taking photos before the guests arrived. He took great photos of us as well as with my parents and brother.

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As the guests arrived, the place stared to fill up and food and drinks were served.

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It was so much fun catching up with friends and family after a while. Chhori was an absolute angel and was behaved so well.

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After a while Chhori was bit tired and I let her sleep for a while so she would be fresh and happy for the cake cutting.

As to our schedule, it was time for some entertainment and first up was me and my SIL. I felt nervous like as if it was my first time on the stage but once the music started the fun took over the fear. We both were more relaxed and started our performance.

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Before we knew it, the songs came to an end and I was glad that everyone enjoyed it too. We were showered with applause when we left the stage. I am so glad we captured the performance on video.

After our dance there were more performances that evening by my friends. I am so grateful that I have such a great family and friends who invested their time and energy to make Chhori’s pasni such a memorable evening.

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As I looked around, everyone was enjoying the evening and I could see that the guests were relaxed and mingling well.

While the performance was on, entree was served and after the performance, it was time to cut the cake. Chhori woke up just in time for that.

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The baker did a great job with the cake. It was what I had imagined and looked amazing. I, AS and Chhori cut the cake together. Amazingly, when we gave Chhori a piece of cake, she loved it so much that she started munching on it and we were pleasantly surprised. She loved the sweetness and she looked so cute with cake all over her face.

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After the cake, the dance floor was opened and every one joined us on the dance floor for hours to enjoy the evening. It was so much fun for all of us.

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In the meantime, dinner was served and everyone enjoyed the food and the dance and before I knew it, it was close to midnight and party was coming to an end.

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I am so happy the evening went as we planned and everyone enjoyed it. They told us that they had an amazing time and loved our organized celebration.

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We got some beautiful photos and videos from the day so when Chhori grows up, she too can enjoy watching her Pasni ceremony.

Hope you enjoyed the photos and the post as much as we did the occasion.

Take care everyone,
M from nepaliaustralian
XOXO

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Pasni Puja for Chhori

There are many milestones once you have a child and Pasni is one of those big milestones in Nepalese culture. It was one I and AS, were really looking forward to once we had Chhori.

I read somewhere that you just need to have kids and they will grow up so fast and that seemed to be very true in our case already. Time has flown by and Chhori is already over 5 months and ready for her Pasni ceremony.

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The Pasni ceremony is also known as the rice feeding ceremony or Weaning Ceremony. I tis also called Annaprashan in Sanskrit which literally means grain initiation. It is the first time the baby is fed solid food. In Newari it is called Macha Junko.

AS parents sent us the sait, the auspicious day and time, for the pasni after consulting with an astrologer in Nepal. Once we knew the date, both of us were busy preparing for it for the next few weeks until the ceremony. As we are in Australia, everything needed to be arranged by AS and me and it kept us busy. If we were in Nepal, there would have been other family members who could have lent a hand.

I am just glad that we could buy everything we needed for the ceremony easily in Sydney. We also book the same priest who performed Chhori’s Nwaran.

Finally the big day arrived. I woke up early that morning and got ready in my red dupatta sari. The last time I had worn the dupatta sari was during our wedding so I was feeling special already. In the meantime AS got Chhori ready in her new clothes and we waited for the priest. My mum also made sagun. apungo and halwa for the puja.

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At 8am, the priest arrived and stared drawing mandap for the puja. He began the puja with AS sitting at the mandap and after a while asked me to join as well. Then Chhori joined us later, sitting on my lap and the puja continued.

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The first step was to worship Lord Ganesh and the sukunda and all the gods. He chanted mantras and blessed Chhori’s puja outfit and ornaments. The outfit was made of red silk (Taas) embroidered with golden threads and there were gold ornaments like a chain, earrings, bangles (with gold dragon on the ends) and silver anklets (kalli) to keep the bad omens at bay. Some of the ornaments were from my parents and some from AS parents.

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We then changed Chhori into her new outfit and put the kalli and bracelets on her and the ceremony continued.

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Next it was time to give Chhori the tray which had a book (symbolising learning), jewels (wealth), a pen (wisdom), clay (property), food items (a love for food) as well as a mobile phone (after instruction from priest) symbolising a computer genius 🙂 to Chhori.

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It is believed that the first thing the baby touches determines her future path and career. In our case, Chhori first grabbed the book and then the mobile phone so we are hoping she will like computers like her parents.

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After that, it was time for the big moment, Chhori’s first solid food. Normally in Newari culture, we have Thya Bu (a big plate with rice, eggs, yogurt, wine, fruits, roti, meat, fish, vegetables and much more) as the first meal but as we were here, it was near impossible to follow that tradition so we used Kheer (rice pudding) instead.

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My mum made a special kheer for Chhori with lots of milk boiled longer to make it softer. Everyone fed small portions to Chhori using a sliver bowl and a gold coin. She seemed to like the sweetness and kept asking for more; enjoying her first solid food.

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Then the priest blessed the baby and the puja was over but there was still more to come.

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The next step was to take the baby to a nearby temple, which for us was round a thirty minutes’ drive. We all hopped into the car and went to the temple in time for the aarti ceremony.

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After the aarti, the priest blessed the baby and then, my brother who is the mama (maternal uncle in Nepali) took the baby and went around the temple following tradition.pasni (18)

Chhori was so happy to be out seeing all the lights in the temple.

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Once we returned home, it was time for Sagun. My mum had prepared all the necessary items and I am so grateful that she was here with us. I can’t imagine what we would have done without her.

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First my parents put tika on the foreheads of AS, me and Chhori. Then they gave us clothes, fruits, rotis and other gifts.

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It was followed by Sagun to us and everyone present. This concluded the morning ceremony for the pasni.

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For rest of the day, we had our close friends and family coming over to bless Chhori and to celebrate the day. By the time everyone left that day, it was almost midnight.

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It was great day for us to see our daughter growing up and starting to eat sold food. My parents were really pleased to witness their granddaughter’s big day.

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In the next post I will write about the party we had for Chhori’s pasni celebration.

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Till then take care everyone.

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Nwaran for Chhori

I know I am posting this late because Chhori is already a month now.

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Nwaran was performed when she was 11 days old.

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Nwaran ceremony is also known as Machabu Byakegu in Newari. This ceremony is performed to give a birth name to a child according to his/her lunar horoscope; this is usually not the name by which he/she will be known. This ceremony is normally small and celebrated amongst close family.

Typically, a priest is invited to perform the ceremony at home, and divines the child’s lunar horoscope from his birth details, as the mother is still recovering at home with the child. Until the mother and child are ‘purified’ (from past birth etc. in the religious sense), they should not visit the temple.

For the occasion, I wore a red sari which was specially brought from Nepal by my mum for the occasion. It was a cotton sari which is what new mums are supposed to wear for the occasion.

As soon as Chhori was born, we booked a priest for the ceremony and he gave us a list of things that are required for the day and everything was ready when he arrived at my place at 8.30 am on the day of the ceremony.

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The main ceremony was conducted in the balcony of our apartment.  Before the priest arrived we had cleaned and mopped the place. So, when he arrived, he started making a Mandap on the balcony. Once it was ready he asked AS to come and join him for the Puja.

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He had all his books of mantras and it took more than an hour for the first phase of the Puja to finish. It involved lots of mantra reciting from the books and lots of different Pujas to God, with candles on the Mandap.

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Then he asked me and Chhori to join the Puja. He chanted more mantras from the book. Then he asked me to perform Puja to the sun. Then he put tika on Chhori’s forehead and gave him a piece of paper which had details required to make her Jaata (lunar horoscope chart).

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Then my SIL took Chhori for Surya Darshan, i.e. to let the sunray fall on her as a blessing. Then the priest put Tika on AS, me and rest of the family. He also put Janai (holy string) around our wrists.

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After the ceremony, the priest left and the family function started. My parents, with the help of my brother and SIL, had prepared lots of trays of gifts for us and Chhori. It included sari and other gifts for me, clothes for AS and lots of clothes, toys, and manchester for Chhori as well as trays of sweets and fruits.

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The special thing required was special sliver bowl and spoon which my mum has got from Nepal.

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My parents put tika for AS, me and Chhori and gave us blessing and gifts. It was really nice and special to have all my family here for the occasion.

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Till  next post take care everyone,

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Our Story – “Wanjala” ceremony- Part 48

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

This is a ceremony where the newly wed bride is taken to the temple of the Kuladevata (family deity) where the bride is introduced to the god as a new member of the family and in front of the god, the groom puts Sindoor on the bride’s forehead and hair partition.

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The very next morning after I came to AS’s house, we went for Wanjala. It was me, my MIL, AS’s aunts and AS. We drove to the temple and waited in the queue for the priest to be free.

Wanjala

Once he was available, we handed him all the things for the Puja along with Sindoor from the Swayamvar ceremony. He performed some rituals and prayers and then asked AS to put Sindoor on my forehead. My MIL held a red and gold cloth from behind and, AS put the Sindoor on my forehead. Then I had to touch AS’s feet to get his blessing.

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Then we went around the temple to get the blessing from the gods. Once all the pujas were done, we sat down and ate the sagun we had brought from home. It is considered a good sign to eat around the temple.

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More on wedding on 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 – “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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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.

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

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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.

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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