an Indian baby shower

by anne on November 14, 2010

Today Pat and I attended an Indian baby shower for one of his co-workers. It was quite the elaborate affair- much different than your average Minnesotan sit-around-the-living room-in-folding-chairs-eating-egg-bake-and-playing-weird-games baby showers that I am used to.

First of all, everyone today was really dressed up. The men were in suits or fancy traditional Indian garb, and the women were wearing beautiful dresses (saris? I apologize- I don’t know any of the correct terminology). Everyone looked very nice, and then in walk us shlumpadinkas in our jeans! Ha!

The shower began with what appeared to be a traditional blessing ceremony. I wasn’t sure exactly what the ceremony meant, but the smell of incense was in the air, and there was a cloth containing grains of rice and rose petals and a coconut and some other things, and this stuff was passed back and forth a number of times between the mom-to-be and the woman performing the ceremony. It seemed like a very spiritual, special part of the celebration for the expecting couple.

After the ceremony (and lots of photos), the baby shower cake was cut ceremoniously, and the expecting couple fed each other a piece of cake. I thought the cutting of the cake at this point was simply ceremonial in nature, and that perhaps the cake would be served later after the meal had been eaten. But I was pleasantly surprised to be served a piece of cake right away, BEFORE eating lunch. Now THAT’S a tradition I could get used to- dessert BEFORE the meal! The cake was really good. I’d love to know which bakery it was from- it was a vegan cake.

Before lunch was served, the guests were invited to play baby shower games. In amidst all the ceremonial beauty of this shower, it would be a travesty to omit silly baby shower games, would it not? The first game was ‘guess the flavor of the baby food by looking at it through unmarked jars’. I was confident I could win this one because I’m right in the throes of feeding Sam pureed baby food each and every day. Sure enough, I guessed all six flavors correctly and was a co-winner of this game (although I think the other winner was copying over my shoulder. DAVE.) I passed on playing the other shower games and instead joined some of the guys in the other room where they were watching the Vikings game.

Finally, it was time for the highly anticipated Indian buffet. Pat was really looking forward to this part. The food was catered by Bombay Bistro (their website appears to be down, but here’s the Urban Spoon page.) The food was plentiful, and the hosts of the party were right there to tell us which food was which and what was in each dish. Remember, it’s only been recently that I’ve started liking curry, and I’ve only eaten in an Indian restaurant once (in Chicago, during the same trip as the one where I talked to Oprah), so I was pretty excited for this Indian buffet myself. Everything looked and smelled delicious, and I’m proud to say I tried it all. I have no idea what any of the dishes I ate were called, but it was all really REALLY good. I appreciated that everything was vegetarian, because while I am definitely a meat-eater, I was much more eager to try all of these Indian dishes without having to worry about encountering chewy mystery meat. After this, I’m looking forward to dining out at Indian restaurants in the future. Yum!

All in all, it was an enjoyable afternoon. Not to be a downer on the ‘traditional’ baby shower that I’m used to, but the Indian one I experienced today was much more interesting and meaningful that any other baby shower I’ve been a part of.

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Last year on this date: airport food

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