Thursday, January 30, 2014

Celebrating Indian Republic Day

(Us in our Republic Day party outfits)

One of the things I love to do is celebrate Indian holidays and festivals because it enhances my knowledge of Indian culture. This week, we were pleased to attend a lovely celebration of Indian Republic Day, which was thrown by the Vancouver Consul General of India, Ravi Aisola. He has a lot in common with husband-ji, as they are both from similar areas in Hyderabad. There were a bunch of celebs there, including Vikram Vij and Wally Oppal, among others.

The event was lovely, and it really focused on celebrating Indo-Canadian relations. There was a big speech from the Minister of Advanced Education, Indo-Canadian Amrik Virk, which celebrated the deep connection our province has with India. They lit the flame as per Republic Day custom, and talked about the partition, and the creation of the government. Then they sung the Indian national anthem, followed by the Canadian national anthem. After that, there was several traditional performances by Shiamak Davar's famous dance troupe, which was absolutely spectacular. They performed many dances, including: Bharat Natyam, Mohiniyattam, Bhangra, a Bollywood style, an an Indian modern dance.

(My favorite dance performance was the Mohiniyattam dance which originates from Kerala)

Hearing Jana Gana Mana actually made me a little homesick for India. And seeing such a fantastic array of dance performances from the different states, was a true reflection of how beautifully diverse India really is. There were a few foreigners there, but not too many. It was mostly just us, in a crowd full of Indians, me with my traditional Indian attire.....and I oddly felt quite at home...

(My silk saree)

Of course, I couldn't miss an occasion to wear one of my beloved silk saree's! I had picked out a beautiful electric blue silk saree that I had purchased from my favorite shop, Nalli Silks, in Hyderabad. It was a true show-stopper, and I matched it with all my wedding jewelry, including a beautiful gold necklace that was given to me from my MIL. I looked like quite the Iyengar wife that night!

One of the things I love about going to an Indian event is seeing what the other women are wearing. It was so nice to go to a fancy party where everyone was wearing their finest sarees. I can't wait to go back to India and purchase more outfits! I just love Indian attire...

It was fantastic wearing the saree again, and I really wish I could wear it every day! (maybe I will, on our next India trip) It is so freakin' comfortable, and it really made me feel like a queen. Maya loved my saree and was trying to cuddle in it (she has good taste!) I didn't have any trouble wrapping it, as I am now a total pro! Even the Deputy Consul General's wife said I carried it perfectly. There is just something about wearing a saree - that it just makes you stand taller!


Videos of the Shiamak Davar dance performances:


Introduction dance


Second dance


Bharat Natyam


Mohiniyattam

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Dear readers, what Indian holidays do you like? How did you celebrate Republic Day?

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14 comments

  1. You look so beautiful in those pictures! And your saree is amazing, love the color especially. I'm the same way about traditional Indian clothing, I have like 5 sarees and I hardly ever wear them, but I'm always online looking for new ones and I'm actually waiting for a package to come in, with a beautiful pink and gold lehnga in it XD. Which should be interesting because in all of the functions I've been to, I have yet to ever see someone in a lehnga, so I'm not sure of the reason for that. Maybe just that saress are preferred?

    I really wish there were more Indians here, there are a couple families but it seems that no one really gets together to celebrate any of the festivals. Or maybe my MIL just doesnt want to go to any of them, I don't know!

    That party looks like it was so much fun!
    Happy Republic Day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have seen that women "d'un certain âge" (meaning: MY âge) generally opt for saree, or if not, salwar kameez. Lehenga choli is worn a lot by younger girls, teenagers and twentysomethings, and especially I've seen them worn at weddings by family and close friends of the bride. Of course chaniya cholis at garba and some other Gujarati functions. India's not a monolith - I've spent most of my time in Delhi and Kolkata - so it may be different in other places.

      Sarees are so elegant though :) I love wearing mine when I have the chance.

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    2. I've been to India but never outside of Maharashtra, so maybe just that area doesn't wear them much. I know Gujarati's wear chaniya choli a lot for Navratri, but what you said was very informative! Thanks, I'm in my early twenties so hopefully it'll be okay. It was such a good price I couldnt say no! Hahaha.

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    3. @carlin - sounds beautiful! My SIL wore a red lehenga to our wedding reception, it is mostly a North Indian dress but all can wear it. I have seen it on older women too but not 40+, the only thing is you need a slim tummy! Lehengas are perfect party wear...you don't have to wear a saree
      xoxo

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  2. Sigh... I thought we were the same coloring but you ROCK electric blue and I... well, I do not. I have way too many yellow sarees in my collection though. And would love more silk ones! But I don't need any more... :)

    Glad you had a wonderful Republic Day celebration! It came and went here with no fanfare. I worked late and remembered spending Republic Day in India instead...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I probably don't need any more either but I totally WANT more :D hahahaha!!!! They are just divine!
      Would love to spend Republic Day in India....I am always missing the festivals on our trips :(

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  3. A wonderful post again! Love your saree and the way you respect the Indian culture and involve yourself in the celebrations.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Shilpi! It was really fun! I had never celebrated it before, I learned a lot.

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  4. @alexandra

    You look fabulous in sari. The Republic Day parade at Rajpath, New Delhi is part of every Indian's childhood memory. It is the the annual ritual to get up early in the morning to watch the parade on TV. Even grown up people are still exited about Republic Day Parade. People from far off places still come to Delhi to watch the parade. The marching contingents, children performing folk dances, tanks, camel regiment etc. all the diversity and might of India is at display.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hayJ81ZuA2c

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pn7QTLZw6xI

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRiPOVgfT_c

    We waited with bated breath to see the culture of different States of India. Then there were the children who are awarded for bravery each Republic Day riding on elephants. At last, helicopters showered rose petals on the audience. Indians have an emotional attachment to the republic day parade. If you are in delhi during that time, do not miss it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, sounds excellent!!!! The diversity of India is what I love so much. Even the Bharat Natyam and Mohiniyattam are completely different, it is amazing. Also love the different styles of dressing, all are incredible!
      I never knew about Republic Day, I thought Independence Day was celebrated more....would love to see it in Delhi one day.

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  5. Alex, you look just beautiful in that electric blue saree! Just beautiful color, and husband Ji is handsome in his sherwani. You both are such a cute couple. Glad you both had a great time at Republic Day celebration, the Shiamak Davar dancer's are fantastic. All videos of the dancing were great and very entertaining. Love your post, have a wonderful week.

    Missy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awwww thank you! I was so sick with the flu that week, so glad I got it together and went! Just getting all dressed up made me feel better!
      Loved seeing Shiamak Davar's dance troupe, I had heard that he had a dance studio in Vancouver but I never saw any of his performances. Glad I got it on tape!
      Have a good week too... :)

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  6. You look absolutely stunning! :D Yes, sarees do give you quite a sense of elegance. I've had my share of experiences. I'm not so good at wearing on my own. I do need help from my Mom. Need to learn that skill soon. ;)

    ~ K :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks K! It makes me feel very mature and queen-like!
      You have to learn before you come to the US for good!

      Delete

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