Monday, June 11, 2007

My Godh Bharna

My long time lady friends Donna, Cheryl, Wendy and Wendy’s two daughters; Addy and Emily hosted the most wonderful baby shower for us last Saturday, June 9th. In attendance were a prominent group of ladies: my sister and sister-in-law, my mother-in-law, ladies from my dad’s side of the family, co-workers, past co-workers and a few friends.

The hostesses loosely incorporated a few elements of symbolism from a Godh Bharna into a traditional American shower giving the afternoon a little twist of Indian flair. It was a very fun afternoon. Typically the Godh Bharna is the ceremony that celebrates the first pregnancy of the bride of the house and is held in the seventh month of pregnancy. Devi is in her seventh month of life so we thought that was a fun coincidence. The ceremony begins with the mother to be, dressed in traditional finery chosen by her mother, enters through the front door and parades to where the worship will begin. With each step, silk cloth and coins are placed at her feet. Sadly, my mother is no longer with us, so on her behalf the "finery" I chose to wear was my sweet sixteen gold ring and gold earrings that were both gifts from her. For our parade, as each guest entered, a dupatta of their choosing was put around their neck. Photos, of each guest were taken against a backdrop of orange flowered silk decorated with a Welcome Devi Rose sign. Later, the photos were printed and passed out to their owners who each left a welcome message for Devi on the back. The collection of photos were put into a photo album to help introduce Devi to all these wonderful women!

Obra presenting me with a nada chhadi

Next, my sister-in-law, Obra, tied a yellow bracelet around my right wrist. This auspicious thread is known as a nada chhadi. It is very significant because it is supposed to ward off evil our case it was to protect us from grumpy judges! While it is presented, the guests are suppose to be singing traditional baby shower songs, but we didn't know any :)

Devi's great-grandma having her welcome photo taken. She thinks Devi might be a "rascal" :)

We played a word scramble and a game where we each came up with nicknames for Devi beginning with a different letter of the alphabet. My 91 year old grandmother chose “rascal” which I thought was so cute. Others included, precious, angel-eyes, lovey, gorgeous, honey and one hostess Cheryl chose Daisy....after her cute dachshund! Part of the entertainment was watching Devi’s video. Being able to share a glimpse of our girl with everyone we love was the highlight of the day for me. She is more amazing each time I see her. I think the overall consensus is that she is pretty darn cute!

My sister Joan, and me. What a filled lap!

Donna taught us that Godh Bharna in Hindu mythology means “to fill the lap” (godh meaning the lap of the woman, and bharna meaning to fill). Traditionally, the lap is filled by the expectant mother’s mother and mother-in-law with items that symbolize good omens. In our case my lap was filled with baby necessities and thoughtful gifts for Devi. No question she is loved and spoiled rotten all ready! An additional “lap full” of wonderful donations to take with us was another huge surprise.

The afternoon was topped off with a delicious high tea. A table full of cucumber and curry finger sandwiches, quiches, and scones were guarded by a gorgeous flower arrangement and diaper cake centerpiece complete with a stuffed elephant representing Lord Ganesh on top. We ended the afternoon with angel wing cupcakes decorated with cardamom frosting and watermello punch.

I am still reeling from this amazing day. I can't thank the hostesses enough for throwing the best party I've ever attended. To know that Devi’s life will be touched by so many amazing woman gives both Patrick and I a tremendous sense of comfort. We are so truly blessed.


Karen said...

WOW! What a super-special day! Thanks for sharing the details with sounds like a fabulous party. All the details of Indian culture are just amazing! You are blessed to have so many wonderful women in your life. Devi is going to be a real princess!


The Labontes said...

Thank you, Julie for sharing. I learn so much from others about the Indian Culture our children were born into. I hope you enjoyed your amazing day!

Callie said...

Congratulations Pat and Julie! I am so happy for you that you are finally going to have the daughter you've wanted. Baby D is a lucky girl indeed. And such a cutie-pie! I loved the picture of you with your dogs explaining to them. You look so happy and your dogs look so confused.

Again, congratulations.


Anonymous said...

What a wondedful celebration of love and new beginnings! I so hate being so far away and not getting to share in this special time with you. This is the next best thing getting to read the wonderful details. Thanks for sharing all the photos and information of the events. She is so loved already and not even here yet! Children are truly a blessing and a gift given to us on loan. I always knew you and Pat were made to be amazing parents. I am so happy your dreams are coming true for you.
Michele (VA)