Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Diwali

In Malaysia, the Indian holiday is known as deepavali. It is also known as the festival of lights. It has been fun and interesting to see the malls decorated for it.

"Look Mom!" shouted Maya. "A rangoli!" Wha-huh? She was proudly pointing at one of the beautiful works of art made of colorful rice on the floor of the mall. I was wondering what those were. Glad she could clear that up for me.


Dave had told me a week ago that his work was holding a Deepavali party and that I needed to dress Bollywood style. I was secretly excited about this, I have always been fascinated with the beautiful Indian women ever since I used to sit in church on the bench backwards and stare at the beautiful new wife of Lance King, Sheila?. She was the first Indian woman I had ever seen.

Anyway, excitement turned to panic when I learned that you have to have sari tops custom made. You just can't go buy one in a store. So I headed to Little India.


I'd never been to this part of KL before, but I boldly took a taxi there by myself and found myself faced with this:



Where do I begin? So I tried to fit in. (haha) After awhile a man approached me and I pointed at one. He looked at me confused and went to get the only guy in the place that spoke English, if only barely. For the next hour he patiently followed me around as he soon discovered that I, indeed, was looking to make a purchase. Or purchases. I walked out of the store with a sari, a punjabi, and some things I don't have a name for.

When I got home to show Maya the new punjabi dress I bought for her she was so excited. "Did you buy me a bindi too?" she asked. I'm really getting my money's worth at that school. She is getting all sorts of an education.

The next day found me back in Little India looking for a tailor. I was worried because I needed the blouse made in 2 days. After a few closed shops and some too busy to meet my deadline, I was a little discouraged. But thankfully I was brave enough to walk pass the guy slaughtering the cow and I found a very nice Indian man spoke great English and was able to custom make me a sari to temple specifications (almost).


Now what? There are 8 yards of fabric here with nary a button or zipper. How do I get this thing on???

Thank heavens for YouTube. I watched a woman teach me to wrap it a thousand times. "It's that simple" she says. Yeah, right.

All night long we tucked and wrapped and pleated and (pinned, don't tell). The end result was this:


And the bindi? Always wanted to wear one of those.

12 comments:

jessi said...

Wow, Shirlee! You look GORGEOUS! Do you want to go back through all that trouble for me and Chloe? I would really appreciate :) Loved this post. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Ingrid said...

You are amazing, Shirlee!

The McIntire Family said...

What an awesome experience! You look amazing!!!! and I love the color. (I too thought Lance King's wife was beautiful!) :-)

leslie said...

You look awesome! How fun to learn so much about the world. I would love to see pictures from the party and know how it was. Maya will be able to teach all of us about the culture and people. By the way, how are you feeling?

Jodi and Skott said...

What a great post! So beautiful!

Rachel said...

Beautiful!! Love it.

emilyaaa said...

you look gorgeous! absolutely gorgeous!Do you even realize how exciting your life seems to the rest of us? seriously?!?! I love reading about your adventures! thanks for sharing!

Becca said...

You are amazing! You are the most adventurous woman I know, embracing everything to the fullest. So brave! You look incredible! What a fun experience.

Deb said...

Wow Shir! I love the story...I would have been so intimidated. You are awesome and you look beautiful! Can't wait to see you guys soon!

merathon said...

wow! we had a RS activity a couple months ago where a woman showed us how to put on a sari. it was one of those things where it seems like it should be easy but i'm sure if i ever tried it, i'd be a tangled mess! you looked beautiful! was it a fun party?

Sarah holman said...

That sari is beautiful! Man, you are having so many great experiences.

Joleen said...

Beautiful! Love the color of it!