India Festival

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say Indians throw the best parties ever. Here in Portland we’re in the two months out of the year when the weather is magical. So, everyone who is anyone has a festival and there are often more than one a weekend. On Saturday I went to Multnomah Days and on Sunday both J and I went to the India Festival, a celebration of India’s independence from Great Britain. It was an amazing feast of light, color, aroma, and sound. The vendors were a crazy mix of clothes, art, and services such as mortgage brokers, insurance salesmen and doctors (huh?). You could have a “life-altering” meditation session for 10 minutes or get your astrological birth chart made (still important for finding the perfect mate). There was a booth doing gorgeous henna painting which resulted in all kinds of women walking around afterwards fanning their arms and hands in the air to dry the henna- and forcing the men to carry their food and packages. 

But the best part of the festivities was the dance competition that was ongoing the entire day. The music was pure Bollywood as were the dance moves but the exuberance of the performers kept everyone clapping throughout. Backstage, proud mamas fixed hair, tucked in shirts, and clucked and tutted over their children while proud fathers sat in the audience with their digital recorders. It still makes me smile. Hell, it made J smile and he is not a music/dancing kind of guy. It was just the joy of everyone there, talking, laughing, catching up with old friends, teen girls preening, boys dancing and then acting embarrassed, grandparents being waited on…a beautiful community gathering.

Pretty sparkly bangles 

Bright shawls and tops

 Delicious fried dough called puri. They were also making dhosas, which are like crepes. Plus, samosas, curries, and mango lassies. Such good food.

One of many little girls decked out in bright dresses and lots of bling!

 I love the enthusiasm of the little boys!

 Final touches on hair and make-up

Gorgeous hair, ready to go