My Diwali started with a nice, long sleep. Ravi got up with the girls, and then forgot to wake me up. I was finally woken when Ravi decided he wanted a nap and was feeling a bit run down.
So I got up and hung out in the living room with the girls.
We had some food (but not Jalebi, since Ravi was fast asleep by this point), and then got ready to go to them home of Ellie’s teacher.
A Diwali tradition is to wear new clothes. Ellie wore the salwar we’d bought at the Diwali bazaar the night before. Rhi wore one of the outfits I’d had made for the wedding that she’d not yet worn. I wore something better than new clothes–clothes I’d last worn pre-pregnancy. Hurray!
Very shortly after this photo was taken, I learned the folly of a 10 dollar salwar. The seam on the inner thigh split (not because it was tight, but because the word was roughly worth 10 sgd. I’m guessing the tailor attached to our dry cleaner is probably going to charge me at least another 10 to resew the hems.
On the drive over to our friend’s home, I decided to play Ellie some Indian music. I put some of my favorite music from a few movies (Kahbi Alvida Naa Kehna and Salaam-E-Ishq) onto my iPod and played it for her on the drive over. She alternated between asking me to play her the Disney Princess Christmas CD I’d just bought (No, I have no idea why I brought that on myself) and trying to sing along.
We were warmly welcomed into my friend’s home. Ellie insisted on carrying the snacks we’d brought as a gift, and giving it to them herself. She did a pretty good job at wishing people “Saal Mubarak.” Then she went and was very social, making new friends and following her teacher around like a puppy. I chatted, and the baby was passed around, occasionally making her way back to me, but very much enjoying making new friends.
We stayed for a while, and enjoyed sharing the holiday with friends. I was struck again, much as I was at the wedding of another friend from school, how far we’ve come in the time we’ve been here. We’ve been very lucky to have found a wonderful group of friends, and how fortunate we have been to be adopted (in a sense) by the staff and some of the other families in the class.
We had to head home because I had a ticket to see Elaine Paige at the Esplanade Theater that night. When I bought the ticket, I hadn’t realized that the date of the concert was Diwali. I did feel a bit of a pang about abandoning my children to watch American Football with their dad instead of doing the Diwali activities I’d planned. However, when compared with the chance to see Elaine Paige sing in person (context–I’m a HUGE broadway fan and she’s a HUGE Broadway/West End legend who doesn’t tour often), I have to admit I’d still make the same choice.
Our friend’s mom gave the girls Diwali packets (much like a red packet at CNY-an envelope with a small amount of money in it), and we’ll be writing her a thank you note over the weekend.
When we got home, before I headed out to the concert, I asked Ellie to help me make a video to send to her Dadi and Dada. Below you get to see her say “Saal Mubarak!”
We didn’t get to all the Diwali stuff I wanted to, so I have officially extended our celebration through the weekend so that we can get to the jalebi and sparklers and so forth. Not quite traditional, but it works for us.