Friday, 28 October 2016

Diwali and Halloween Are Round the Corner

Happened that these two festivals coincide almost on the same dates. Diwali is on the 30th of October this year , and  Halloween, well, as usual is on the 31st of October :) I like this because this way we celebrate cultures' chord for real!
My A's school has been decorated with Halloween stuff to the brim! I suppose they get from abroad or something because you can't find such stuff in the usual markets here. I am sure kids enjoy the change in the school's furnishing every week.
Today is the Orange day in A's class but I couldn't find ANY orange clothes for him, so I simply made a Pumpkin ornament and a diya sticker from orange foam paper to take along. Then A and D are having 4 days off due to Diwali - lucky boys :)
Now, what I have been up to. Though I did very little on a crafty front I managed to finish A's cape, here is a look of work in progress. We purchased this one to one meter of shiny material for 60 Indian rupees, which is equal to 0.90 USD. The sewing and design are my own - it has a hood as well :)
Yesterday, after dropping to school a leave application because little A stayed home with cold, I couldn't not to take few snapshots of lobby decor... when I was stopped by a teacher who said I wasn't allowed to take photos... hehe.

Today is also  a special pre-Diwali day called Dhanteras. It is auspicious to buy any metal things today like jewellery or kitchen utensils and appliances. So if you ran out of spoons, go get them! :) A pooja (a form of a religious ritual) is held in my D's office today. Many offices do this in order to welcome Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity (Lakshmi).
We wore traditional Indian clothing today. Here is my Indian suit. I loved how the colors became vivid under the morning sunlight!
Rangoli (in the photo below) is also being made in all the schools, offices, homes. Here is Ganesh is in the middle, people pray to him on Diwali for prosperity, wealth and well-being. Rangoli designs are endless!

Another rangoli one from my office which reads Happy Diwali written in Devanagari, and also two diyas (little oil lanterns) and OM are a part of this composition.

 Our big Indo-Russian family wishes you all a Happy Diwali - Let the Light come into your home and in your hearts, and make your life happy and joyful! 

Thursday, 20 October 2016

The Festival Season is On

Following the last post about Dussehra here I am going to tell about another North Indian festival called Karva Chauth which took place on 19th of October - a day when wives fast for a well-being of their husbands. It is a tradition in many North Indian families, and we also follow it. Though this year I didn't keep fast, I followed all other rituals of this day, like applying mehendi (henna), dressing up in suit and wearing bangles, attending pooja in a temple, and at last breaking the fast when the moon rises. This time the moon kept us waiting till 10 pm until it finally became visible behind the houses...
Other than celebrations, we are in our usual mode - office, home, school. Last weekend was particularly enjoyable because in-laws were out of city and we had the house all to ourselves, forgive me announcing this happiness openly, but this is required at times. They also had some break from routine in Delhi, attending a marriage. We had  a lovely family time at home. I indulged in baking again - this time Apple Crust Pie with cinnamon - it was delicious! Easy-peasy to make too.

Little A has got his portion of delight on weekend by playing with colourful dough. I purchased a set of cutters along with four dough pieces.
Look how many shapes we made! He especially likes a star, a circle, a heart and a butterfly :) To my amusement the play dough is still popular with little A.
Today when I was dropping A to his school, his class teacher met us at the reception with a giant spider in her hands! Hehe, they are preparing for Halloween now. After I said "Bye, I love you, baby!" to my boy (while he was too interested in that handmade spider to even look back at, and was about leave the premises, I noticed these cute bats and spiders on the lobby's TV stand - aren't they fun? They made me smile!
 Have a happy day and enjoy time spent with your dear ones :)

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Indian Festival, Craft Activities and Baking

The festival season has started in North India, revolving around mythological stories about Ram and Sita. One of such holidays is called Dussehra which per Wiki is "Dasa-hara is a form of Dasanan ravan ("Ravana's defeat") and it took place yesterday (11th of October). I have been celebrating this festival since 2010. Nevertheless the most enjoyable  we had so far was this year's because our little A could already understand what was going on and liked the whole thing so much that he didn't want to leave the place. He had already had some knowledge about this festival as it was told to him at school, and brought home this demon Ravaan paper puppet:

The activities, held on this days, always include symbolical burning of the demons, Ravaan and his brothers.  The giant dolls are made much in advance but burned in a matter of minutes. I kind of feel sad every time I look at it.

Indeed, children bring so much joy, happiness and meaning to everything around them, perceiving each and every moment with excitement, curiosity and naivety. My little son was so stunned by the fireworks, repeating again and again that those were the STARS as the sparks were flying up in the sky... For some reason he also took a standing type of the firework for water and kept on shouting excitedly: "Mommy, look, vada, vada!" (voda means "water" in Russian). Till I explained it was kind of fire (ogon' in Russian), very hot. Then he started saying "Mommy, look, hot, hot" and showing with gestures and mimics as if touching something really hot. We had so much fun with A, noticing how young child's mind reacts to different new situations and discovers new subjects to think about.
I tried to contribute to A's entertainment as well when it was possible on weekend. He really likes all the crafty projects. Thus we did simple Diya coloring with some sequins decoration. A likes using cotton swabs and can you see this concentrated face?:)
 The next day I conducted a DIY stamps activity which didn't keep little A busy for long, but at least he tried something new.
Even I amused myself with some fast almost on-the-go project which I had on my mind for a very long time. I made a felt owl of course... Working with felt for the first time was a little tricky, and I should have used another stitch to sew two parts together. Well, I hope for better results in further projects.
Oh yeah, and I had done a little bit of baking last weekend. Tried awesome cinnamon rolls recipe -non-dairy, eggless though uses yeast. I used atta (a kind of wholemeal flour) instead of all purpose flour and omitted apples and raisins (as not everyone actually likes them in our family). As the dough takes time to be ready, I prepared it in the evening and used the next morning.
The best baking was a very dark chocolate cake! I thought I burned it actually when I came to check on the process, lol. The recipe has no eggs and milk as well. The pancakes were also dairy and egg-free. I am not a vegetarian (yet) but due to the fact that there are two vegetarians in our family I have to opt for special recipes for them, so all my baking is eggless now. But to tell the truth it doesn't change the degree of yumminess :)))
Enjoy your week! Be happy and healthy!
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