Lani has recently noticed that other families take nicely posed group shots when they go anywhere special. This is our best out of four taken at the south east Asian festival Parramasala. Eli point blank refused, Lani got nervous and couldn’t look at me, my camera wasn’t fast enough to capture Sabi in the split second she sat still and Lilly engaged all of her facial muscles taking her straight past the desired ‘happy face’ and straight in to psychopath territory,
When we arrived at the site of the festival the kids played in the playground with the masses of other children. It was like we had travelled overseas, out of the 50 or so kids swarming over the play equipment ours were the only ones of European decent, and poor Lani with her pasty white skin glowed like a ghost, sorry honey if I could up your melanin levels I would.
Lani and Lilly were very keen to try the food from the market stalls. They love butter Chicken from our local Indian shop but decided to be brave and try something new. They chose a chicken and rice dish under a big sign that read “Not Hot”
The have now learnt that advertising signs don’t always tell the truth. To be fair we did tell them that to people who eat vindaloo regularly, their chicken and rice probably tasted as mild as milk.
Glenn brought back a tray with six different dishes thinking that it would be just for him and me. The kids however weren’t fazed by the spicy rice and wanted to taste them all. I was quite proud of them for tasting a selection of foods that were new to them even if they did eat my dinner.
Eli even tried a few which is huge for him who panics over new foods and can’t stand the feel of rice in his mouth. He really only ate about four bites of food all night but hey, I’ll take a win no matter how small.
We then tried to go inside the town hall to see the market stalls. It didn’t go well, Sabi decided to have a massive meltdown because she wanted to go back to the playground. We had said she could go back later, forgetting to specify an exact time, so she had it in her head that we would be going there straight after dinner. She went off like crazy, I think the large crowds, loud music and flashing lights weren’t helping but Glenn eventually managed to calm her down.
Stepping inside the town hall building was as if we had been transported to a far away land. Garlands of yellow and orange flowers rained down from the ceiling and a bright coloured tent graced the centre of the room. The furnishings of the tent were ornately carved wooden chairs and cushions woven with glittering golden thread. Lani noticed all the gold colour, “Do Indian people like gold?” she asked “because it’s all over the place here and on the videos of the dancing they wore lots and lots of jewellery.” “Yes they probably do,” I answered “but there’s not many cultures in the world that don’t like gold.”
Sabi wanted a photo just like her sister, she was still so wired and teary, constantly asking to be held or to go home.
We tried to attain her interest by showing her all the pretty bangles, carvings, toys and clothes and reminding her that we had promised to allow them to buy something small to take home. She just screamed. We decided to set her up in the tent in the centre of the room and let her watch Peppa Pig.
By this time Eli was stressing that we would miss the light show on the outside of the building. We assured him that it hadn’t started yet and that even if it had it repeated all night so there was no way he could miss it. He didn’t let up so Glenn kept popping out with him to check. while Glenn sorted out the stress heads I looked at all the pretty with the big girls and chatted with the store holders about the traditions attached to the various objects they were selling.
Sabi began to cheer up after a little one on one time with Peppa Pig.
and Eli settled as soon as the lights started and we were all outside to see them.
Too much going on, poor sweetie didn’t have the best night ever.
Lani and Lilly saw a henna tent and asked if they could have one drawn on their arms. They hadn’t had henna before and Lilly got very nervous waiting for her turn.
Lani getting her henna flower.
Lilly getting her henna flower.
The finished pattern and two very happy girls.
For a while we thought this was where Eli was going to stay for the rest of the night. Glenn had the not too easy job of keeping him and Sabi settled while I was with the girls getting their henna, he said Eli was feeling overwhelmed by the loud music and crowds of people. When I joined them again Eli told me he was going to stay on this chair while we all went to watch the concert, he said he was happy to just sit there and video things. He’s been taught to find a chill out spot if he’s overloading but we couldn’t let him stay there alone so I asked him to come with us and try the concert for a few minutes and if it was too much one of us would go back the the park bench with him.
Sabi was happy to come with us as long as she could watch Peppa Pig on the iPhone.
Eli believe it or not had a great time. As soon as he sat on the grass he said the music wasn’t as loud now and he played for a long time with these two puppets we had bought at the market stalls. The stall holder told us that the puppets were made in a traditional fashion and were used to tell the romantic or heroic fighting tales of the ancient kings and queens of India.
In the end all the kids took home happy memories making Parramasala a nice finish to our Indian studies.