Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Happy Ayudha Puja!

Happy Ayudha Puja! 

Yesterday (Monday, September 18) was Ayudha Puja, which is a festival that celebrates "machinery." Priests came into the hospital to clean and bless the machines that are used to fix cleft lips and palettes. You are also supposed to be thankful for your arms, legs, hands and feet (as they are the machines of your body). Everyone cleans and decorates their cars, motorcycles, and so on. As I was walking to work yesterday, many people were cleaning their vehicles and putting flowers on their vehicles. We went to a celebratory lunch and it was my first experience eating with my hands (if you did not know, Indians eat with their hands). I must say after watching so many people eat with their hands, I have almost mastered it. It is like an art as they mix the rice and the dal and the vegetables just perfectly. 

As I was walking to work... 

The gas station near my apartment all decorated for Ayudha Puja! 

Eating with my hands. Yummy! 
Celebrating Ayudha Puja! 

On Monday night, as I was beginning to watch Finding Nemo, I heard loud music coming from just down the street. I could see the festival's bright lights from my balcony, so I decided to take a walk and see what was going on. I found a tent crowded with people listening to live music. There were various instruments with beautiful women who could flat out sing. I stood in the very back corner with my camera and enjoyed the concert. This man came up to me and said, "come, come." I replied, "no, it's okay. I am just watching from here." Before I know it, he has brought me tea and cookies and gently grabs my arm to take me to a seat. The people here are so nice and welcoming. They were so proud of this lovely show they had put on to celebrate Ayudha Puja. 

Singing away. 
She was an incredible singer.
I also forgot to say that on Sunday morning, I walked outside of my apartment, looked up and saw two HUGE elephants just walking down the street. Unfortunately I had forgotten my camera. So I walked up to them and just watched. To say that I am obsessed with elephants is an understatement. They walked heavily along with two young boys atop each of them. Wherever they were going, it was an amazing and beautiful sight. I remembered that the Jungle Book was set in northern India and I must be near a great number of jungle animals. 

On Sunday I also went to a textile fair that was across my street. It had booths and booths of handmade saris, scarves, etc. So many beautiful patterns and colors. 

There was another tent. It was huge. 

Textile fair. 
If you would like to see more photos log on to www.hannahdobie.shutterfly.com 
I will be frequently uploading allllll of my pictures to this website. 

This will be my last blog post until I return from the Silchar mission on Friday, September 28. Have a great week and a half! 

Sending smiles from India,
Hannah Dobie


  1. So glad you are doing this for the kids. Just a hint that cleft palate is spelled like that not palette like for art. Hope this makes you just a wee bit smarter.

  2. Hannah, you are such an inspiration! Your pictures and explanations show your love for people and India, and your enthusiasm is contagious. Keep up the good works, and blog soon so people know you're safe.