Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Deepavali!

Happy Deepavali! Or, if you're not in Malaysia, Happy Diwali! We are just finishing up celebrating the Hindu Holiday, and true to Malaysian style we partied hard and did it up right! Remember Brent's outfit from the last post? Craig and I didn't want to feel left out, so we got our own for the occasion. If you want a treat, check this video of Brent dancing bollywood style on Youtube. It should not be missed, he won Muharaja! Here is Craig in his Punjabi Suit, the traditional outfit for the holiday. He's holding a diva lamp that he made in school. Deepavali is also called The Festival of Lights. The small lamp holds oil and signifies the triumph of good over evil.
Deepavali is the largest celebration for the Indian Hindu population in Malaysia, as well as around the world. It's customary to buy new clothes as part of the Deepavali celebration and to share special sweets with friends and family members. Craig's school, as always, really knows how to celebrate! Luckily there are many members of the staff that are Hindu, so they make sure it's a big deal! Here is Craig, with his darling teacher, Miss Parker. She's wearing a Sari for the day!
Here is Craig's class! They look like quite a festive bunch! In the picture is Mrs. Raja, the classroom aid. She is Hindu and helped show me the proper way to wear my jewelry and sparkles above my nose. She said that the red mark that you see Hindu women wearing is like our wedding ring, it means that you're married. And, by the way, it's not taboo to very openly discuss which religion you belong to here. In fact, they ask your religion to open just about any account, even a frequent shoppers card at the grocery store! It's funny though, I've filled out a couple of questionaires, and the race is always Malay, Chinese, Indian or Other. And the religion is Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu or Other. I've never been an 'other' to both of those questions before! Anyway, back to Deepavali and Craig's cute class!!
The entire school really got into the celebration! Here is the Librarian, Miss Shariffa. Have you ever seen such a beautiful librarian before? Craig certainly hasn't! He loves Miss Shariffa!
I will admit, I was dying to get all dressed up and go check out the festivities at the school! I would have volunteered to be the janitor for the day, this school is so much fun! Luckily they needed volunteers to do henna body art (ok, mom, a tattoo - but it only lasts until you take a dip in a cholornated pool, so relax!) I wasn't the only mom (excuse me, mum) that was dying to get in on the action! I had about 20 mums show up to my house to practice our new henna art the day before the party. Here we are, there are about 10 countries being represented around the table!
Luckily, I got to help Craig! Here we are deciding on the design for his hand. He decided to go with a crescent, because it also looks like a C - for Craig! I love seeing him so happy at his school!
Here are my two other partners in crime, Sarah Kelly and Nina Wilson! It was fun to get dressed up and spy on our kids at school!
I was a little worried that there wouldn't be too many other mums who got all dressed up for the occasion. Boy was I wrong! Here are a couple of moms who have kids in Craig's class who got all dressed up for Pick-up at school! Mei is a local, from right here in Penang. She is in a beautiful Sari. Greit is from Belgium, you may remember her from last week's Halloween cupcake adventure! She is wearing the traditional Punjabi Suit.
Here's our happy little family! We're still just having the best time enjoying all the local traditions!Want to know another great thing about living in a country that celebrates so many different cultures and holidays? School and work closures, of course!!! Since Brent and Craig both had last Friday off for Deepavali, guess where we went? I'm serious, I want some guesses!!


  1. I already know where you went! THAILAND! Looks like a fun Diwali celebration :) And I love your cute clothes and jewelry for the occassion.

    When you get back to the states, you are going to be so bored ... no maid, crazy adventures, so many holidays, etc. Live it up while you can!

  2. Checked out Brent's dancing premiere. Too fun. Enjoyed visiting with him the night. Thank you for the spices. Can't wait for the recipe.