|Happy Navratri - a Hindu festival|
I have been to many countries but India beats them all in terms of cultural richness, specifically seen in clothing and in richness of tastes and foods. Everyday I have tasted a cuisine that is completely new to me. Only those that I eat often I remember - like chicken biryani, which includes rice, spices and chicken pieces together. Usually it is eaten with yellow sooji halwa sauce.
Naan bread and roti and all kinds of breads are eaten a lot, and the taste sauces are wrapped into the breads with plain hands. Traditionally, no utensils are used. In the end of the meal, a bowl of water with half a lime in it is provided for washing the hands.
Women dress every day to a different combination of sari or kurta with a nice scarf. Sometimes, the loose pants are the same colour as the scarf. These students from my class represent the young style, with different modifications.
Men also have kurta, a knee-long strait shirt, with no collars. For festivals, like Navratri, which began last night, men also have decorated kurtas. (Navratri is a festival dedicated to the worship of the Hindu deity Durga. The word Navratri means 'nine nights' in Sanskrit, nava meaning nine and ratri meaning nights. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Devi are worshipped.)
For festivities, such as weddings or Navratri, women have their hands beautifully decorated with henna. Both sides are decorated. The decorations last for few days until they wear off. For many ladies, it is like preparing for a prom night nine evenings in a row. The waitress in my hotel, Pratibha, said her mother has made her a pink dress for Navratri.