Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Durga Puja

Tonight was Durga Puja. The hindu celebration of the 10 armed goddess Durga. Our cleaner’s name is Lovely and she invited Muzi and I to celebrate the festival at her house. I think Lovely is my favorite person in Bangladesh. She is always smiling and hugging us telling us that we are her sisters. An amazing woman. Her house was simple with tin walls and a bamboo roof. It was colorful and warm. All of the women in the nearby households were related to Lovely and we all piled onto the bed to braid one another’s hair and talk our women talk (it needs no translation.) Lovely set out a table and chairs for us and a beautiful meal of fish, chicken, rice, cucumbers and vegetables. We ate and ate and then stretched out on the bed and watched the younger girls practice dancing like the Bollywood stars on TV. They were a rambunctious lot and it made me miss my sister and her friends.

At night we walked to the nearby temple which was adorned in Christmas lights and puja offerings of flowers. It seemed like the entire town was there and they all gathered around us clapping their hands for us to dance. A hot drum beat started and a large circle formed around us. I could only demurely refuse their clapping twice before I jumped into the circle
letting my hips sway and hands feather about. I didn’t care about the men watching or the women cheering or the heat or being so far away from my friends and family. The drum beat was fresh and my feet were stomping. My hair came out of its bun and I let go.


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