Vidya lives in Sydney and is very well known in the Indian community here. Vidya started freelancing Feng Shui 2 years ago. These days she is very busy helping all those who need her advise on homes, businesses, relationships etc. Vidya will love to hear from you on any questions regarding Feng Shui Email me
Like me, many of you must have the string of “Indian Parties” to go to. Either it is a 30th (you must be young), or a 40th (close to my age) or a 50th birthday party (too old to rock and roll but too young to …).
Sometimes you would get that odd invite for an 18th or a 21st birthday now that is just a sign that you have some friends who have older kids. And I am not even going to go into the umpteen kid’s birthday parties that happen every weekend, the MacDonald’s (completely boring and something done because it has to be done, or done by a new parent who is new to the kids birthday party scene), then there is the Hungry Jacks party which caters for the vegetarians (but still cheap), and it can get a bit more exciting with the theme parties, for a few hundred dollars you can get a fairy or a pirate or a clown to entertain the young ones. And then of course you have the good old jumping castle in your own backyard. Oh how we love our parties and have no hesitation in hosting them... It always surprises our token Aussie friends how much we socialize. And these are just birthday parties, we also have the odd wedding anniversary, house warming and the Diwali and Holi, and being truly multicultural, we also celebrate Christmas and Idd.
Indians love to socialize; we don’t really need a reason to have a party. We just love having our own friends around and though we choose to live in Australia we miss things “Indian”. We try to create a little India in our own living rooms, surrounded by the aroma of Indian food, Indian clothes, Indian music and Indian friends. As long as we have our Indian friends to catch up with we can survive the sterility of the week. It shocks many a new migrant from the sub-continent that we restrict our socializing only to the weekends. Some of them do start on Friday nights and this is to ensure that you can get the people you really want around you. Diaries and dates get filled months in advance.
Having a party is not as simple as it is made out to be. Those who are hosting it would know what a big job it is. There is the planning for the hosts, and the anticipation for the guests as to what to expect. The planning starts days, sometimes months in advance, invites get posted or numerous phone calls are made. Then there is the actual menu to be drawn up. It can’t be the usual butter chicken and chana and the humble dal or alu gobhi. We want it to be exotic. And that is where we get help from the ‘chapatti lady’ or the ‘string hopper man’. You can even get an authentic tandoor in your backyard and have fresh tandoori roti and chicken tikkas cooked by a professional chef, in the comfort of your own backyard.
The cleaning before the big event is another issue. The house gets a good sparkle, and every room gets a good once over. You never know who might wander around and size you up. You always have people who get lost in houses or they need to go and look out for the kids or simply figure out what you are worth. The guest bathroom gets a special makeover as it will be frequently used. So, perfumed candles and fresh towels and face washer find their way there.
Then the big day arrives and the event gets underway………..let the games begin. The guests start coming in and invariably you have the ones who keep to the time and then you have those who make it a habit to adhere to the Indian Standard Time and turn up two hours late. Suddenly you sit back and watch, one moment it is polite and everybody is speaking softly and the next minute it is loud and you can hardly hear yourself over the noise (bit of Black Label). You try to wade through the room and are lucky if you manage to share a word or two with all the guests.
If you are the host by now you are rushing around like a ‘headless chook’ trying to see that everybody is having a good time, the glasses are refilled promptly (with more Black Label) and at the same time the food is being served around. Add to this chaos, you have a few young kids running around, and mums running behind them trying to either get them to eat something or sorting out the usual fight over a toy. The kids of course don’t want to eat anything as everything is too spicy for their ‘Australian palate’- insipid pasta is handy.
We all love our parties but sometimes you wonder why do, we do it. There has been many a party that gets completely out of hand. Just when you get into the mood of things and let your hair down and start genuinely enjoying yourself you find the music suddenly changing and a hushed silence. That is the cue for the eternal party pooper the “stripper”. She comes along complete with tattoos and high heels and does her act to embarrass everybody but the ultimate sleaze (too much Black Label again). Usually it is women who arrange for this surprise/sleazy act. Why do we put the person, most important to us, through this embarrassment? Having to suffer this indignation amongst our peers and our good friends? Maybe it is a coming of age for us Indians and catching up with the people of our new adopted land. We are beginning to feel comfortable in the midst of undressing or watching an act in a group.
Then suddenly, it is over. There are the goodbyes, and the tidying up and packing away of the food; the noise and chatter is replaced by the hum of the dishwasher. We suddenly miss the adrenalin that pumped through while it was all happening. We beg the last guests to stay a bit longer; coax them, bribe them with hot coffee and promise them some gossip. We seek instant gratification and feedback on how the event went. We love to do a postmortem on the event whether we are hosting the party or merely attending the party. It is after all only right that we sit back to bask in the glory of another event well done or have a chat on how you would have done it differently.
We do love our parties!!!!!!