The day after I arrived on July 3rd we attended an Indian wedding reception which was so much fun! I got to wear a half sari and I will go into detail on that another time on how to put it on. I also wore a Bindi and lots of pretty gold bangles!:) At the wedding reception everyone was in their finest gold and many people were wearing very pretty saris. The bride had mahindi (henna tattoos) all over her arms and my sister Priya is very good at drawing so when I get it I will make sure to post it up on this blog :) When you meet any elder you must say Vanakkam with your hands together like in prayer to greet them and when you are leaving you must say Tata with your hands in the same prayer position as the greeting. When we went to the reception, we also brought my Ama's grandpa and in Tamil grandpa is Thatha. It was very easy for me to accidentally keep switching up these two and every time I said goodbye everyone thought I was saying grandpa! Talk about embarrassing! I couldn't figureout what they were laughing at everytime I told someone goodbye until my host sisters finally told me that they had thought I had been saying grandpa!
At the wedding reception we ate a LOT! There must have been 200 people at this reception and at dinner we all took turns eating by sitting down and eating off a banana leaf while cooks ran around with pots of different foods. There was over 15 courses on my leaf and I only got through about 5 before I had to stop eating. I am also naturally a lefty so I had to make sure to eat with my right hand so as not to offend anyone because eating with your left is seen as "unclean". I ended up with food all over my blouse :/ I felt extremely American! After dinner we went and washed our hands and then enjoyed a light dessert of fruit and icecream.
Later I had to go to the bathroom. Now in India they have a different plumbing system and the toilet looks like a hole in the ground and you have a bucket to wash yourself with. No toilet paper and no toilet seat. I was very lucky to find though that the bathrooms in the big wedding reception hall had western toilets... but they were lacking toilet paper. Since then I always make sure to go before I leave the apartment or bring some tissues with me just in case.
Overall though, it was an amazing experience and I can't wait for the next wedding :)