Thursday, November 26, 2009

Chokhi Dhani

It's Happy Snap time!

Our Thanksgiving Day was a memorable one. I'm way over here on the other side of the world. (Are you tired of me reminding you of that yet? I'm beginning to wonder what I'll write about once I'm home.) Since we are way over on the other side of the world in this wonderful place called India, we get to be 12.5 hours ahead of you people at home. In The States. While you are busy moaning and groaning over the incessant gluttony of your Turkey Day, we're so over it. We've graduated to Black Friday.

This is my happiest Black Friday ever. They don't imprison themselves with that hateful tradition way over here on the other side of the world. Thank the Lord, Ala and Buddha! All of 'em.

Before we left, I was bragging to my home-cheese running buddies that on Thanksgiving, I'll be having Curry Something-or-Other way over on the other side of the world. Yes, bragging. You can image my disappointment, however, when the hotel produced this sign:

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We just can't get away from Thanksgiving. Even way over here on the other side of the world. The hotel staff was pressuring us to make a reservation. They wanted us at their Thanksgiving buffet. They didn't realize, however, that we purposely booked this trip way over on the other side of the world so as to avoid Thanksgiving.

For Thanksgiving, the boys on Spouse's team took us to a place called Chokhi Dhani. It was honestly the most fun I've had in decades. That fun.

This Chokhi Dhani place is an ethnic village with activities that specialize in the Rajasthani tradition. Its origins are Hindu. Kind of like a Hindi Carni way over here on the other side of the world.

First, you stop at the Hindi Krishna Temple to pay respects.
Krishna is one of many Gods in the Hindu religion.

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Then you have the third eye attached.
The third eye is the area between your brows and is also called the Eye of Wisdom. The idea is to keep this third eye closed, or cool. The Hindus believe that the third eye can be opened by anger and the opening of that third eye will lead to destruction. The red dot placed between the brows is a constant reminder to stay cool. Even way over here on the other side of the world.


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Then you bang the gong with an extremely heavy mallet thing.
The villages used to have a designated gong banger who would mark the hour with the number of gongs.

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Then you have a peacock painted on your hand.


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Then you ride a camel. They have camels way over here on the other side of the world. Did you know that?

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Then you watch the traditional fire-pot-on-the-head dance. And they invite you to join.

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One of the dancers drinks kerosene and spits fire.

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Then you sit on steps and have a group photo.

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Then you watch a puppet show complete with cobra puppet.

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Then you juggle.

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Then you shoot pellet guns at balloons.

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Then you have your palms read by guru who knows many things about pasts and futures. (With an interpreter of course who already knows a truck load of info about you. Interpreter, however, claims it was all legit.)

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Then you have dinner! You take off your shoes, enter the building and sit on a rug behind a short square table. They bring a round plate with many spices and butters. They also bring small bowls. Then happy servers bring the food around to you. This food was so good! And vegetarian! And so fun! This was my favorite activity of the trip (thus far.) P.S. If you're a vegetarian or "vedge" as the locals call it, India is the spot for you.

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This place, way over here on the other side of the world, is a very happy place!

11 comments:

Lars said...

I am green with envy over your grub. I think you just sold me on having indian food now on carnivorous type holidays. Sounds like an excellent way to eat for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Loved the photographs. You have some nice calves! Mr. Rabid really tall, does he get stared at there? I ask because when tromping around in other countries like China and Argentina where the folk are not six foot my dad gets ogled a lot.

Hen Pecks said...

Now that you're a famous blogger, I feel so important having hosted you at my home.

Don LaVange said...

Very fun Amber!

Hey, you're on the other side of the world!!

Vera said...

I didn't see spouse with the gun...Has he frgotten?

You look HOT HOT HOT in the turban.

Ryan said...

and how exactly was this different from a traditional utah thanksgiving?

megan said...

so you're explaining...explaining...explaining...nd then you get to the hats/turbans/towel head things and stop explaining??? whats up with tha?

Sparks said...

That peacock is exquisite.

And of course she has nice calves, Larsie. I'm sure you do too.

Marci said...

Looks like the adventure continues. Great pics! The peacock painted on your hand was impressive and I want to know what the palm reader said!

Winder said...

It looks like a great time. I love the smile on your face. You needed this!

rabidrunner said...

Lars, objects in pictures are larger than they appear. Spouse towers over the gents here. We stick out. Actually, he sticks "up" and I stick "out".

Hen Pecks, I won't object to another invitation. Ever. We could even skype if you want.

If this is Ryan's traditional thanksgiving, then I'm going to look you up and invade. Going to your house will be cheaper than coming here.

Vera, Spouse scoffed at the gun. Said, "I fart in your general direction." Toys.

Megan, the turban. Um. There was no explaining to us! They just walk over, throw it on your head then feed you food.

The Palm Reader might get his own post when I get home. Might reveal too much so I'll have to think about it.

Winder, have fun on your trip. AND DON'T DRINK THE WATER. OR BRUSH YOUR TEETH WITH THE WATER.

The MacMizzles said...

Man I loved you'r PEACOCK picture mom .All though...I wold rather have a CAR.Oops!I guess I got too dramatic.Ok time to go!