This past Sunday Geneva and I went over to our family’s house looking forward to celebrate Diwali, not knowing much about it. I really wish I would have looked into it a bit more to know what to expect and how important a festival it is.
I guess there was a miscommunication because they celebrated with their family earlier in the day but we said we would love to take part in the festival anyway if they if they wanted to perform the ceremony again. They were happy to include us and got everything ready. Before we started talking about it I had no idea that it was so surrounded on the brothers of the family. Two friends of Madhavi said that because they don’t have any brothers this holiday is not as special for them. But I got to be the adopted brother of both Madhavi and her two friends. I sat on the floor in the middle of the room and they all sat around me with “tika” to put on my forehead. They put a white base and then each added a different colored dot to show how many sisters I had. They then gave me a homemade necklace of clove and coconut.
Then Madhavi went back into their bedroom and brought out a scarf that she knitted back in Nepal. She gave it to me and told me that the thread was really expensive. I thought that it was just a ceremonial gift but apparently she actually was giving it to me for real. I felt so honored and at bit bad that I didn’t have anything to give to them.
It was such a great experience and I felt so honored to be apart of such a special holiday!
On a more upsetting note, we found out that their apartment is completely infected with bed bugs. They just off-handidly mentioned it as I saw a bedbug crawl across their wall. They then showed how much it has spread. Now that we know we are going to take much more precautions with them and to try to help them in anyway we can.