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Real Baby Shower: Indian Blessing


Friday, October 21, 2011


I love traditions! They are so special and I'm always in awe with learning new religious and cultural celebrations. This Hindu seemanta is much like your everyday baby shower, except much larger, including men and women, featuring YUMMY indian cuisine, as well as a traditional bangles ceremony. Enjoy all the gorgeous details captured by Paula Ignatova. Especially, the stunning sarees and henna.

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From Archana... My husband and I are from South India. In Hindu tradition, they are called by different names depending on the community the family belongs to. In Karnataka it is called seemanta and is held when the woman is in her 5th or 7th or 9th months of pregnancy .The ceremony celebrates the mom-to-be and prays for the well-being of both mother and child. Gifts, usually of money (since traditionally we don't buy anything for the baby until the baby is born), are given to the future parents. Traditionally, baby showers were given only for the family's first child, and both men and women attended. I had family visiting from India and we had relatives from out of town as well.

On this day, the prospective mother is dressed in almost bridal finery. Usually silver platters with assorted Indian sweets and jewelry and new sarees are displayed. The ceremony is also called the bangle ceremony because all the women place bangles on the mom-to-be's hands as a symbol of their blessings. By the end of the ceremony, she usually has bangles all the way up to her elbows! In the past, the mom-to-be wore these until the time of the delivery. During labor, she would remove the bangles one by one, to take her mind off the pain of contractions.


The food was catered by Gaylord. For those familiar with Indian food, the menu was
Appetizers: Vegetable Kabab, Achari Kabab
Meat Entrees: Chicken Korma, Lamb Biryani
Vegetarian Entrees: Malai Kofta, Navrattan Korma
Rice: Mutter Pulao
Bread: Roti(Rajasthani)
Dessert: Mango Kulfi
Lunch also included accompaniments like Vegetable Dum Biryani, White Basmati Rice, Papad, Raita, Achar Salad, Tamarind Chutneys, coffee and tea

The twist in the baby shower is that we played games, we don’t play games at Indian baby showers. We played unscrambling baby-related words, dirty diaper pin.


Photography: Paula Ignatova / Cake: Oak Mill Bakery / Caterer: Gaylords Schaumburg / Venue: European Crystal Banquets at Arlington Heights, Illinois

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