In August, India celebrated a big festival called Rakhi, which celebrates siblings.
It's said that it all originated back in the old days when the men were going off to battle and their sisters would give them a blessing to keep them safe, and would tie a bracelet on their wrist in symbol of this. In return, the brother would give his sister a gift of money to provide for her while he was gone.
Present day, it has morphed into a time for brothers and sisters to celebrate each other. The sisters put a tikka mark on the brother's forehead to give him a blessing, feed him an almond or other small snack, and then tie a decorative bracelet on his wrist. The brother then gives the sister a present!
There's one family here in particular that we've become really close to that has adopted us into their family, so they invited us to their home to celebrate Rakhi together! It was so fun, and really neat to take part in the culture!
We got to their house and first they served us some delicious appetizers and juice. I'm not exactly sure what everything was, but one thing was like a fried potato pancake, and it was delicious. They had bought gifts for both of the kids, which were perfect to entertain them in a non kid-proof house :) Then we did the official Rakhi ceremony.
|Playing with their new toys - a block and car set, and Layla's first Barbie|
|Ankita tying the bracelet on Kyle|
|Aditi giving Kyle the tikka|
|Landon wasn't quite sure what was going on, but he was a good sport|
|Giving the tikka to Arjun|
|Layla tying the bracelet on Rajesh's wrist. He's the father of the family|
|Feeding Rajesh an almond...that she dropped on the floor|
|Landon showing off his Rakhi bracelets|
Kyle bought the girls really cool looking boxes of truffles at a special chocolate store he visited while he was in Delhi the day before. Landon gave them pictures he colored with their names on them :)
After the bracelet tying and gift giving was done, their mom had made us an amazing meal. Their family is from Punjab, so all the food was traditional veg Punjabi food, and I must say...I think Punjabi is my favorite type of Indian food :)
On our way home we swung by the restaurant they own to drop off Megha's gifts because she was working (she's the manager...and this is our favorite restaurant in town). They all loved the chocolates, but Landon stole their hearts with his pictures.
It was a really fun, although really late evening...we didn't get home till 11, which is obviously way past the kids' bedtime! One of our favorite parts of being in India is getting to experience the true culture...we're so thankful to have met people who include us in their family and allow us to get the genuine experience!