Aloha Hawaii

Never retire...
Never retire…

Paradise. That’s what is conjured up by the word, “Hawaii.” I had no idea what to expect but I guess I didn’t expect to be surprised. I was happy to be surprised.

Fine hand language.
Fine hand language.

I got a “lei” at the hotel but it was not made of flowers. It was made of dried seeds.

Looking right at ya!
Looking right at ya!

I managed to catch a welcome hula show. I guess I had expected to see young Hollywood style dancers and I was surprised by the age “diversity” of the dancers. They were graceful, but not wearing grass skirts.

The band.
The band.

All these photos are from a show on Waikiki beach.

As imagined, a hula girl.
As imagined, a hula girl.

Gift from the Heart – Painted Stairs

Wedding season has ended in Bangladesh and it will soon begin in the U.S. so I’ve been thinking about wedding gifts.

Decoration courtesy of wedding guest.
Decoration courtesy of wedding guest.

One day in Bangladesh, I was invited to a friend’s house and saw these painted stairs. They were painted as a wedding present. This colorful daily reminder reminds them of their friend, and their wedding, every day.

This would probably not work in the U.S., but one could offer some other gift from the heart.

Bangladeshi Wedding Holud Food

Sweet fried dough - jalalopies.
Sweet fried dough – jalalopies.

The snacks and meal at a Bangladeshi wedding “holud” involve some standby favorites like “phoughka” which are fried dough balls filled with chickpeas, vegetables, and spices. When the same ingredients are chopped and served as a “mix” it is called “chop-puhti” which alliterates.  Bangladeshi samosas are called “sringhara” and they are often served as well.  Bangladeshis have a serious sweet tooth so jalalopies (fried sweet dough much like funnel cake) are another popular staple at weddings. The holud will have a start time of 7 p.m. but will not start until after eight (this is Bangladesh after all) and often closer to nine.

Chopped appetizer.
Chopped appetizer.

Somewhere near 10:30 p.m., the food will get served. Dinner is usually biryani with chicken, beef curry, vegetables, chapati, raw cut vegetables, and a sweet rice dessert.

Dancing at the Bangladeshi Wedding Holud

The groom is carried in on friend's shoulders.
The groom is carried in on friends’ shoulders.

At a Bangladeshi wedding holud, or bride or groom’s party, there will be entertainment. Both skits, video skits, and dancing. If you get invited to get dressed up and dance in a wedding holud, say yes! It was great fun. The groom’s holud includes the groom’s party welcoming the bride’s party with flower petals and party favors and appetizers. Next time, I’ll talk about typical food at holuds.

Purple and orange are popular colors and match the petals to be strewn on arriving guests.
Purple and orange are popular colors and match the petals to be strewn on arriving guests.

Wedding Season Again in Dhaka – The Bride’s Holud

Flowers decorate the entrance to the holud venue.
Flowers decorate the entrance to the holud venue.

It’s that time of year again when the Bangladeshis get married. I am lucky to have been invited again. A year ago, I went to a combined holud which I described in an earlier blog. At the bride’s holud this year, the bride was carried in on a palanquin. While the groom was absent, his family and guests attended, carrying gifts. I will blog more about the next part of the wedding later… right now, I need to go to dance practice!

The "mishti" or sweet pots.
The “mishti” or sweet pots.