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Saturday, November 26, 2005

Naming Ceremony !!

Most of you have been wondering

"Why is this guy writing like there is no tomorrow ?"

Well, work starts on monday and I have exactly 4 weeks to accomplish what I should have been doing from the beginning of this quarter and this, while still taking baby duty turns with a nocturnal baby !!

My notable absence from blogworld for the last day and a half was because we had a naming ceremony for the little one !

It is a south indian custom to have a naming ceremony for the baby on the 11th day after birth!! Yes, babies dont have names for the first 10 days. My birth certificate actually says "Name : Not mentioned " !!!!

It is always a little difficult to pull off Indian ceremonies in the United States. So we were a little flexible and we decided to do the ceremony much later so that the baby's uncle can participate as well, during the thanksgiving break. We had two names selected initially and were about to give that name to the birth registrar the day the baby was born when one of the names was hijacked by my mother and grandmother on a sentimental pretext!

The short summary of the ceremony is :

A prayer to lord Ganesha (remover of obstacles) to initiate proceedings.

A prayer to sanctify the home and purify it (logic was that the pregnant woman and new born bring germs, possible infections and so they used this ceremony to clean up the house.. In the United States that translates to 7 extra large loads of laundry!!)

This is followed by naming the baby (the mother gives the first name, the father and his parents give the second name and the mother gives another name). We didnt know about the third name and were happy to be able to give both our selected names and the one selected by my mother and grandmother. Both the father and mother say all three names in the baby's ear three times !

Then the priest makes the dad take his wedding ring, clean it, scoop out honey, ghee and yogurt using the ring and mix it and put it on the baby's lips !! The baby makes a face that the parents havent seen so far and that is when the priest says "this is when you breast feed the baby". . the logic here was that honey,ghee and yogurt were pure unadultrated materials in those days and therefore you start the baby off with pure stuff (of course if you read the label on the yogurt and butter used to make the ghee ?!?)

Then the baby's name is written by the dad on rice paddy (or wheat if you cant find rice paddy in any store in the bay area ) !! The paddy is then gifted in small portions to all the people who came to bless the baby.

Then the function concludes. The whole thing takes an hour and a half. But preparing for it was something. I tell you people, it is not easy searching for betel leaves or non-rotten whole coconuts and rice paddy in the winter in California... but we pulled it off in style ...We had invited one relative and two friends and the whole thing was a very small affair.


Yes, the good boy in the center doing the good stuff is ME!! I have many personalities.. this good boy persona is one of them..

Well that still doesnt explain the prolonged absence, does it ? At the end of the ceremony there is some great food ! One of the items was "vada" or "vadai" as you might call it (deep fried balls made from rice and lentils - the indian version of Falaffals!!). I ate a good many vadais and suffered the consequence.. A blog on that later..

20 Comments:

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 3:15 PM, Blogger Anand Prabhu wrote...

sundar sir - nice to see you do celebrations as we do in india here.. hope you would have been so busy arranging things... nice picture :)

but finally, did our mention the name you chose?? ??

 
I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 3:45 PM, Blogger Sundar Narayanan wrote...

anand prabhu sir, have mailed you the name..

:)

per family approval no kids names in blog..

 
I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 11:47 PM, Blogger WA wrote...

I am trying to think of something to say about the naming ceremony and the photograph, but vadai pathi padichadhilarundhu I can't think of anything else :(( Mummy

 
I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 7:14 AM, Blogger visithra wrote...

good boy??? ithulam too much illeh?

whose the kid at the back - i dont think its ur elder daughter - the elder one has sharp eyes ;)

 
I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 9:29 AM, Blogger Sundar Narayanan wrote...

wa, vadai was too good. sorry to remind you of your mummy. aana 10 vadai thinnutten.. ore vali. took me a full day to recover.

visithra,

ungalukkaaga speciala tamizh blog posta tamlishla translate panninene .. paakaliya ?

also, the girl in the back is my daughter. she does have sharp eyes.. she has only one paavadai which could be expanded to her current height and it is looking bad and the function started at noon because of some raagu kaalam fundas and it was right at her nap time..

 
I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 4:31 PM, Blogger Raju wrote...

Unga kuzhandhaiyoda peyar mail pannungo.. Nice post.. :-)

 
I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 4:43 PM, Blogger Sundar Narayanan wrote...

raju, dont have your mail id.. please send me an email to sundar72@gmail.com and i will mail you.

:)

 
I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 5:13 PM, Blogger Balaji S Rajan wrote...

Function supera... nadanthathu pola irukey... Pakkathula illami poitaney.... Vandhu oru pidi pidichu irukalam.... Good that you are trying the best to keep up our tradition...

 
I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 8:51 PM, Blogger visithra wrote...

i just came by for a short time yesterday inimeh than pakkanum ;)

ahhh she was sleepy - is she moody? ;)

 
I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 9:19 PM, Blogger Sundar Narayanan wrote...

visithra, she was moody.. she is okay now.. she is sad that her uncle has gone back to seattle..

:(

 
I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 11:51 AM, Blogger thennavan wrote...

Punyahavachanam ellaam first class-aa mudinjadhu paththi sandhosham :-)

 
I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 5:44 PM, Blogger Sundar Narayanan wrote...

rajan sir, thennavan

thanks..

edho trying to keep up tradition once in a while..

 
I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 11:04 AM, Blogger Divya.B wrote...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 11:06 AM, Blogger Divya.B wrote...

Should be really nice to keep up our traditions at any far corner of the globe....kudos....my love to ur little ones...

 
I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 5:59 PM, Blogger Sundar Narayanan wrote...

divya, we do what we can.. but you will be amazed that we can do almost everything in bay area.. other places in US, not that easy.

:)

 
I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 6:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote...

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I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 7:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote...

The name???

 
I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 11:21 PM, Blogger Sundar Narayanan wrote...

anon, names are given only to people who are non anon..

:)

just refer to the kids as Jr. and the little one..

 
I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 12:36 AM, Anonymous cialis wrote...

Hello, I do not agree with the previous commentator - not so simple

 
I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 4:30 AM, Blogger thegreataman wrote...

Yeah naming ceremonies to the Indians are very important occasions. It is a golden moment to give their child a name for lifelong. We just celebrated the naming ceremony for our daughter and yeah picking up the name was quite hard. The list of best Hindu girls name at http://www.babynology.com/hindu-girlnames-d0.html was extremely helpful.

 

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