This is Yesterday-Today-and-Tomorrow flower. It comes out purple on the first day, fades a bit on the second, and is white on the third. I’d never seen this flower until we moved to Fiji; now it is one of my favorites.
I know I promised you firewalking last week, but the ceremony was a bit of a dud compared to most years and my photos were also duds. Never mind: there is other fire to share. We’ve got burning hills every night in dry season, see above.
And Vina was burning coconuts for a burnt-coconut chutney that was super yummy.
Besides which, there is a different Indian custom to share that I like even better than the firewalking.
Yes, that’s me in the newspaper. The headline says “yeh, mera rakhee bhaiya hai – shrimatee kerby” or “this is my rakhee brother – mrs. kerby” Surprise. The reporters had gone to interview Jeswant about some artifacts he has from the Girmit time in Fiji. I was walking by and was surprised he was at home, so I stopped in to say hi. The reporters found the fact that he is my Rakhee brother very interesting. Now is the time for Raksha Bandhan and so now they published it.
Every year in August each sister will give each brother a bracelet and some sweets.
When she ties the bracelet on his arm, she is promising to be a helpful sister for the year. If a girl does not have brothers, or a boy sisters – or if either feels they need a few more siblings, they can do this custom to adopt extra brothers and sisters. Once you are rakhiee siblings, it is the very same relationship as if you were born and raised of the same parents.
After tying the bracelet the sister feeds the brother some sweets, and then the brother feeds the sister some sweets. (so much for the diet!) The brother promises to protect the sister. Raksha Bandhan is an INDIAN custom, not a religious custom – it is something done by Hindus, Muslims, Christians and Sikhs in India. It makes me really happy that this custom for family unity is one shared by all families in that blessed land.
Then the brother is supposed to give the sister a little present. Jeswant is excessively generous, and his presents are thoughtful and big, and supplemented throughout the year. It is humbling. And I am grateful for the Raksha Bandhan custom, because Jeswant really is my true brother.
The kids started potting the orchids this week. Some on gravel.
And – just to try something different – some on coconut husks. You don’t learn anything without trying something new!
MISSED PHOTO OPS
Akka was quite enterprising this week. He made GINGER ALE that was as good as Canada Dry.
He also went out with the chain saw and took down a nearly-dead mango tree. Boys and their chain saws!
I need to WEAR my camera! At least I finally managed to get the photo below…for months it had been “the bicycle that got away.”
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