Indian Independence Day

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August 15th, Indian Independence Day = NO LESSONS

“You’d better get up if you want to wear a sari, it’ll take a while!” That’s how Roli, my roommate, woke me up this morning. And here I am with a black tube that covers my chest, a pair of trousers with an elastic waist, and a swath of red silk at least 5 meters long in hand. I wait in line to be dressed by one of the few Indian girls capable of wrapping this cloth called a “sari” and transform it into a very elegant dress.

I turn around a few times and I have a skirt, then she folds a couple of pleats into the elastic of the trousers. The remaining cloth she throws over my right shoulder, a few safety pins, et voila! Nous avons le sari.

I am now elegant – and absolutely can’t walk, except in tiny little steps like a Japanese in a kimono (perhaps the concept is similar?). Creeping like an ant, I arrive at school. Ceremony, speeches on peace and independence, Indian music and the national anthem which I do NOT know except for the last bit which just goes: “Jaye Jaye Jaye Jaye he!”

The room begins to empty while everyone heads toward the buffet, in the meantime, the music starts.

Overtaken by the enthusiasm and the Bollywood atmosphere, I jump around and shake my shoulders, “screwing in the lightbulb while patting the dog”!!

marigold in girl's hair
mehndi

MomComm: This year’s change in the school calendar meant, among other things, that there wasn’t much time to properly learn Jana Gana Mana, the Indian anthem. Tsk, tsk. On the other hand, I was never brave enough to wear a sari until our Baccalaureate and graduation ceremonies.

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