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Hi guys, I hope you are all good and can keep the warm in these freezing times. I personally can't wait till spring, to see the flowers bloom, the small light green leaves on the trees and simply just enjoying the sun that's playing hide and seek these days. Even though the calendar might say it's spring, I definitely do not feel that way. I bought my first parka winter jacket last week, because I couldn't handle the cold. I love spring in Germany, the weather is warm, with light breeze and simply just nice. I can't wait to go for long walks, to sit and enjoy a drink with my friends outdoor and attend all the weddings and functions which are about to start. I personally have many important functions this year, not only did we get married, but both my best friend is getting married in the summer, and my husbands best friend is getting married this summer. I've got some other exciting news that i can't wait to share with you guys very soon. Anyways, looking really much forward to all the functions in this year. I can't wait to celebrate the love between two people. It is indeed something so wonderful and nice that I didn't realize it until I was a bride myself. And yepp, back to next chapter of our wedding journey. 

This chapter won't be that long, but contains tips and tricks to how to save some money by using Pinterest. As I have mentioned earlier, my husband and I was the once planning this wedding, taking all decisions and also paid for the wedding. We are old enough and both have a career, so we felt we wanted to pay ourselves (in that way we could also have exactly the wedding we wanted). In order to save money we used a lot of DYI methods wherever we could. Decorations, the wedding cake, gift bags, invitations and all the small gimmicks we had in our wedding. I am just going to go through a few of the things we did, in order to give some good ideas to have fun, have unique items and the best part: to save money. 

When it comes to decorations, we of cause hired a wedding decorater to do the manavarai both for the traditional wedding and for the reception. But on the tables we made our own decorations. I happen to have some amazing people in my family, who spent a lot of hours to paint 60 empty wine bottles in a gold color, made some amazing decorations to go into the wine bottles, and simply create a simple but yet elegant vintage styled centerpiece for all tables. It was Important for the catering companies to have numbers on tables which we also designed together with our creative agency, and some great great friends, who was helping out to put these centerpieces together. I am telling you guys, I am not saying this because it was my idea, but damn it looked nice. Exactly the way I wanted it. Simple, yet elegant and timeless. 

We also did some of all the other decorations around in the hall. The bar was decorated in black, silver and gold. The cake tables was all pink, rose and white. The candy bar was all in pastel colors, and basically I was very satisfied with everything. All the decoration items, I either made them myself, or ordered the items on Amazon or Etsy for a cheap price and assembled the stuff myself. Trust me guys, with Amazon and Pinterest you can come a very very long way. 

The wedding cake was a very big topic and important matter to me. I have always been the person who thinks the wedding cake is the most important thing at a wedding. This has always been my policy and my dad aswell. When my brother got married ten years ago, I was not in doubt that I wanted a 11 tier wedding cake. And I wanted it all to be real cake with fillings and decorations. And I got it :) As soon as I had to pay the wedding cake myself, and realized how expensive they are, I was really considering to not have a real wedding cake, but make a fake one in regiform like almost all other Tamil people. My brothers wife happens to be an absolutely amazing cook, and better than that an amazing dessert maker. She did all the desserts on the dessert table, mango mousse, panacotta, pavlova, meringue dipped in chocolates, mini muffins, brownies, carrot cake, red velvet cake, chocolate cake, cookies, cakepops and trust me the list goes on. She is an amazing wedding cake maker aswell, but I didn't wanted to put the pressure on her shoulder, since she had all the other desserts to prepare for 300 guests. So we decided not to have a real wedding cake. Both because there was more than enough desserts and because of the price and the work load she had already. I myself have started playing around with fondant cake and find it very easy to cover a real cake with fondant. A stupid decision was to make the wedding cake in regiform, the day before the wedding. All decorations for the wedding cake was done few days earlier, but this was the first time we did a regiform cake, and then for my wedding which was going to take place the day after. Since most stuff was going good and as planned, something had to go wrong. So the cake was really messed up. The technique simply didn't work. The fondant wouldn't hold on to the regiform. Somehow, after 10 trials and a lot of face timing with my Annai in Denmark, we managed to find a technique that worked. Unfortunately due to time. It didn't have the perfect finish, but for the 30 sec the cake was on the table, it worked fine. We saved at least 1500 euro by making a dummy cake. The bottom layer was real cake though. Again anni to the rescue :) 

These are just a few of the do it yourself things we did. But it worked out amazing, looked good, saved us money and the best part is definitely, that it was so personal.

I am so hooked with DIY so I am actually doing a lot of research, experimenting and succeeding with these projects. If you guys have any idea, but can't realize it, or simply don't have any idea, but want to do something different, do not hesitate to get in touch. I would love to help out and be a sparring partner. And guys, go check Pinterest...... seriously, pinterest saved my wedding !!! 

Soon I am going to start on the reviews on the vendors that we used, so stay tuned and come back again to see how our corporation with them was. 

Until next time

Hallo Leute :)

Today is exactly a month since we got married and just now, I feel I am back to normal life again. You guys all know before the wedding, it's ALWAYS so freaking stressed..... we were planning EVERYTHING, like literally everything ourselves, so I was running around like a chicken without a head....... I will, in a later blogpost come back to this ........ I wanted to write the blogpost in a chronicle line, so even though the wedding is over, I still wanna go back and write another preparation blog, before I actually write about the wedding. But the good thing is, I am done writing all blogs, so they will continuesly come every week...... this is a promise I can keep !!! (And it rhymes)

So this weeks post, is about my India trip in connection with my wedding. So as you guys know my HUSBAND (not partner anymore :)) proposed to me during our last vacation in September, where we travelled India, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. When we were in Bali he proposed to me...... we came back home and discussed a lot whether we should have a big wedding, how we wanted to do it and what scale were we aiming for. When we decided we wanted to have a faily big wedding, we found the venue and there was less than 2 months left for the big day. We quickly made some research in Germany and London and looked at the different things we needed and quickly made a calculation that it was cheaper and easier to go to India to do our wedding shopping.....YES INDIA AGAIN !!! 

My husband was more than happy to let me go alone, he didn't like India from our trip back in September, so he was really happy that I was gonna take care of everything ..... we quickly decided it would be cheaper, easier and selection would be much better in India than in any European countries. I did feel a little odd about going to india myself, so I convinced my dad it would make sense for him to come as well and join me afterwards, and then stay until just before the wedding and get all the stuff that would go bad with time....... It was a very spontaneous decision and ticket prices were high, but to be managed...... I went there 2 weeks in December, the plan was I was going to stay for a week by myself and my dad would join me afterwards ....... when I arrived I imidiately felt home...... I mean, I have just been there and felt so home ...... There was a few ground rules I wanted to follow since I was alone: 

  • I decided to stay in one of the more  nice hotels, so I managed to book myself into a 5 star hotel in T-Nagar, so I would have easy acces to go everywhere from there..... The hotel staff and manager was really nice and protective to me ..... They knew I was alone and therefore they were just extra super nice to me. 
  • I already agreed with myself that I would never take the bus or the train and only go with share uber or share auto...... never alone with a uber driver....... not that it's not safe..... but it's just more safe to go with a shared uber.
  • I did not want to go to restaurants and eat alone...... if there was a bunch of guys in the restaurant, they could easily follow you and try to get in touch with you...... I had one really really bad experience and just decided not to walk and chill around alone, in order to avoid any extra attention ....... no matter how traditional I was trying to be, there was just too much attention around me. I was literally wearing simple boring chudithar. No makeup for two full weeks and trying to be pakka local :) I don't know what I did wrong !!!! Anyways I always bought take away and ate at the hotel. 
  • If people were trying to talk to me, simply ignore them. Some people understood but a lot didn't

Anyways traveling to india alone as a female, is definitely not something I can recommend. Unfortunately this was my situation and I did handle it well, because I sticked to my rules...... my uncle from UK also came to Chennai for other reasons so I knew I had him around the corner and I knew I had another cousin who would be next to me within short time in case I needed any help

So one of my issues was the Jetlag I would say. I didn't wake up until 11 every day, and therefore my day always started at 12....... the sun goes down pretty early in India so I was back at the hotel quite early as well. After 7 hours nonstop "work" your body is messed up, so it worked out ok. Staying in T-Nagar was also a super idea, because traveling costs and traveling time was nothing compared to if I stayed in other part of Chennai. 

The first few days I wanted to get inspiration. Inspiration to buy my wedding lengha, my bridesmaids Sarees and bridal jewellery. These were the things I wanted to have fixed before my dad came, so we afterwards could fix everything else. When it comes to lengha ...... I have been in more than 30 stores..... and I am not kidding...... I was soooooo unsure about what to chose. The thing is I was alone, so I didn't have anyone to tell me, if my selected items was ok or not...... it was all me and my own opinion..... so that was hard..... thank god i had my girls..... sent them pictures and asking for their advice ......... I managed to find my perfect lengha, although I was not satisfied with my shawl color, which was a mint green. My lengha was dark blue with gold stones, white crystals and gold heavy embrodogy. I managed to cut off the border from the mint shawl and add it to a coral pink colored shawl in stead........ I finally bought the lengha in a designer boutique called KAY. Their selection is absolutely stunning. It was quite expensive, but their selection was different from all other stores. More north Indian style and therefore quite different. 

My bridesmaid Sarees was the biggest headache. I am not even kidding. I was 100% sure I did not want a single color with gold border, because that's what you always see. So I was sure about that .... my biggest issue was that I needed 12 pieces ......and I was also very stubborn that I wanted all the pieces to be the same color...... there is no freaking store that has 12 sareees in same color. I was really really confused whether I was able to get 12 of the same Sarees...... I considered to go for 6x2 colors, but I was not satisfied....... finally I found a model, which didn't look that nice when it was just on the table. But when the salesman from Pothys help me wear it, I was not in doubt....... the saree was gray/silver with a cream colored border. Completely simple, but different..... and something I haven't seen before...... my own saree was cream colored so I knew it would match perfectly to my first look...... my younger brother and cousins was a good guide when it came to bridesmaid Sarees..... and we all agreed (on WhatsApp) that the gray saree would look good with mine. The budget was 3 times more than expected, but I am so happy and satisfied I chose that model. I bought extra blouse material in the cream color aswell so it would match the border.

Jewelleries, I have my own jewellery guy in Parrys Corner in Chennai, so I went to him. Unfortunately my fixed sales guy was not there, and the service I got from the others was not satisfying at all, so sadly I went out without buying anything...... for those of you who has been to Chennai, knows that Parrys Corner and Pondy Bazar, is the place to go for jewelleries. I found my first set in Paris Corner (because there are like 1000 stores there) and the extra bids and stuff that I needed, I was lucky to find in Pondy Bazar. 

Before my dad came I was able to buy my husbands Paddu veeti, for the thali tying. Everyone who knows their silk veeti, knows that Ramraj is the only right place to go. So that was done quickly.  A lot of other bids and pieces was also bought during that week......... so that when my dad came, it was more like, all the bulk shopping we had left. 

He came...... and the first thing we did was to go visit my dads friend in Coimbatore ...... we flew there early morning..... and stayed for 4 days...... we travelled to Kerala for a few days, stayed in a top tree hill bungalow (it's a huge bungalow in the top of the mountains with no connection to the rest of the world). It was just my dad, his friend, the driver and I. It was soooooo pleassent, nice and peaceful. Exactly what I needed. A timeout in all the running around in Chennai...... it was amazing..... India is soooooo absolutely beautiful when you get out of Chennai...... Kerala is stunning and just amazing..... I was so happy we did that...... 

We came back to Chennai, and I gotta say, my dad knows his Chennai...... we went to the most crazy places and the pakka local places ..... different places for different stuff..... we ended up ordering my flower garlands, just the once I wanted...... we ended up ordering sweets for all the gift bags to give to the guests, we designed and produced the tampulam bags. We designed the sweet boxes. We bought all the different things that went into the tampulam bags and it was perfect. Everything was done with our logo, which just made it all so perfect and the way we wanted, for a really really cheap price, since my dad knew his places.

My thaali was one I designed myself. I did not want a traditional kodi thali, and I didn't want a regular sankili thaali. My idea before I went to india was to get a Roségold chain thaali, with white gold and diamonds incorporated. A small but special and different thaali. First of all Roségold is definitely not something they work with in India ..... So they couldn't even get the material to make it. My second option was yellow and white gold combined. So when my husband and I was in Malaysia a couple of months back, I designed a chain there, that we both had in our mind for the thaali. So I wanted to use that as my thaali chain. The actual thaali is so different in india than in Sri Lanka. No one in India have a readymade thaali. And they don't use Amman and pillayar thaali like we srilankans do. Also they don't have the screw mukappu as we do in Sri Lanka ...... I quickly found out the thaali was a huge issue..... and i was not able to have it done in India, so thankfully we have our own cheddiyar Anna in Sri Lanka, and my dad fixed that part. My thaali chain is actually 3 different chains, twisted together. 2 yellow gold and a white gold. I wanted my actual thaali to be white gold, but chediyar anna told me, "thaali eppavum thangathila tharn seyyanum"..... but he agreed that it was ok to have Amman on a kompu thaali, which I wanted....... if anyone knows, it's the cheddiyar and the ayar himself. And our ayar was supporting me in getting a kompu thaali, and also explained the reason why....... my mukappu was done in the same design as my grand dads thaali, but in stead of pure gold, I added diamonds into it (yes I am a diamond girl :)) 

Anyways there as tons of stuff to be purchased, and you just don't go to a shop, look for something and buy the first thing you see. Nono, you walk around, check the stuff in 10 different stores before buying anything. It's just the way you do it....... 

My kuurai story is actually funny. My husband and i planned to exchange rings before moving in together back in 2016. Unfortunately his grandmother passed away a few days before so we postponed/cancelled that event and ended up exchanging rings at his sons birthday party, as a surprise to everyone. For the function in 2016, I actually went to London in a rush, to buy a kuurai saree. At that time, we were both very sure we didn't wanted to have a wedding, so if I should ever have anything close to a wedding it would be that, so I decided I wanted a kuurai. I bought the most nice and delicate saree from VA COLLECTION in London and had that in my plans, as my kuurai. That was always the plan. Also when I walked from store to store for 2 full weeks, I did not change my mind in order to get a new kuurai. At the very last day. 1 hour before I had to be in the airport, I was in Pothys, and I was like....... "you know what...... I am going to have one wedding in my life.....this is a one time opportunity" ..... my kuurai from London is alright, but I bought in a hurry because I didn't have time ...... i was not 100% satisfied with my London kuurai, so I went inside a store, 1 hours before I had to be in the airport. Quickly pulled down 4 red kuurai Sarees, chose 1, paid and left to the airport !!!!!!! Never, have I been so spontaneous when it comes to anything regarding the wedding, and then I ended up buying my kuurai saree in 7 minutes....... :) 

We went to the airport, my dad took the flight to SriLanka and I took the flight back to Germany. It all sounds so easy when I write it, but thinking back..... wow, it was crazy..... Now I am ready to do all wedding shopping, because I have learned so much in those 2 weeks, but it was hard...... literally waking up 7 in the morning, out of the door and back at 23...... that was our last 5 days in Chennai ...... crazy hectic !!!!! The culture, the stress, the people and their behavior ....... something you all have to be able to manage when shopping in India !!! It was 100% all worth it, and I got everything the way I wanted it, but it was DAMN HARD WORK !!!!

If you guys have any questions to stores or anything else regarding weddingshopping or shopping in general, in India, please do not hesitate to get in touch :) 

 

Until next time

Hey guys 

Hope you all enjoyed the first chapter of our wedding story......Thank you so much for the positive feedback..... the aim with sharing our wedding, which we have decided to do, is to give an insight of how difficult it actually is..... and maybe to give the idea to other future couples, that there are many things to consider and think about when planning a wedding. It is not easy AT ALL ..... until recently I have been a brand manager for a big international brand, and have had the responsibility for all marketing activities in all Europe and Middle East....... but guys.... I am telling you.... that was nothing, compared to planning a Tamil Hindu wedding. I guess what I am trying to say is, that sharing can give other future couple an insight of the different fields, there is when planning a wedding. 

So here comes the next chapter ....... :) My next chapter is about planning and get organized ..... it's a chapter about my best friend....... since I got her (yes i call it, her) I spent time with her, more than I do with my future husband...... If i loose her, i don't think i am able to go through our big day ..... that's how important she is to me...... :) 

So the background for "my best friend" is, that I recently came across a Instagram profile and the girl behind this profile...... we imidiately clicked...... :) I have never met her in real life...... just writing each other and yea...... it's difficult to describe what it actually is...... I don't think I have had a online friend this way...... I have always had the policy that I don't need people in my life that I don't know personally...... but this girl is different..... she has changed the way I think...... and most important of all.... she introduced me to my best friend :) She is a Canadian girl,  she was bride in 2016 and had a BEAUTIFUL wedding..... many of you might have come cross her profile on Instagram ........ not only is she a beautiful human being, but she is also an author.....an author who released a book in November last year.... THAALI - a Tamil wedding planner ........ yaaaaiiii :) 

The wedding planners you get from the bookstore, or the online version in a app, is all targeted towards a "white" wedding..... our Hindu weddings are so different from a white wedding...... so buying a wedding planner is only 35-50% useful. Jani created a tailored Tamil version which literally makes you think of every single thing you need to consider for the wedding...... the book is divided into 6 different chapters and covers literally everything.....

 

 

The 6 different chapters are the following:

MAIN VENDORS consists of exactly what it says, all the main vendors that you should book as soon as your auspicious dates are picked. These are crucial vendors who fill up quick and need the most attention. This section demands the most research from you. Make sure to  read the "TIPS" section under each vendor and choose wisely, but swiftly or you'll miss out on the vendors you really want to take part in your wedding!

ATTIRE is where you organize wedding outfits. The brides manavarai saree and koorai saree, the grooms outfits, corresponding jewelry sets, reception outfits, bridal party outfits. Read the "TIPS" sections to find tricks on saving money and time and some traditional aspects to look out for while take care of this section. All the outfits you need to organize you will find a section for in Attire. 

DETAILS we get into the nitty gritty here, invitations , bridal dressing flowers (for hair), nadheswaram, priest, etc. All things important that need to be dealt with after you finish the MAIN VENDORS section. This section has the power to make or break your "Wedding of the Year" plans! All the details that need to be taken care of with utmost care in the planning process can be found right here in DETAILS. 

GET ORGANIZED is where a little piece of the authors organizational skills come out to play. This section has all the not so fun, but highly important parts. You can organize your outfits in the provided charts. Each outfit you will be wearing with the corresponding accessories so when you start packing before your shoots you wont forget any little details you wanted to wear for each outfit. You will also find a place to work on your itinerary for both the wedding and reception, and finally your thank you speech. Keep track of all the tips provided to make sure you don't miss out on any important details. 

EXTRAS is where you put your real decision making skills to the test. We figure out guest lists in this section, with up to 500 slots you can list everyone from the grooms side and the brides side or you can photocopy the pages to give each side their own list containing 500 slots. Choose your bridesmaids and your groomsmen,  and divide their duties. The ever so fun budgeting comes in extras. the author gives a lot of personal tips and tricks that worked for her when budgeting her own wedding. 

ME TIME is a special treat from Jani to her brides. Even for someone who loves to plan weddings, the whole process can be overwhelming at times.  You'll find cute quizzes, coloring pages, and activities to do to take your mind off wedding planning for a bit. Since Thaali is the ultimate wedding planner, why go elsewhere to ease your mind, skim to the back and have some time to yourself! No wedding planning thoughts just a bit of happiness for the brides, and some things to help reminisce about your relationship! 

Guys, you all know I have literally had 2 months to plan our wedding.....3 weeks left today :) ...... my partner and I have decided to arrange the wedding ...... with involvement from our families of cause..... but everything is arranged by us...... there are so many things to think about..... I am learning many new things every day, either though the wedding planner, or through my dad...... a Hindu wedding is so special and so unique, and the rituals and traditions behind everything is so fascinating ..... learning about all this is truly an experience..... our parents fully understand the fact that we want to arrange and plan our own wedding, which is great ...... the last weeks has been super hectic, and every night I dream about the wedding..... I am spending all my time with the planning...... it's really nice..... but hard !! 

THAALI for me has been a HUGE help getting everything organized and to keep the overview ...... THAALI is my best friend...... I have everything gathered together in one book, and my planning process has been easy, because of THAALI ...... I am not sure, I would have been able to be this organized or prepared without THAALI. There is so many organizing tools but having a book, where I can look up for everything is just nice :) not to mention how professional you can be when you attend vendor meetings........ :) 

I would definitely recommend any future bride who is planning their own wedding, to get your hands on this book. It will help you very well along the way, and it will help you consider things you or your families would not have thought of ..... sitting down and filling out the pages just creates the best overview...... the book is in English, and is in a soft copy version. The quality is absolutely great !! Mine has travelled to India and been though everything there and is in my handbag wherever I go...... :) The packaging is a chapter for itself..... I do not want to reveal too much.....but receive it in your hands, and I promise you, you will smile :) ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL !! 

So a shoutout to Jani for releasing THAALI...... and a message to all future brides...... get a copy...... you will not regret :) 

To purchase THAALI, visit Janis Instagram page "thaaliplanner" ...... just go follow her anyway, she shares amazing wedding tips :) 

 

Instagram: @thaaliplanner

Website: www.thaali.net // under construction

Email: info@thaali.net

 

Until next chapter of our story, which will be the last chapter before the wedding will be about my 2 weeks weddingtrip to India :)

Until next time

Hallo Liebe Leute 

Hope you all are doing great and surviving the cold weather. I am packed and staying indoor with the heaters on maximum .... I simply hate the cold.... so I can't wait to spring..... :) 

Sooooo, the thing is, that my partner and I have decided to get married ..... we have already been living together for more than a year, so getting married was a decision that needed a lot of thoughts before the final decision was taken. He proposed to me on our holiday in Bali, and after we came home and have discussed all posibilities we decided to have a proper wedding. Many ideas were discussed, like a small family wedding only, destination wedding, city hall wedding, but at the end of the day we decided to do a proper Tamil wedding with the traditional wedding first and a reception later the same day. Duo to some private circumstances we are having the wedding in 1,5 month. And therefore the planning process has been on high peek, ever since we decided to do this.

What I am going to do the next few weeks, is to write about people, that has had an influence on our wedding. People that has made the difference for me and my partner to make this, the dream wedding that we want to have. I hope you will find it interesting to read about our journey through this process. 

The first partner I want to introduce to you is some very important people to us. The journey that we have been through the last one year has been unforgettable and so rich in memories and emotions for all of us. So before I reveal who it is, I quickly want to give the insight behind. So I have always wanted to do a professional proper photo shoot ..... a different one and something that meant something to us ..... what we wanted was to travel to special places, that meant something to us and do some nice pictures. The pictures, we wanted to use for a photo wall. 

10 years ago I was attending the Hamm Amman koyil ther. There I met a couple, who were giving out flyers..... they were energetic, friendly and with smiley faces..... the rain was pouring down and they were handing out these flyers. I took it as I normally do and it catched my eye imidiately..... the pictures especially. It was very clear for me that these people were professional ...... I went home and found them on Facebook and have been following them ever since. PRISHANKAR, they are a couple, he does the photography and she does the makeup. Shankars photography skills are absolutely faboulous and Prisanthis makeup is flawless and just perfect. Shankar has received several international awards for his beautiful work. Wedawards Best wedding photographer and others. Prisanthi akka is a former air hostess but have been working with makeup for the last many years. The pictures that catched my eyes the most, 10 years ago, was all the before and after picture. She used to have a series of models and did a before and after shoot. The creativity on the pictures were something different than what I have seen other places. I have always wanted to do a photo shoot with this couple, they work best as a couple and the best result is received when they work together. Shankar can tell Prisanthi, what kind of makeup is most correct for the particular shoot, and Prisanthi can work accordingly to that. This is also a reason why the best result is received when they work as partners. My wish has always bend to be dolled up by Prisanthi and photographed by Shankar. So when my partner and me decided to do a photo shoot, we were not in doubt who to ask first. We quickly decided they were the once we wanted to do our shoot.

I wanted to go to Paris, London and Venice. I love to travel, and so does he. So doing a photo shoot in Germany, would not really say anything about us. So we both agreed on having a destination photo shoot. The first destination was Paris. We went there in the middle of July and the first shoot was planned within 24 hours. We decided Thursday evening to go, and Friday evening we were on the road. We packed the car and started driving. The shoot in Paris was our first shoot as a couple, so it took a while before we knew how it all worked. After Prisanthi did her magic on me, we went to our destination. On the way to our first destination, we found an amazing spot and started shooting. Shankar was telling us how to be, in order to get the most natural and beautiful pictures. We had 3 shooting spots with one outfit and 2 shooting spots with the second outfit. We captured all 5 locations in 1 Day. During this shoot i realized what a hard work it is for everyone. The weather was super hot, and the sun was an issue most of the time. Even though, Shankar was really good in assisting us, and telling us how and what to do. In Paris we went for a bright romantic look with a simple fancy saree first and then a darker sophisticated look with a dress after.

The first shoot was so spontaneous, the many hours in the car, was more than fun. Not one time did we turn on the radio. We were simply talking, discussing, understanding, and trying to get to know each other more than we already did. I found the first shooting so amazing, because I knew these people were people i wanted to have in my life. We bondet in a sister brother relationship on this trip, where we went from friends to family :) 

Our second shoot was 2 destinations right after each other. Unfortunately we did not have time until early November to do this, so we decided to give it a try and take the risk with the weather. We flew from Germany to Venice and relaxed the day we arrived. We started early morning with the makeup, were we were aiming for a vintage pastel look. I gotta say..... I have never ever tried using light colors on my lips before but I REALLY liked it...... the colors were all pastel colors and went so good with the outfit as well, which was a pastel green lengha and a contrast blouse. In Venice we had so much fun...... Shankar could make any location look absolutely fantastic. Venice is such an amazing beautiful destination, and the result from these pictures have been absolutely amazing !!! It was so much fun, and we had a great day .... we didn't have proper food the entire day, because we just wanted to finish the pictures..... At this shoot Prisanthi and Shankar really got to know what kind of a couple we were :) the weather was cold, our clothes was different so we did have our struggles, and also our arguments. We ended the day with the best MyMagnum and an amazing dinner in a small little restaurant away from the city. I have never had such a great pizza before. 

After our dinner we went to the airport and flew to London. The time was past midnight before we checked in at Hilton Hotel in Wembley right opposite the stadium, so after a long and tired day, we were all just seeking right to the beds. The day after was needed to relax..... after all the traveling and the shooting in Italy, we were all tired, and just wanted to relax......we thought ....... with Shankar and Prisanthis passion for work, we pulled a night shoot at the hotel and on the streets just outside the hotel. We started at 22 and finished around 2, whereafter we went for dinner in central London and for coffee afterwards ...... the time was 5 in the morning before we went to bed ..... this night shoot was so spontaneous and so much fun, we were accompanied by another friend of Shankar and Prisanthi (Thanks for the company and the coffee, Nimal :) from Elegant Entertainers), and had so much fun even though the time was late and the weather was minus degrees. 

Morning after we quickly got ready, and went for the traditional temple shoot. The sun was shining bright but it was so cold. We wanted to do it a bit different than others, and Shankar had the great idea that we somehow were able to implement. The look we went for here was traditional temple look with saree and veedi. The hair was in a bun with jasmin flowers and all matching accessories. 

We received the pictures after a week of the last shoot ..... and I guess we watched our slideshow at least 50 times that evening. My partner who normally do not like to sit and watch pictures, was watching our photo slideshow all day long for several days ...... the pictures were beyond amazing, and just that much more than expected. The relationship with Shankar and Prisanthi is, as mentioned above, something different .... a stage where friends become family. 

Shankar and Prisanthi is absolutely a couple I would recommend. They are humble, do not have big demands and adjust to everything. Shankar can make any boring location look amazing. Finding a small corner and simply use his skills and the people in front of the camera to make powerful and epic photos. 

We used PRISHANKAR to do the photo shoot, beside from the slideshow, we have used the pictures for our Save The Date post, our invitation in 4 different languages and will be using the pictures at the wedding as well. It has been absolutely amazing to work with them.  PRISHANKARS skills can be seen in our pictures. Their passion for what they do, makes them so special. A destination shoot is absolutely an amazing idea if you want different pictures, long lasting memories and friends for life :)

I wanna say thanks to Prisanthi akka and Shankar anna for giving us the chance to work with them, for making my wish come true and for all the things they have teached me :) 

For more about PRISHANKAR, visit them

on Instagram 

https://www.instagram.com/shankarphotography 

https://www.instagram.com/prisanthi_mua/

 

on Facebook 

https://de-de.facebook.com/shankarphotographyprishankar/

https://www.facebook.com/prishankarmakeupandhair/

 

here on Kondattam.de

https://www.kondattam.de/fotograf/shankar-photography.html

https://www.kondattam.de/muah/make-up-artist-prishankar.html

 

And to see our video from the photo shoot

 

I hope you liked this post and find my reviews useful for planning your wedding in the future

Until next time

Hello Leute :)
It has been almost 5 months since I have been blogging. I actually see this quite often..... bloggers who tend to have this break.... well I have no excuse at all for being 5 months late..... well, just to justify a little bit ..... i have been out traveling for 2 months.... 6 countries, so have been busy planning everything from flights, to hotels for every night because we have been on the run all the time.... then all different kind of tours and research about each of the places and yea...... it took some time during the summer, and we travelled in the fall, and then I came home and have been sick for a long time...... but guess what.... I am ready to get this going again.....

So last week we had our new blogger writing her first blogpost. Hope you all liked it..... she is an absolutely amazing writer, and I simply love the way she writes..... I hope you will like her as much as Ii do ... :) hopefully with 3 people on board it will be more interesting to read different type of blogs, written by 3 different personalities :)

This weeks blog is about the different kind of notifications a marrying couple can make....... actually I do not want to specify it only to a marrying couple, but as well for birthdays and puberty ceremonies and other functions that you might have. This is a list of informations your guest can receive in order to be more prepared for the event, as well as being updated after the event.

SAVE THE DATE
Nowadays I feel there is a lot of functions ..... I don't know if its because we are older or because we are more Tamil people around now, than we used to be when we were kids, but anyway, there are so many functions to attend. This also means that the weekends will be filled up..... are talking about May or August, even lots of weeks days are booked ..... I think that a "save the date" is important.... just as important as the invitation..... if I know beforehand that my friend is getting married in 6 months, and I need to attend that function, it will make my life so much more easy if I knew beforehand. So when is the right time to send an official Save The Date out...... in my oppninion: 2-3 months before the event. The closest relatives and friends, who you are depending on for preparation needs to know 6 months before the function, but the guest should know 2-3 months before the actual event. The Save The Date, can be in all type of different medias. Either a actual card to be sent by mail. A online card to be shared on the social media platforms, or sent as a text message or in an email. Even a short and cute video is a great idea to let your friends and family know about the function. There are a lot of different ways to say it. I personally don't think a Save The Date should be followed up by a personal phone call, but just so the information is out.

INVITATION
The actual invitation for the function can again be very creative. A card printed and given out to all guest. You can find card makers on kondattam.de. There are other online websites, where you can use a template and fill out the nessacary information and get the card printed. You can design your invitation all alone, or with a graphic designer you might know. That can eitheR be printed or sent through the digital medias. What I do find important, is that it is important to call or visit each of the invitation receives and invite them personally for your event. A phone call is enough, but some kind of personal is important. In our culture we all actually do that, and I think it's a nice gesture to show your guests that they are important to you and that is why they are invited to your event.

WEBSITE
I have previously written a blog about a wedding website. This is a website that can contain information and facts about the wedding, the venue, the dress code etc. basically all the information your guests needs to know before coming. This Website can als be used to share pictures and videoes after the wedding. It's not that difficult to create the website, and can actually be done online for free. Please read the blogpost about this specific topic.

THANK YOU
When the guest attend the function, in out culture, it has become normal to receive a little something when they leave. Either a small gift, a bag of palaharam, or even a third thing. A appreciating to your guests and giving them a small something is a great idea. In there you can also include a thank you card. I know it's very common in the white community to send a thank you note to your guest after the wedding. I have not really seen it in our culture. Maybe the reason is we are 10 times more people attending to our functions. But a thank you note, handwritten from the hosts to all guest is a sweet thing and a sweet surprise a while after the actual event. It can be a pic from the function, even personalized so the guest are in the actual picture you send as a thank you ...... the idea is really sweet but a lot of work for big functions like ours.

PICTURES AND HIGHLIGHT VIDEO
Nowadays the pictures taken to the function are often shared by our guest or ourselves. Sharing your happy moment is a very good way to show your appreciation and let your guest knows that they have been a part of making the function a great function. The highlight video often comes a couple of months later, and sharing that also shows how much it meant to you that the guests actually showed up and made your day even more happy.

Anyways, there are more ideas of what to share and when .... it's all about being creative...... being a little different from everyone else ..... it's important to keep the traditions and ways of doing things in mind, but being creative and take it out a little, makes it more fun for you as hosts and for the guests.

I hope you liked this post...... I ma actually looking forward to write to you all again......so until next time

 

Hello everyone 

Long time no see :) 

With the amazing weather changes we have had the last few weeks, it's safe to plan an outdoor party or event during the summer. The chances for bad weather in Germany is not that big. Research shows that Germany has more sunshine hours this year than last year...... So guys, are you planning an event, a party or just a get together, make it different and do it outdoor. 

This blogpost is actually inspired from snapchat or Instagram, I don't remember, but I have seen the cutest and most adorable ideas for outdoor parties ..... I am gonna share a few tips and tricks, how to arrange your next outdoor event.

 

Date, time and duration 

My first tip is to carefully choose a date. It is important that the weather is good, and people feel comfortable spending time outside the entire time, so the weather has to be on point. Nothing is more screwed than a outside party and the rain pours down. If you know it's going to be a outdoor party, do not push it to the end of September. In Germany I would recommend to set the date between June and September. In May we still tend to have unpredictable weather, and the same goes for end September. 

When it comes to the time of the day, I would recommend to do it early afternoon.... The weather will most probably be the best at noon and onwards. Noon can seem a bit too early, so 14-15 is a good startimg time. If there are kids invited, this time is very good, after the lunch at home, and after their midday nap..... 

The duration of the party can vary depending on the mood, the guests and the weather. Families with kids will most probably leave earlier, but the good thing about having a outdoor party is that, it's not always that formal, but a more relaxed atmosphere. This allows the party to end, when people no longer is having fun.

 

Guests, location and theme 

My recommendation is that, if the party is for young people, it's best to invite a lot of people. For the young audience, the party will only be a success, if there is a lot of people in a small area. If it is for kids, make sure to have a lot of space and a lot of different areas/stations for the kids to be entertained. I will get more into details with that part later on. Are we talking about adults, there is no such "rule" whether to invite many or few guests. Personally I like an outdoor get together with a few people, but are we talking about a celebration I would prefer a fair amount of people, as long as everything is really nicely done, when it comes to the details. 

The location can either be in the backyard, or a public place, which can be closed to only the invited guest. There is nothing annoying as much as people who is not invited, who is peeking into your private party. So in case the party has to be outdoor public, make sure that it is allowed to have a private celebration, and discuss the possibilities in order to make it as private as possible. Several restaurants and other caters, have places that can be rented out for such occasions. The private backyard can even be very cosy, when arranging it the proper way with lights and decorations. A beach is also a nice idea, and the theme can be something with the water. The ideas for locations are endless, and inspirations can be found everywhere online. 

For an outdoor party I think it's important to have a theme for the party. A outdoor party can quickly seem unorganized and a bit of a mixture of everything. Here I think a theme that can go through the entire party, from decorations, to table settings, to the food to the entertainment. By having a theme, the party seems more organized and it looks quite professional. A theme is important whether it's a birthday party, a engagement party or even just a get together. It should also be visual in the different activities which is planned for the event. 

I have found some good ideas and tips for a outdoor party, that might be helpful if you are going to plan one. 

  • we all know that, when throwing a outdoor party, one of the most annoying things are the bugs. In order to keep them away, you can easily make a beautiful candle setting, which can be a decoration, give a cosines to the party and keep the bugs away. Be sure to to add the citronella oil and the night will be much more pleasant. 
  • the weather will most probably be very nice, and therefore, the little small extra could be a small basket with sunscreen, bugspray and other things which people would not nessecerly bring from home. This is a little extra that really makes the guest feel it's a great party. 
  • are we talking about a kids party, and the weather is forecasted to be very hot, create a waterballoon piñata so the kids can go, from time to time and cool off. Another great idea is to have a portable swimming pools filled with water, either to cool down their feet, or to take a quick dip. 
  • the outdoor party will always be a relaxed chilled party. In fact that is the best part of an outdoor party. The food and beverages can be served buffet style. Create a open bar and a buffet so the guest can serve themselves whenever they feel like eating or drinking something. A burger station, a candy bar etc. 
  • in the evening, where the sun is going down and starts to get dark, one of the best part of a outdoor party is a bonfire. Gathering around the bonfire gives the best feeling. It would be the perfect end of a great party. In case there is a bonfire, make sure to create a s'mores station, with graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows. A bonfire with s'mores is the absolute best thing.
  • is there a tree at the location, create a wodden frame and hang it in the tree..... This is a cool idea for a alternative photo booth for the guest. Make sure there is proper light so the guest can create great memories. 

There is so many great ideas online for theme, decorations, different DYI ideas. It is actually easy to create a very unique and outstanding garden party. I am not sure how many of you are familiar with Pinterest. But by downloading this app, you are able to find inspiration and pictures for anything you are looking for. I myself use it a lot for cakes and other recipes. Anyway, a great app I use for inspiration, specially party ideas. Below I have found some pictures on google and Pinterest as inspiration

 

 

Anyway, I am totally hooked after all the Pinterest and research about garden parties. Who knows, I might be hosting a party before the season ends :) 

Guys if you do have a outdoor or garden party, please tag us on the pictures, and we will share your pictures on our Facebook and Instagram. Tag us and use the Hashtag #KondattamDE 

Until next time

Hi guys I know it has been a long while since last. Just some unpredictable stuff came up lately, and all those bank holidays and mini vacations has made it difficult to being able to post anything....... A lot of friends of mine are pregnant at the moment, and is all duo this year..... That also means that I/we have to plan different types of celebrations for the future mother..... It has been quite common to do something nowadays...... Suddenly it's all so trendy..... The American baby shower, the southindian valaikappu, the southindian seemantham and the list goes on...... In this blogpost I am gonna dive into the the different types of functions, that can be celebrated for the pregnant girl as Tamil. First of all, we all know the traditional baby shower..... The reason why it's called a baby shower, is because the future mother will be showered with gifts and presents. Normally the baby shower is only being held for the first child, and only female guests were invited. It is typically arranged and hosted by a close friend, rather than a family member, since it's often considered rude and weird for a family to arrange a function where the mother will be showered with gifts. The baby shower is often held in the 7-9th month of the pregnancy, but some people also celebrate it after the baby is born, and is often combined with a baby announcement. At the baby shower, the mother is often not aware that the baby shower will take place, so it is more like a surprise celebration. The guests brings gifts that's either related to the baby, or they bring pampering gifts to the mother. It will normally last a couple of hours, and during the time, the gifts will be opened in front of all the guests. Small games and entertainment features will take place. The games will often have something to do with the job as a future mother, or something related to the baby. Often cake, sweets, short dish and small snacks are provided together with non alcoholic beverages. All together this is a good way to celebrate a day with the future mothers friends and family, and have a nice afternoon to remember. The baby shower is celebrated in many ways around the world. Another tradition that many Tamil people in the foreign countries have adopted are the Valaikappu or seemantham. The tradition is South Indian and is only celebrated by South Indians. The celebration itself is quite colorful and brings the family together, so many srilankan Tamils have adopted the idea as well. The valaikappu is not a religious function and is celebrated by, Hindus, Muslim and Christian women. It is a blessing of the pregnant woman, celebrating her fertility and to ensure a safe birth. Normally the pregnant mother to be, will spent her last trimester at her own mothers house, and therefore the valaikappu is also hosted by the pregnant woman's family. The hindu woman will be worn with bangles on both hands in odd numbers. The bangles are not suppose to be taken off until the baby is born. They say the sound of the bangles will induce the child's senses. Normally the bangles will be either red or green and often in glass. Vegetarien food will be served and all together a nice celebration. The purpose of the ceremony is to honour and protect the pregnant woman, who is seen as vulnerable to the evil eye, malign spirits and ghosts, and to ensure the birth of a healthy child. Valaikaapu was originally a simple ceremony, mainly limited to the exchange of bangles, but with the time the celebration has become bigger and bigger. The guest will bring gifts, such as jewellery, saris, household appliances and gold ornaments. There is a lot of ideas of how to celebrate a baby shower and how to celebrate a valaikappu. A lot of western srilankan also combine the both and have a more grand celebration, but it really depends on the mother to be and her family. Ideas for what can be served, what kind of entertainment the celebration can include, can all be found online. Anyways, I hope this post was interesting for some of the future mothers out there. It is now time for me to start planning some of the babyshowers for my close friends, so let's see how that goes :)

Until next time

Hello lovely people ..... :)

Hope you guys have enjoyed the past few days with the AMAZING sun...and is enjoying the little darker weather as well....... !! I sure did...... The first couple of days in the week was just waaaaaaay too hot, to go outside, so I kind of enjoyed the overlapping skies... I am going back to Denmark next week to visit my family, and wanted to go to Köln for some gift shopping...... But the weather was just way too hot.... So I actually postponed it every day, and then finally decided, I wanted to go yesterday .... Just when I was done getting ready. It starts to pour down..... And it was heavy..... And lasted for a few hours...... So today I am definitely going giftshopping no matter how the weather is.... !! 

Anyways...... Today's topic is actually something I care about..... The Tamil language.......so to begin with, I wanna explain my relation to Tamil. I came to Denmark when I was only 6 months old, and have been brought up in the country. I am not sure this is only for Denmark Tamils, but they tend to integrate more with the white people, than I have seen in any other countries. I think the reason why is that in school, and kindergarten, only a few other Tamil people would be around, so we were more likely forced to be with the white once. The other thing is that most of the cities, did not have that many Tamil families in the town. We lived in a town with approximately 50-60 families. Even though we had the others family, I think most of us, in our city, spent more time with white people than Tamil people. Anyways, in our home our language was Tamil. We spoke Tamil with my parents, and among us siblings, we spoke Danish. It's still the case today ..... My dad is the oldest of 7 kids, and his youngest brother is only 5 years older than my older brother. My uncle lived with us ever since we came to Denmark, and only moved out when he got married...... He was like a big brother to all of us, or a little dad..... We call him kuddiappa.....In fact everybody calls him that :) (I think it came from kuddi sithappa)....... Anyways, since the age gap was the same for him, my older brother, me and my younger brother, he was one of us. So we even spoke Danish together. Normally we would speak Danish with him, and he would reply in Tamil. My younger brother does the same with my older brothers kids. He only speaks Tamil with them, and they would reply in either English or Danish :) 

I am not sure why, but wherever I go, people always gets so surprised by our Tamil. Like they can't believe that we speak this well..... In the beginning I didn't understand why they said that...... But with the time, and after visiting canada, I realized, "yea ok, we are actually pretty good compared to many others". Even in our city we had kids who couldn't say one single word in Tamil...... I guess it's all about how much you use the language at home......how much you "force" the kids to speak Tamil when they are home...... 

Anyway, the language for me is important.... Not only because it's great to have a language no one understands, when you really need to say something In a crowd, and maybe others don't need to hear it .... Hahaha :) anyways jokes aside..... For me it has been important to be fluent in my "mother tongue" in order to communicate with the older generation, in order to be able to communicate across countries..... In order to not forget where we actually come from....... The reason why me and my partner even ended up together, was the language. He comes from Germany, I from Denmark, but the Tamil language, made us able to communicate with each other...... English would have been awkward for us...... We text in English......and still do, but when we talk, we talk Tamil (and a bit german now, because I need to learn to speak the language) There is still one thing I am pretty embarrassed about.... I used to write and read Tamil almost fluently...... I haven't used it for the last 10-15 years, which means I have difficulties reading and specially writing........ So maintaining guys.... It's important...... !!! 

There is so many amazing great things to say about our language. I have found some facts about our language that really impressed me, which I wanna share, just to let you know how amazing the language is....

  • the Tamil language is the first language in the world, known to the humans, and is proven to be more than 50.000 years old
  • Tamil belongs to the Dravidian language family
  • more than 72 million people speak Tamil
  • there is currently 22 dialects of Tamil
  • Tamil is a official language in Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu, Singapore and Puducherry
  • There is 6809 languages worldwide. 700 languages you can write and speak. 100 languages with its own alphabets. 6 of them are basic languages: Hebrew, old Greek. Latin, Sanskrit, Chinese and Tamil. Today only Tamil, Chinese and Hebrew is spoken and written officially
  • all African languages derives from Tamil
  • the Jewish language Hebrew is derived from Tamil 
  • the Tamil people migrated to Africa via the Middle East, which is the reason why we find Tamil dialects in Africa and the reason why Hebrew is coming from Tamil
  • the Mayans of Maya Civilization of South America spoke a dialect of Tamil
  • One of the tribes in Cameroon in Africa, speaks an ancient but deformed form of Tamil, called Tamazight
  • 25% of the Tamil speaking people don't know how to read or write the language

I have watched some different documentaries about the Tamil language which are quite interesting. They are all available on YouTube, so easy to find. Another really interesting youtuber I found was Soniya.TV - she is Canadian, and works as a real estater. She has this amazing channel where she posts about whatever she finds interesting ..... One of her topics is the Tamil language which is quite interesting. So please go have a look at her channel. Another interesting person, which is featured a lot on YouTube is Jonathan Ripley, who is a Tamil Preceptor at Harward University. Listening him speaking Tamil is great :) I just love when white people speak Tamil .... :) 

Some people do not speak properly Tamil, or they speak with an accent, but I think the most important is that, even though it's not perfect..... Just try..... I think people will have more respect for people trying to speak Tamil, than for those who don't even try..... 

That's all from me this week..... Hope you all will enjoy ur weekends in the great weather, that we are promised :) 

Until next time

Hey guys

It's me again this week. First of all. THANK YOU SO SO SO SO MUCH for the response from last weeks post !!!! I didn't expect it to be received this well..... THANK YOU !!

We have in our little team decided a few things that I would like to tell you guys. We tried blogging in German, since most of you guys are from Germany. Although we did that for half a year, we just realized that having blogs in English is preffered by many, so all my posts will in the future be in English. Arlene will continue writing in German. Another thing - we are looking for a third blogger..... Do we have anyone who is interested in writing for us and become a member of our small team, please contact us through our Facebook page and we will get back to you..... Everyone with a good writing skill is welcome :)

So to this weeks post...... Hmmm.... First of all, sorry for the repeating Hindu cultural aspect on the post.... But it has been a topic that has been on my mind constantly for the last week..... It all started by, me attending a Puberty Ceremony, for the first time with my partner among our family...... We have been going out for years, but only recently got official to "the public" and extended family as well. So ya our first family function to attend. As I also wrote in my last post, I am not a big fan of the poddu. Basically, I do not think it suits my face...... When that is said..... In my young young ages.... I used to wear poddu, but was trying to find the explanation behind it back then.... And I remembered I decided that I was not going to wear it anymore..... There is a lot of scientifically reasons why we should wear a poddu, which I all admire. But that little tiny other reason just makes me, not want to wear it, unless I really really have to....... So at this function I was not wearing a poddu...... And I had soooooooooo many people asking me why.... I simply just answered, I don't like wearing a poddu, it doesn't suit me....... Some of the older ladies were like..... WTH...... But no one said anything directly to me..... I have heard later, that it was a discussion subject for some of the aunties after we left.

So yesterday I was talking with a friend about this, and she asked me again, why I didn't wanted to wear a poddu. Many Tamil and Hindu people simply thinks u are "naked" without it, and it fulfill your outfit.... So I explained to her why I don't like it..... She was discussing with me and saying it was not true.... So I started to do my research last night..... Just to prove her wrong :) and here it is:

Our society has always been categorizing people in groups. Caste system is still a very important thing in India and SriLanka. And in order to clarify the 4 different casts, the poddu was a remark of which cast you belonged to. This is a very very very old fact, but was the reason why we hindues started wearing the poddu.

 

  1. The Brahmins who were priests or academicians wore a poddu of white sandal wood signifying purity
  1. The Khatriyas (Kings, Warriors and Administrators) wore red poddu to signify valor.
  1. The Vaishyas (Business men) wore a yellow poddu signifying prosperity.
  1. The Sudra (service class) wore black poddu to signify service to the other classes.

 

So thee you go...... This is the reason why I can justify not wearing the poddu. Thank god, we don't wear the poddu according to our cast anymore..... But simply as an accessory to the Indian outfit, black when you are unmarried and red if you are. It has always been fashionable to wear matching poddu, which people also do..... But the oldest fact about why the poddu was introduced in the explained reason above..... So this is the explanation, for why I don't want to wear it.... And also, I don't think it suits me :) ....... But of cause there are many other scientific reasons why we should wear a poddu, which comes here......

Poddu, or Bindi, which is the Sanskrit name, means dot in Sanskrit. A dot that's placed between you eyes on the forehead. All females normally wear poddu every day, and even men wear poddu when it comes to religious days, when they visit the temples etc. The woman always wears a red one, that shows that she is married and signifies true love and prosperity. A widow female does not wear a poddu, but is allowed to wear a black one, that shows their lost of their husband.

The religious reason behind the poddu is one of the most important in the Hinduism. Every morning a Hindu takes a bath and sits in prayer just to seek the absolute truth through every prayer. However, it is true that one cannot sit in prayer the whole day. So when you leave the prayer room, you are expected to put some mark on your forehead, to remind you throughout the day about all the activities and the purpose of life. It is obvious you cannot see the mark on your own forehead every time so whenever you see it on another face, you will get a chance to recall the purpose of your life. The idea is to remember that all the things you are doing are dedicated towards the achievement of this supreme goal of self realization.

From a health point of view, the poddu is worn between the eyebrows where the pineal gland lies. This is an important nerve center and applying sandalwood or ash keeps the nerves cool and so keeps one cool and conserves energy. In the past the poddu was made from the yellow and red sandalwood, red and yellow turmeric, saffron, various flowers, ash, zinc oxide. All these had cooling properties in nature. Today people wear bindis made with glue or glass and doesn’t benefit in any way but is more of an accessory.

The Ajna Chakra is considered to be the place of the “Third Eye” where one applies the poddu. The Ajna Chakra is the site where one finally loses Ahamkara (ego or sense of individuality) when one achieves self-realization or reaches a higher level of spirituality. It is a way to remind one another in the society to see through the mind’s eye and see the bigger picture of the “Universe as One”

So there is a lot of reasons to why wear a poddu...... But for me, the society fact is enough a reason, not to wear it :)

Have a lovely friday guys and enjoy your weekend. My brother in law is coming home from india, and i told hin to bring Indian sweets, so gonna visit them and eat it all ..... Indian milk sweets is the best thing in the world !!!

Until next time

Hello People

Hope you are all doing good and enjoyed the Easter holiday. 

I feel it has been so long since I have written the last blogpost. We chose not to post anything last week since it was good Friday, and wanted to respect that. I know that we both have been a bit lazy with the writing lately. I promise you guys that we will do everything in order to make sure to post something for you every week. 

This weeks post is actually quite interesting. At least I find it very interesting. I am not sure, if you guys have experiences that we do something, which we claim is either religious or cultural, and we ask our parents, why we actually do that, and they just answer.... "Athu appadi tharn". I have gathered some facts that's I found really interesting, and wanted to share with you. Hope you guys enjoy as much as I did :) 

 

  1. Vanakkam 

In our culture, we greet each other by joining their palms – termed as “Namaskar.” The general reason behind this tradition is that greeting by joining both the palms means respect. However, scientifically speaking, joining both hands ensures joining the tips of all the fingers together; which are denoted to the pressure points of eyes, ears, and mind. Pressing them together is said to activate the pressure points which helps us remember that person for a long time. And, no germs since we don’t make any physical contact! Hmmm, that's interesting. I must admit that I never do that anymore. I used to dance bharatha naadiyam, and back then, namaskar was something very special to me. When I stopped dancing, I don't really feel I need to do it to anyone anymore. For me its only something I do for highly respected people.

 

  1. Sitting on the floor and eating

When we travel back to Sri Lanka for holidays, some of the families that we visit makes us sit on the floor and eat. For us, who is used to sit by the table on a chair, it seems weird sometimes. But....This tradition is not just about sitting on floor and eating, it is regarding sitting in the “Sukhasan”, which we know as sammadi koddi irukeekulla, position and then eating. Sukhasan is the position we normally use for Yoga asanas. When you sit on the floor, you usually sit cross legged – In sukhasana or a half padmasana  (half lotus), which are poses that instantly bring a sense of calm and help in digestion, it is believed to automatically trigger the signals to your brain to prepare the stomach for digestion. I am not sure that those old ladies know the meaning behind, but maybe only that it's good for you. 

 

  1. Viratham

When there is loyal thiruvilar, I fast. I used to be vegetarian every Friday for the last 15 years. Not anymore though. It's too difficult when you are only 2, and one of them is an atheist. So yea, it's not that I am trying to be vegetarian, but if I have the choice between veg and nonveg, I choose veg on s Friday. When I don't have the option, I don't make a deal out of it. Anyways, why do we fast, and what does it do to you?

The underlying principle behind fasting is to be found in Ayurveda. This ancient Indian medical system sees the basic cause of many diseases as the accumulation of toxic materials in the digestive system. Regular cleansing of toxic materials keeps one healthy. By fasting, the digestive organs get rest and all body mechanisms are cleansed and corrected. A complete fast is good for heath, and the occasional intake of warm lemon juice during the period of fasting prevents the flatulence. Since the human body, as explained by Ayurveda, is composed of 80% liquid and 20% solid, like the earth, the gravitational force of the moon affects the fluid contents of the body. It causes emotional imbalances in the body, making some people tense, irritable and violent. Fasting acts as antidote, for it lowers the acid content in the body which helps people to retain their sanity. Research suggests there are major health benefits to caloric restriction like reduced risks of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, immune disorders etc.... I know s lot of my white friends have started to add a meat free day.... The reasons behind this, is that we somehow cleanse the body by eating only veg, it actually makes sense then.... 

 

  1. Starts with spice and end with sweet

I am one of those people who will never say no to dessert. I eat sugar and sweets everyday. Nothing I am proud of, but I just can't help it. It has been a habit for many many years, and it's just hard to give up on. Our ancestors have stressed on the fact that our meals should be started off with something spicy and sweet dishes should be taken towards the end. The significance of this eating practice is that while spicy things activate the digestive juices and acids and ensure that the digestion process goes on smoothly and efficiently, sweets or carbohydrates pulls down the digestive process. Hence, sweets were always recommended to be taken as a last item.... Hm, maybe I should make it a tradition to eat sweet after every meal..... (I guess I am already doing it) 

 

  1. Visiting the temple

I love visiting temples. There is some kind of peace and I simply just love the architecture. I love architecture in general, but the Hindu temples are absolutely amazing, and just the fact that they were able to build such amazing temples back in the days. There is other reasons why we should go to the temple. Temples are located strategically at a place where the positive energy is abundantly available from the magnetic and electric wave distributions of north/south pole thrust. The main idol is placed in the core center of the temple, known as “*Garbhagriha*” or *Moolasthanam*. In fact, the temple structure is built after the idol has been placed. This *Moolasthanam* is where earth’s magnetic waves are found to be maximum. We know that there are some copper plates, inscribed with Vedic scripts, buried beneath the Main Idol. What are they really? No, they are not God’s / priests’ flash cards when they forget the *shlokas*. The copper plate absorbs earth’s magnetic waves and radiates it to the surroundings. Thus a person regularly visiting a temple and walking clockwise around the Main Idol receives the beamed magnetic waves and his body absorbs it. This is a very slow process and a regular visit will let him absorb more of this positive energy. Scientifically, it is the positive energy that we all require to have a healthy life.

 

  1. Touching feets

To be honest, I am almost 32 years old, I have never ever touched anyone's feets. Which means I have never Karl vilunthu kumpiddathu illai. I don't know why, just never appeared for me to do it. Not my parents, not my in-laws, nobody. Apparently  there is a reason why we do that.  Usually, the person of whose feet you are touching is either old or pious. When they accept your respect which came from your reduced ego (and is called your shraddha) their hearts emit positive thoughts and energy (which is called their karuna) which reaches you through their hands and toes. In essence, the completed circuit enables flow of energy and increases cosmic energy, switching on a quick connect between two minds and hearts. To an extent, the same is achieved through handshakes and hugs. The nerves that start from our brain spread across all your body. These nerves or wires end in the fingertips of your hand and feet. When you join the fingertips of your hand to those of their opposite feet, a circuit is immediately formed and the energies of two bodies are connected. Your fingers and palms become the ‘receptor’ of energy and the feet of other person become the ‘giver’ of energy.

 

  1. Bells a the temple

When it's thiruvilar, and the Puusai is about to finish, we have the mani sound. It continues and at the end we actually just wants it to stop. It's loud, and makes me stressing. People who are visiting the temple should and will Ring the bell before entering the inner sanctum (Garbhagudi or Garbha Gruha or womb-chamber) where the main idol is placed. According to Agama Sastra, the bell is used to give sound for keeping evil forces away and the ring of the bell is pleasant to God. However, the scientific reason behind bells is that their ring clears our mind and helps us stay sharp and keep our full concentration on devotional purpose. These bells are made in such a way that when they produce a sound it creates a unity in the Left and Right parts of our brains. The moment we ring the bell, it produces a sharp and enduring sound which lasts for minimum of 7 seconds in echo mode. The duration of echo is good enough to activate all the seven healing centres in our body. This results in emptying our brain from all negative thoughts.

 

  1. Importance of the sleeping position 

In my previous apartments I always asked my dad how I should place the bed. He is really religious and very much into traditions. I didn't do it when I moved the last time, because practically there was only 1 way to place the bed. I always wondered why it was so important. Myth is that it invites ghost or death but science says that it is because human body has its own magnetic field (Also known as hearts magnetic field, because the flow of blood) and Earth is a giant magnet. When we sleep with head towards north, our body’s magnetic field become completely asymmetrical to the Earth’s Magnetic field. That cause problems related to blood pressure and our heart needs to work harder in order to overcome this asymmetry of Magnetic fields. Apart from this another reason is that Our body have significant amount of iron in our blood. When we sleep in this position, iron from the whole body starts to congregate in brain. This can cause headache, Alzheimer’s Disease, Cognitive Decline, Parkinson disease and brain degeneration.

 

  1. The female toe ring

When the brides get married, she gets a toe ring on. My parents always told me, it was only virgin girls who does that. But wearing toe rings is not just the significance of married women but there is science behind it. Normally toe rings are worn on the second toe. A particular nerve from the second toe connects the uterus and passes to heart. Wearing toe ring on this finger strengthens the uterus. It will keep it healthy by regulating the blood flow to it and menstrual cycle will be regularized. As Silver is a good conductor, it also absorbs polar energies from the earth and pass

 

  1. The kunkumam poddu

Haha, writing this post makes me realize how little Hindu I am. I am not an atheist, I believe in all gods. I believe they are all the same, but with different names..... Al though I do not follow the traditions at all. I am not sure if it's because I have been working abroad for the last 10 years and lost the roots to my culture, or if it simply doesn't make sense to me. Anyway the reason why I don't wear poddu is because I simply don't think it suits me. I had arguments with my parents back then, but they understands that I don't really like it. The reason behind the poddu is quite interesting, although it will not make me use it anyway. On the forehead, between the two eyebrows, is a spot that is considered as a major nerve point in human body since ancient times. The Tilak is believed to prevent the loss of “energy”, the red ‘kumkum’ between the eyebrows is said to retain energy in the human body and control the various levels of concentration. While applying kumkum the points on the mid-brow region and Adnya-chakra are automatically pressed. This also facilitates the blood supply to the face muscles.

 

  1. Earrings 

I got my ears pierced before I even knew it. That was how we used to do back then. My niece who is 7, got her ears pierced when she was 6, and only because she really really wanted to. Piercing the ears has a great importance in Indian ethos. Indian physicians and philosophers believe that piercing the ears helps in the development of intellect, power of thinking and decision making faculties. Talkativeness fritters away life energy. Ear piercing helps in speech-restraint. It helps to reduce impertinent behavior and the ear-channels become free from disorders. This idea appeals to the Western world as well, and so they are getting their ears pierced to wear fancy earrings as a mark of fashion.

 

  1. Bangles 

There is even a scientific reason for why we wear bangles. Normally the wrist portion is in constant activation on any human. Also the pulse beat in this portion is mostly checked for all sorts of ailments. The Bangles used by women are normally in the wrist part of ones hand and its constant friction increases the blood circulation level. Further more the electricity passing out through outer skin is again reverted to one’s own body because of the ring shaped bangles, which has no ends to pass the energy outside but to send it back to the body.

 

I hope you guys learned something new today. So next time we ask our parents or other, why do we do this? Why do we do that. Trust me their stories which we sometimes find redicilous, might actually not be that stupid at all. There is scientific reasons behind many of our actions, traditions and culture, and I think it's important to respect those.

 

Until next time

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