Saturday, July 9, 2011

Neighborhood parade

Where we live, there have been a lot of Indian families move in. They truly are much nicer than most of our typical American neighbors. They are very friendly and caring. They wave and do not snub their noses up at anyone. I could have an entire post dedicated to what we have learned from the different cultures!!!

Well over the last few days, there have been signs at the entrance to our neighborhood. The signs were about an Indian parade. Of course the word parade got the kids all excited. We didn't know what to expect so we tried to explain to Jelly Bean and Life Saver how this parade would probably be much different than the Disney parades they are accustomed too!!

All morning the kids were excited and kept asking when the parade would start. Around 11am, Grammie and the kiddos head out the front door. I finally joined them a bit later. 2 hours pass and still no parade. We decide to pile in the van and drive toward the parade route. Mistake!!! The parade had started and was heading towards us. One of the volunteer men basically ran us out!! I cannot much blame him. While we were driving, we noticed all the water hoses and sprinklers running. Wasn't sure what that was about.

So we drive home and decide to wait in the van until we could see the parade. About 20 minutes later, we finally see the start of the parade, or so we thought. Instead we saw a truck with a holding tank pull up to the fire hydrant. One of the men undid the hydrant and pumped water into their holding tank. Of course this really had our curiosity going!!

Until we saw the first part of the parade. Women were walking with their brooms. They appeared to be cleansing the street, but I cannot confirm this.

While the women were walking, the men were taking the water hose coming from the tank and spraying the women and the men (which you will see later) on their feet. See the temperature here today was almost 90 degrees during this parade. Because of this, the street temperatures were even hotter. Some of these people were walking barefoot as is normal in their culture. The water was too cool the ground off before they walked upon it. We finally understand now why so many of our neighbors had their water-hoses out in the street!!

The next pictures are from the parade. As I do not yet understand much about this culture, I am not going to make myself look bad and attempt to explain any of the pictures. I can say a young man came up to us and asked us if we had any questions. He explained to us their culture is often mistaken for being muslim, which they are not. They are far different. I cannot imagine in today's society how they must feel being mistaken for such. Please understand I am not a prejudice person and I am not placing all muslim population in the same category.

Now I do admit this was unlike any parade I have ever seen. I was pleasantly surprised. In several sections of the parade route, there were tents set up for the participants to quench their thirst. There were also several pick up trucks filled with ice and water and Cokes!!! At 2 different times, men walked up to us with their hands full of drinks offering them to us. We politely declined and explained how the walkers had to be far hotter than we were!!! One man walked up to us and told us we had to try the drink he had because we had probably never had one before. He was right, we hadn't. It was a mango juice and it was pretty tasty!!!

My favorite part of the parade was the next picture. It really is worth a thousand words!!!

A flyer was placed in each of our paper holders under our mailboxes inviting everyone in the neighborhood to the Temple just outside our complex to enjoy food and drinks with the community. We could not attend as we had previous plans, but we did drive by and there were all sorts of tents and decorations!!

I am glad I got to experience a new cultural event today and especially happy I got to experience it with my children. They really enjoyed watching the parade!!

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