I’m not a big fan of parties, but I do visit them from time to time – just out of politeness or to meet some friends or distant family members. But in this post I’d like to pay tribute to the parties in India – visiting these parties was a unique experience for me in the sense that they were absolutely… alcohol free. And yet people had fun! They were dancing, playing games, enjoying snacks and soft drinks, socializing – generally speaking, they were doing everything people are supposed to do when they meet to celebrate one’s birthday, or wedding, or anniversary, or christening, whatever the occasion may be.
It always used to strike me as a strange cultural phenomenon that our celebrations in Ukraine inevitably involved drinking. It could be very symbolic drinking, but still a bottle of champagne or wine was always there on the table. If you refuse to take a glass of wine, people either think that you have some health problems or consider it a sign of disrespect! If you try to set up an alcohol free dinner, the guests may suspect you’ve joined a religious sect!
The idea of social drinking is so embedded in our mentality that it’s hard to imagine saying a toast without emptying a glass. And of course, the culture of drinking is happily encouraged by hundreds of alcohol brands, offering their products wherever they can, whereas in India there is only a small wine shop in the corner of a giant supermarket.
Anyway, it’s just one of the few aspects of my homeland I don’t miss. Parties in India have proved to be so different that I couldn’t help comparing. Here are some photos from the christening party I went to a couple of days back.
Decorated hall. The couch is for family members and guests to take photos.
Playing with the kids
Food is waiting
Traditionally, rice 🙂 And other things
One of the most delicious sweets in the world – gulab jamun
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