this weekend we went around to deliver invites to family. it's been a weekend full of juice and food.. at every single house we went to. saturday morning, bhabhi's stomach was getting upset at the thought of all the food we were going to be eating! :S
when delivering an invite to each of your mum's relatives, they give you some turmeric to use for the pithi ceremony. i guess this goes back to the whole idea that weddings are a community event, not just an event for the bride and groom. because weddings can be a huge financial burden with all the different rituals that need to take place, everyone pitches in. considering the cost of tumeric and the amount you would need to coat a person from head to toe, it actually makes sense.
the pithi ceremony is where turmeric, oil, and sometimes rose water are mixed to form a paste which is slathered all over the bride and groom (in separate ceremonies) to "beautify" them.
turmeric is a natural exfoliant, so it's basically softens and slightly lightens your skin (like most exfoliants would..) turmeric powder can be really, really potent.. some of the tumeric people were giving were really stinking up the car while going from house to house. i sat there thinking, "this is what i'm going to smell like for two days.."
a few years back, one of my banevis explained to me another reason for the pithi. back in the day, you would be married when you were kids. the turmeric served as two purposes: an antiseptic if you were to cut yourself from horsing around.. and as a way to prevent a child from horsing around. i remember so many people saying after a few hours of getting the pithi applied, they would feel pretty tired and would take more naps than usual.
i suppose i should be excited for all of this.. after all, they're going to turn me into my favourite colour: yellow! hopefully i don't look like i have jaundice on the wedding day though..