India Trip, Day 25: jalwa

November 7 (Wed) - Day 25:  jalwa

My cousin brother was blessed with a son a month and half back.  After delivery, the wife stayed at her parent's place for that entire period.  On the day # 40, the in-laws hosted a grand ceremony to welcome the bahu along with grandson, and name the baby boy.  This ceremony is called "jalwa" and I think it is a Rajasthani tradition ... not sure if other people do the same.

There is a certain important ritual that is performed on this day that I missed because of reaching late, but from what I heard, IT SOUNDED REALLY AWKWARD.  Amidst only women around, the new mother has to pour a drop of her breast milk in an underground water well.  From what I was told, I think it represents that the mother's milk should always be full for the baby, just the way the well is filled with water, or something like that.

Then the grandmother passed the baby boy over a saree which was filled with goodies and money for kids, she and the grandfather asked everyone to vote for a name, announced the name of grandson, and threw all the goodies from the saree up in air for the kids to gather all that they can.

I love how this side of the family of my cousins is very close-knit ... about 20 adults and 6 children live together in this huge four-storey house, with other extended members, relatives, and married daughters of this family visiting every once in a while.  The occasion today was even more joyous because the great grandparents also could witness the birth of their great grandson.

They also called a lady to sing some songs for this occasion, and there was a lot of delicious food at dinner.  Other friends and relatives were invited to be a part of the celebration, and everyone was given a party favor.  They gave a box with bottles of dry fruits and nuts to all of the attendees.

Birth of a son is still a pretty big thing in India.
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