Our country is the land of customs, rituals, and celebrations. We make every moment of the life joyous and memorable. The celebrations mostly occur to female than male. Ear piercing, Puberty ritual, nose pinning, are such of them. Baby shower is one such celebration which is celebrated for the transformation of a wife to mother. Baby showering is called in various names in each state. Seemantham/Valaikappu in Tamilnadu, Godh Bharai, Puli-Kuti in Kerala, Dohal Jevan in Maharashtra, Godh Bharna in Gujrat, Swad in West Bengal and Satvasa in Muslims. Though the procedure may vary, the ultimate goal of the function is to bless the expectant mother and child to the new world of life. The function is celebrated for the first child of a family, that’s why the baby is called “Seemanda putran or Seemanda putri”. Relatives, friends, parents and all known persons will come to the function to bless both the expectant mother and baby.
Seemandam – Tamilnadu
Seemandam or Baby showering function is usually done in odd months say the 5th, 7th and 9th month. The expectant mother is draped in a silk sari. Aromatic flowers are adorned with her plaited hair. The function is hosted by husband’s parents at their home or hall. 5 variety rice and sweets are kept in the plates. A paste of turmeric is applied to the mother-to-be face. Bangles with different colors are presented to the mother-to-be. Only married sumangali (those who live with their husbands) will do all the rituals for the mother-to-be. Finally, aarthi will be taken by 3-5 eldest women to remove the bad evil eyes on the mother and unborn baby. On the same day, the mother-to-be will be sent to her parents’ house.
Puli-Kuti – Kerala
Puli-Kuti is a pregnancy ceremony in the Nair community. In Malayalam it means, drinking tamarind juice. The ceremony date is fixed by the astrologer. On the particular day of the seventh or ninth month, the pregnant woman will take bath and attire new sari and jewelry. She will be made to sit in the centre of the hall. The baby showering function is headed by the maternal uncle’s wife and the brother of the mother-to-be. When compared to other communities, the baby showering ceremony is simple in this community. The pregnant woman’s parents, relatives will come to her house in 7th or 9th month along with traditional sweets and flowers to take their daughter back to their home for delivery.
Godh Bharna – Gujarat
In Gujrati godh bharna means To Fill The Lap. The pregnancy ritual is celebrated with much importance. The mother-to-be is made to sit on a small wooden seat. Then, her mother and mother-in-law fill her sari pallu with costly jewelry and gifts. The elders bless the expectant mother and the fetus with traditional songs.
Dohal Jevan – Maharashtra
Maharashtrians celebrate Dohal Jevan during the seventh or ninth month of pregnancy. “Dohal” means foods carving and the function is celebrated to satisfy the food cravings of the expectant mother. The expectant mother is adorned with the variety of flowers and garlands. Highly nutritious foods are arranged on plates and covered with a cloth. The mother-to-be is asked to select the plate and the covered plate is exposed. Generally, this is a small game which determines the gender of the baby playfully. In Marathi, each food item refers to a gender. Say for examples Poli, burfis and feminine and Rice, Pedhas are masculine. The ‘Dohal Jevan’ is conducted at the mother-to-be’s maternal house, then at in-law house, whereas the procedure will be the same.
Baby Shower – Goa
Goa is the place of colors and eternal joy; the same can be expected in their baby shower ceremony. The pregnant women will be taken to her maternal house at the seventh month. The expectant mother is decked up gorgeously. Dodal a special sweet and other goody are prepared. One may gift the mother-to-be many things but not to the unborn baby at the point of time.
Photo by priyam.n