Thursday, February 13, 2014

Food, Clothing, and Weddings

We have been having some pretty awesome food in Ludhiana.  Yesterday we had sugar cane juice on the street and today we tried gol gappa, a round hollow crisp filled with spicy water and a mix of potato, spices, onion, chickpeas, etc.  For lunch, we eat food from the canteen at the manufacturing facility every day for lunch and it is delicious.  There is so much variety - I think if I lived in India I could become vegetarian.  We also tried a fruit called jujube (which I previously only knew of the candy) and an eggplant dish.  Last night we ate at a local restaurant and had sarsonkasaag, a mustard plant dish that is only available in the winter and early spring.  We also had mushroom mitari, dahi bhalla, and paneer masala.  
Our meal last night
 Today for lunch one of the workers brought us sarsonkasaag from their home and we also had aloo gobi (potato and cauliflower) with basmati rice.  Most meals come standard with an onion, radish, and tomato salad as well. For dinner, we went to a local market and had a dosa, which is like a crepe stuffed with paneer (cheese), potato, tomato, and spices.
Eating dosa at the market
The outdoor market with lots of food stalls
A couple days ago I went shopping for kurtas, the tunic type shirts that most women wear to work here in Punjab.  I bought a short kurta and a tunic version as well as some of the special pants to wear on more formal occasions.  I also went shopping for a sari, but soon realized that sari shopping is an experience that deserves more time.  Many women will go shopping for a sari for multiple hours and sit in the sari shop drinking a cup of tea while the men in the shop model the sari material for them.  I was so impressed by how much pride the men took in carefully assembling the sari.  I decided to postpone my sari shopping until I have a couple hours to go back for the real experience.

The man at the sari store showing me how the sari would fit
Speaking of saris, it is wedding season!  A lot of women here wear a Punjab version of a sari to weddings since it is a little colder here.  Since we are staying at a relatively upscale hotel, we have had some sort of wedding related ceremony every night since we have been here.  Everyone gets dressed up in very colorful and beautiful dresses and decorates the banquet halls very elaborately.  Last night there were 2 separate ring ceremonies and tonight there was a shagun ceremony, a type of engagement party in accordance with Punjabi wedding customs.  I am trying to get myself invited to a wedding so I can wear a sari!

That's all for now....more soon about our work with Ludhiana Steel Rolling Mills!

Word of the day: yar - friend

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