Hannah's cousin had a "filling of the lap" ceremony and Mom, Aunt J. and I were invited along. I've never been to an American baby shower before so I couldn't really compare the two, but basically the idea behind a "filling of the lap" ceremony is this: the married girl gets to return to her family for the birth of her first child, and the her family comes and takes her home. People dance and give the new mother presents. It's really not that different than a wedding, except that the only guests are women. Usually weddings can be pretty depressing since the bride cries constantly and is probably not going to see her family again. But the "filling of the lap" party seems to idealize motherhood and womanhood something unique in South Asian Culture.
The essense of a party. There's so much in this picture that it's hard to put it all in words! The girl on the bed is the soon-to-be mother, and a grandmother is holding money over her head as a sign of blessing. The girl on the far right is a troup dancer and some of the ladies sitting on the floor are troop musicians.
And that obnoxious bright light in the corner is a cameraman. Everyone feels really awkward with him around.