Yesterday we went to an Indian friend’s 60th birthday. My goodness, they know how to put on a party! The women all arrived togged up in the most gorgeous saris, or shalwar kameez, covered in glittering patterns. They were beautifully made up with kohl round lustrous dark eyes, and dark hair either long and loose or fastened up with decorations. Very blingy earrings and necklaces – absolutely stunning! Where did we go wrong in this country, I wonder, that our clothes etc are all so boring???

The men were very smart in suits, colourful shirts and ties. The room was decorated with helium-filled balloons, with decorations on the walls of photos of our friend’s life and banners and streamers. All the tables laid with white cloths, napkins, flowers, and nibbles. Waiter service brought drinks around on a regular basis. Live DJ and disco lights. All sparkly and technicolour.

Then the birthday girl arrived, and was greeted by drumming and a trumpet, singing and whistling and clapping. It was like the arrival of a queen! She was escorted upstairs and the music went on, and the women in the family started dancing.


Then she and her husband sat down in front of a huge cake with candles, which were blown out by the
grandson, and they all fed each other bits of cake. We lined up to give her a hug and kiss and a present or card, then we were fed delicious curries.

Now that’s what I call a party.

But here’s the thing. Our friend is a keen Christian and used to come to church regularly. Her husband is Hindu. About 18 months ago he forbade her absolutely to come to church, and she is not allowed to see her Christian friends either. She finds this all very hard, but took the brave decision to respect his wishes although she has his agreement to practise her faith privately.

Their son, also a Christian, had invited us to this party. He had also asked Hub to open the proceedings with a Christian prayer. Because of the rage against Christians of our friend’s husband in the past, Hub was very worried about the wisdom of this. We certainly did some praying and discussion in advance! – and their daughter also confessed to us that she was very anxious about it and had been praying all night.

Anyway, the moment came, and off Hub went to the mike, stopping first to shake friend’s husband by the hand. He got quite a warm handshake, which heartened him, so he went for it.

We had already been through worst-case scenario – that we would be asked to leave, and the party ruined for our friend.

But mercifully – all was well. There was no adverse reaction, and as their son said to us quietly before we left, ‘let’s hope this is a step forward.’

I think we all saw it as an answer to prayer, and we’re hoping that God will prise the door open a little bit more so that our friend can emerge from her ‘prison’.



    1. I don’t think people realise in advance how difficult it can be. They assume that if they love each other then they can work everything out. You can – but it takes a lot of commitment to each other, and not everyone has that!


  1. Gosh I didn’t know Hindus hated Christians or was it just that particular man?

    Glad it all went ok though when hub did the prayer! Pheeew! Must have been quite a running the gauntlet sort of moment….88|

    Re British or western clothing…. awful… ghastly…. I was very struck in Egypt how very gracious and elegant everybody was in their galabayas and lovely coloured scarves and turbans etc. And the tourists looked just cheap and trashy and shapeless grotesquely immodest and …dull in comparison! 😦 Mortifying. I wore long skirts and shawl over my head etc to try and blend in and felt so much more elegant and mysterious!:)

    Shawl over the head is practical there as I’m sure you’ll know from your experiences in Africa? The desert sand and the blazing sun just boiled yer head and made yer hair go like coconut matting if not covered up…

    The party sounds amazing!


    1. I don’t think most Hindus do hate Christians – we have lots of gurdwaras here and live side by side quite happily. But this guy belongs to some sort of sect which is between Sikh and Hindu, and has got quite obsessive about it. One of the previous pastors visited them last year to say goodbye, and said totally the wrong thing to him, which is why he has shut up his wife. So we are all in the dog house … but keep praying, let’s hope that he will let his wife out on a leash!!! 😉


      1. Gosh… I thought Sikhs and Hindus were peaceful people…. I guess there are always extremists and Angry Young Men and Rebels Without Causes in any sort of group of people.

        Ah well…. yes… let us pray for the poor wife!


  2. I’ve been to a few Sikh weddings in my time and THEY were exuberant affairs…though it was absolutely forbidden for me to speak to any of the women even though I knew some of them.
    Sad to hear about the friend’s husband. All the Hindus I’ve ever met have been quite tolerant. Sounds like there’s some past issue there.
    Glad you had such a good time though


    1. You’re astute, Athel – there is: the husband belongs to a sect that appears to be between Hinduism and Sikhism, and is possibly rather obsessional: and a previous pastor here put his foot in it with him big-time, a year and a half ago, which is when his wife was forbidden to have anything else to do with ‘us’. But normally we have good community relations with both faith groups.


    1. Astute, Menhir – we live in an area of gurdwaras and have good community relationships. This guy belongs to some kind of sect which has become somewhat obsessional. That’s number one. Number two is that a previous pastor visited them about 18 months ago and put his foot in it big-time, after which our friend was shut in.


  3. THanks for that…Wonderfully Colourful dscription of an obviously fabulous 60th Birthady Party….
    While reading the latter part I had a feeling you All would be Well…Hindu culture is usually MOST accommpdating..and charitable…;) xx


    1. Thanks, Bushka, for passing that on. I do hope so. A previous pastor put his foot in it, which has caused this rather extreme reaction – that, and the husband belongs to some kind of sect which has become rather obsessional.


  4. What a wonderful day all round, and I can well imagine the colour and overall beauty exhibted at the party.
    We Brits really did miss the boat somewhere when it comes to beauty, colour, dress, and just shere heavenly bling:)
    Also very glad to hear that fences were built – I think that’s the right expression.x


  5. I found that quite sad to read :yes: alas there will always be conflict when 2 religions are mixed wish it wasnt so but its common Im sure ..the positive thing is at least you were not shown the door so there is always hope at least as you say 😉


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