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Id-Ul-Alha (Hadji Festival Day)

So it’s Id-Ul-Alha, or Hadji Festival Day.

We had outside food – Fahim’s mom had arranged it last week or so, I believe, and it was mutton biryani and curries. The chicken biryani we get from The Banana Leaf, a restaurant owned by one of Fahim’s uncles, is way better, but that’s only because theirs is pretty much the best anywhere. Oh my!

Although right now, it’s closed – for renovations, we think. We hope.

After lunch, Fahim’s mom decided she wanted to go shopping, so of course, Fathima and I were recruited to go along. Fahmi drove and also hung out with Zara at Arpico, but they were in the children’s toy sections.

Zara’s score? A barbie, a musical bus that annoyed the heck out of absolutely everyone else, a packet of farm animals, a packet of wild animals, and possibly one or two other things. The bus, of course, was the huge hit with Zara. >_<

This Arpico – in Nugegoda a few minutes away from their house – had kiwis. You know, the fruit, not the New Zealanders. Well, there might have been New Zealanders, but I didn’t hear any. But I did see the fruit. 😀 I was ecstatic! So we got two – one for Zara, I think, and one for me.

Fathima also picked up the necessary supplies for string hoppers – the press for pressing the dough into strings and the basket thingies on which to put them for steaming.

Then we stopped off in the clothing outlet portion of Arpico’s just next door ( I didn’t know Arpico had clothing outlets!) where Fahmi, in playing with Zara and bouncing her up in the air, broke a set of lights with Zara’s head.

Ooops.

Later that evening, Fahim’s parents and Fahmi went into the parents bedroom. Experience tells me that when that happens, it’s usually fabric picking time. 😀 So I poked my head in and got suckered in. :p

Fahim’s mom bought a shalwaar kit that was intended for Fahmi’s intended, only Fahmi didn’t like it.

So I was asked my opinion with the intention that, if I liked it, it was mine.

The color – purple, in case you hadn’t guessed :p – is a great color for me. The beading and embroidery is lovely, especially for a fancier shalwaar.

The problem?

It’s polyester.

I asked Fahim’s mom to make sure, and her reply was that it was silk. Unfortunately, people here talk about silk as a type of weave and so confuse it with silk the fibre. I think I once told her that cotton, rayon, and silk were good fabrics for me, not realizing at that point perhaps that silk was a type of weave.

It’s kinda like when people here talk about saffron. They ain’t talking about The Saffron filaments, or threads, are actually the dried stigmas of the saffron flower, “Crocus Sativus Linneaus”.

Nope. They be talking about saffron aka turmeric, or Curcuma domestica, the rhizome or underground stem of a ginger-like plan.

So when Fahim’s mom calls this silk, I’m honestly not surprised.

So push comes to shove, and she asks, through our translators, whether I like it or no. So I say…

I love the color.

I love the beadwork.

And she shoves it at me, a huge grin on her face.

And I say, “But I’m not sure about the fibre.”

It’s polyester, I have no doubt of that, and polyester isn’t a good fabric for me. BUT.

Remember that blue voile I found a while back that I soaked like five times to soften it up so I could use it as a shawl?

If I get some more of that in black, I can make a camisole and pants thingie to wear underneath the shalwaar as lining so that my skin doesn’t come into too much direct contact with the polyester. The voile is light enough that it won’t add much in terms of heat, so it’ll be fine I think.

Anyway, if you look at this picture, you’ll see on the right side (and the picture up above as well) the shalwaar material, and this heavily beaded and embroidered bit will be the bottom of the front of the shalwaar. The fabric on the right in this picture is the shawl. The pants material is just a plain purple, exact same shade, so I didn’t bother photographing it.

Fahim’s mom has also cautioned me against washing any of the fabric I got. As far as she’s concerned, it should all be drycleaned because of the beading and the embroidery, and for this set of fabric, because it’s silk and therefore it will ruin easily. She also said that the cotton doesn’t need preshrinking because it’s foreign fabric (from Dubai). I think she means it was already preshrunk, but I’m not positive.

I’m not so convinced, but I won’t wash them until after I’ve worn them at least once.

See, I think they’d both be fine in a delicate cycle or handwashed, but I also suspect that she’s thinking about how people here handwash their clothing.

Remember, it’s only the last eight years or so since washing machines really entered Sri Lanka, and even then, only for the well-to-do at first. Or perhaps even now. I’m not sure.

I’ve seen people washing their clothes in buckets at the side of the road where the community water pipes are, and they’re not the least bit gentle when they’re washing. Fahim’s mom is probably thinking about that, which is not at all the same thing that I’m talking about. Cultural differences in understanding the same set of words, that’s what I think it all boils down to.

Oh, and the other thing. I’ve also been ordered not to sew this one, either. To Hameedia‘s it goes!

So. 😀 I scored a second shalwaar kit from Fahim’s mom. 😀

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