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Episode 302 - Passage To India
Indian Accessories
So many little things!
The best way to sum up entertaining along an Indian theme comes from an ancient Indian expression which is: “a guest is equal to God”. I have been dying to do an Indian entertaining extravaganza since Savoir Faire first went on the air. Here are some ideas for Indian accoutrements which will create an exotic atmosphere of “east meets west” at a party your guests won’t soon forget!

Our role as tour guides began with invitations which were sent out on Indian stationery. As added decoration, we affixed “bindi” onto this imported paper product. These colourful adornments that Indian women wear on their forehead added a nice look as well as a promise of exciting and unusual things to come. The stationery looked so beautiful we decided that we would use smaller cards later, as place-cards on the dinner table.

When the day of the party finally arrived, we decorated our living room with silk banners that served as a backdrop. Taking various colours of fine silk fabric (shades of pink, lime green, tangerine, etc), we sewed two pieces of fabric together for each banner and then hung them from the ceiling, placing a wooden dowel in the bottom of each one to help keep them aligned. We used the same fabric to cover our sofa pillows and then we placed them on the sofa as well as all around on the floor.

Our decorations were not confined to the living room area. Going all out in an attempt to indulge the five senses of each and every one of our guests, we placed traditional Indian items everywhere from the bathrooms to the side tables. Our finds included “mhendi”, a hand henna which is traditionally used to decorate the bride’s hands in an Indian wedding ceremony; as well, Indian faux jewelry: hair clips, earrings, and especially “tikkahs” which hang down the centre of the forehead and are an important part of Indian ladies’ costumes; “churis”, glass bangles, which were handed out to female guests when they arrived, were also placed around the house. We also intermingled musical instruments such as: small brass cymbals, a wooden clarinet, and bells on straps which are traditionally worn on the ankle or wrist, in order to enhance and accent.

Our vivid, exotic atmosphere had finally taken shape as we added the final details: colourful Indian-style candles; brass candleholders filled with “gie” (clarified butter); fresh flowers, such as carnations; brass vases filled with peacock feathers; and, of course, traditional Indian treats, placed in bronze dishes, for our guests to nibble on in anticipation of the delicious dinner ahead of them.

The Indian music, which we had selected after having consulted an Indian music expert at a music store, was the perfect final touch. We eagerly awaited the arrival of our guests in the knowledge that we had a created a sumptuous setting for a “Passage to India”.