PudStar’s 7th birthday party theme came about over a family dinner discussion…oh…about a year ago. Disco parties for young children were mentioned and discussed and dissected and debated and theorized before my mum piped up with ‘I reckon a Bollywood party is a better idea!’. Sold! To Pud.
All of our book parties to date have book themed (see here) – this one was the opposite way around! Theme decided, then books sought on India so that Pud understood where Bollywood originated from – sheesh I am a such teacher librarian. Her favourite Indian themed books are at the end of this post, along with my favourite Indian cookboks.
Dad does a far bit of work in Singapore so he was charged with sari and bangle purchases and my brothers partner was enlisted as a Bollywood dance teacher – we are all in serious awe of for her ability to run, jump, hop, skip, kick, cycle, bend her body so she was a no brainer as the choice for dance teacher – despite knowing little about Bollywood. She did an amazing job organising posters which showed all the basic moves, working out a number of routines to teach and then organising pretty much a Bollywood interpretive dance session with enthusiastic 7 year olds. This is my form of outsourcing – enlist family members to do the work.
Purple and orange were the colours of Pud’s favourite saris and a visit to my fav local Indian grocer sorted decorations. Pud made several signs and glued marigold type flowers onto lanterns and tissue paper balls. Candles in orange jars and bowls filled with marigolds from the garden sorted the food, drinks and activity tables easily. If nothing else, Pud is thorough in her styling.
The sari’s dad got in Singapore came wrapped in Indian newspaper so all platters were lined with this and then covered in translucent paper – cause no one wants to eat newsprint.
We had gold and silver henna style temporary tattoos and ‘bindis’ to apply to the guests when they arrived. Not being Indian (you’d never have guess with all that blonde hair would you?), it didn’t seem right to use real bindis, but purple glitter dots were a hit – even on nan – who was in charge of baby holding.
The girls were then helped into their choice of sari – from the floor – folding is not my thing – and bracelets were added.
After dots, bracelets, tattoos and saris were organised the girls all made beaded anklets and bracelets with lots of bells to tinkle when dancing. ChickPea upended many containers of beads and generally got in the way – she also refused to remove her dinosaur t-shirt, so she was a sari wearing dinosaur.
Nonna having her tattoo applied.
After food, there was the Bollywood dance class – Sam totally missed her calling in life as a teacher. The 7 years old absolutely loved the dance class, while ChickPea and her band of smaller siblings ruled the cubbyhouse and shouted at anyone who came near them. Entirely appropriate.
I couldn’t really give a hoot about the decorations…I just want to sit down and plan food, cook food, then eat food. PudStar’s first birthday was a Middle Eastern feast with a side serve of Miffy theme (so it looked like a kids birthday!). I have many Indian cookbooks, and many recipes from family friend Mrs Nair but my two favs are ‘From India’ (gorgeous hardcover, cloth bound book) and Rick Stein’s ‘India’.
Given this was for 7 year olds who probably weren’t into chilli and spiced laced curries, we just had mild curry puffs with chutney, teeny tiny naan breads with cucumber and yoghurt raita, pappadums, onion rings and that Indian cracker mix thing I can never remember the name of. Followed by orange jelly with mango, mango lassi drinks, cupcakes (bubblegum flavoured – don’t ask) with marigolds, cake ball things made by Pud, melting moment biscuits with purple icing made by Nan and birthday cake. For the first time ever I ordered the fondant flowers and fondant cake topper. I was going to make them myself but I am ridiculously busy at work and I know this gorgeous girl, Sammy from ‘The Cupcake Taste’, so it was a no-brainer – and clearly she did a MUCH BETTER JOB than I would ever do! Her figurines are cute but not kitsch and I do so love to support a local business. She nailed it with the blonde haired Bollywood dancer – PudStar was stoked, as I was…cause all I had to do was make a round cake and ice it. This was all a lot less food than what I normally make….cause I have discovered that other people (especially excitable children) do not necessarily share my belief that parties are about food.
So to the books! Borrowed a stack of nonfiction books on India for Pud but most of all she loved these two books of Indian folktales. Below those is my favourite Indian cookbooks as mentioned above and one of my favourite Bollywood movies – which Pud also loves, ‘Bride and Prejudice’, a Bollywood style ‘Pride and Prejudice’.
Click on titles or front cover images to add these books/movies to your home, school or library collection.