Event Review: Himalayan Fair (and some thoughts about goddesses)

Dholrhythms and the Wednesdays
Photo by Jared Baird
The Wednesdays performed Saturday afternoon to a crowd of about 250 people at Berkeley's Himalayan Fair.  The rain held off until the evening, and despite the fact that the festival was running ahead of schedule (we literally ran to the stage to make our first number!) the performance was great.  Katia joined us for her first Wednesdays performance (yay!) and we danced three songs before being joined by Vicki for the fourth.  Dholrhythms troupe members Lana and Carrie joined Vicki for a fabulous high-energy end to the performance.

Jared was our designated photographer for the performance (thanks!) and he managed to capture this curious photo.  Without the un-prearranged use of Andrea's arms this would not have been possible...

Quick!  Who is your favorite four-armed Hindu goddess?  Kali (in one of her forms)?  Sarawsati?  Lakshmi?  I vote for Lakshmi, because I could certainly use a little wealth and prosperity coming my way these days (and perhaps the perfect job as well).  When I was living in Jaipur, the Birla Mandir was one of my favorite places to go when it was hot (it was always cool sitting on the white marble inside in the shade, and I always had funny interactions with those at the Lakshmi temple).  I find it somehow appropriate to find a Hindu goddess in the midst of a Punjabi folk dance performed in "Indianish" costumes with designer chunnis from Delhi at a Himalayan fair.  If that's not Berkeley, I don't know what is.

As I was watching Manisha cook a beautiful dinner that night, I asked her if there was a goddess of cooking.  The big-time Hindu goddesses are pretty well known, but I'm not as familiar with the smaller ones.   She replied that Annapurna is the goddess of nourishment, a form of Parvati.  A quick search for other goddesses I wasn't aware of yielded Bhuvaneswari.  As she's considered the queen goddess she doesn't exactly qualify as small.  I think it's worth some further research to uncover those smaller, everyday goddesses within the fabric of everyday life.  To make a bad pun on Arundhati Roy, the goddesses of small things.