Now, I tend to feel a little out of place at "cultural events" here because often, they're these manufactured tourist traps that make everyone a little uncomfortable.
But living in Kerala offered me the chance to see first-hand a really cool even on Wednesday that I otherwise probably would have written off or not been aware of.
Vidyarambham is a sweet little ceremony conducted for children to be inducted into the world of letters and learning. As such, the children are taken by teachers and shown how to write their first Malayalam characters in a bed of rice.
Enough description -- the pictures really are much more interesting.
A few notes: The girl in orange definitely looks like she's about to say, "Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis?" And I love the family portrait because if you look closely, mother, baby, and young boy all have their tongues sticking out. It's a family trait.
The boy's posture here is great. He is so at ease with his tiny little body!
The childrens' reactions to the ceremony varied. Some were stoic (right); others, fussy. It's kind of like the annual mall pilgrimmage, a Hajj for Santa's lap -- sometimes you win, and the kid has a good time pulling Santa's beard; other times, it's picture after picture of a screaming mess.