Baby showers around the world

Baby showers around the world

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No matter where people are from originally, it seems that most of them like celebrating a baby's impending arrival in pretty much the same way — with food, games, and presents. Several international our site readers shared their experiences with us.

An Indian twist on an American tradition

My husband and I are Asian-Indians, and in our community, we have a "baby shower" ceremony in the seventh month of pregnancy. There are many variations on the ceremony, but they all have a general theme of welcoming the unborn child and congratulating the pregnant woman for carrying the baby by serving foods that she likes.

This ceremony is usually coed, with many gifts coming from the father-in-law, brothers-in-law, and so on. In turn, the pregnant woman offers the male family members sprouted lentils or chickpeas, indicating her desire to carry life and expand the family.

But we live in the United States, where it is difficult to gather our family members. So my husband's college friends and their wives got together for my baby shower.

They conspired with my husband and told me it was a friend's birthday and that we all were going to hide in her house at 6:30 p.m. while her husband took her out so we could surprise her. Totally unsuspecting, I was completely shocked when I opened their door and heard, "It's your baby shower!"

We had a spicy Indian "chaat" menu and played American games. Spicy and sour chaat food is a fairly typical craving of pregnant women in India. For those familiar with Indian food, the menu was Papri-chaat, chhola-tikki, samosas, chhola-bhatura, bhel-puri and pani-puri (gol-gappas), gulab-jamuns — all painstakingly made by our friends at their home.

We had a few things to eat and then played games where we competed to get the most safety pins from each other, unscrambled baby-related words, and tried to remember which baby items had been on a tray. They also wanted to guess my waist size, but I was not very comfortable with that, so they dropped the idea.

After that we ate some more and had an impromptu game of "assemble the stroller." It was a lot of fun watching our friends — most of whom are engineers — trying to figure out what goes where and, finally, how to operate the stroller, too.

After even more food and the ever-popular game of poker (the guys just can't do without it, and we girls always protest, but secretly we enjoy it, too), we ended the night with a lot of hints being dropped to the other ladies of the group to get "in the family way," too.

Now two more of the ladies are pregnant, and one of them had her baby shower, another coed one, last month!

— Deep Shikha Rastogi

His-and-her affair in Zimbabwe

I'm from Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe in Southern Africa. My former boss passed away in June last year when her daughter, Tamara, was a few months pregnant. I asked her stepdad, William, if I could organize a baby shower for Tamara, seeing as her mom wouldn't be there to do it for her. Three of us put our heads together, and we decided it was going to be a his-and-hers baby shower so that Gary, Tamara's husband, wouldn't feel left out.

It was an evening do in the garden, and everyone had a great time. We had tons of helium balloons and lots of snacks. I got two wooden playpens and decorated them with swags of white cotton and bunches of flowers. Tamara and Gary each sat in one while opening their gifts. We also dressed them up in baby bonnets and bibs and made up their faces with freckles and red cheeks. It was really great fun.

They received oodles of wonderful gifts and partied until the early hours (the mom-to-be, of course, had soft drinks). I think it was an excellent idea because all the ladies could bring their partners instead of leaving them at home watching football!

— Crystal, Harare, Zimbabwe

Sixth night in Afghanistan

Parents in Afghanistan normally celebrate on the sixth night after the baby is born. There's usually a big feast and a party. Family and friends bring presents for the new baby and congratulate the parents and the grandparents.

The guests know the sex of the baby, so they can bring the right presents. And there's no worry about miscarriage after the baby shower, which would be a big trauma for the family. The sixth night is a good way to celebrate because you can be more relaxed, knowing that the baby is safe and sound.

— Anonymous

A Dominican fiesta

In the Dominican Republic we throw huge baby showers. Co-ed of course — you'll need a dancing partner! We try to keep the party a surprise.

Before the mami-to-be opens her gifts there's a series of games that must be played: three or four baby bottles are filled either with juice (if women are participating) or beer (if men are participating). The one to drink it all wins a prize.

The next game is played in pairs. Both people are blindfolded and one has to feed the other. It's messy and great fun! When the mami-to-be opens her gifts, the ribbons and bows are made into a hat and the papi has to wear it for the whole night.

The whole thing is topped off with lots of food and dancing. At the end of the night, everyone is tired and happy and usually leaves with a few plates of leftovers!

— Pregnant Again!

A European twist

In Bulgaria our family has two twists on the baby shower. First, there is no silverware for the food and no individual plates, so all the relatives and friends have to become closer, sharing all their food.

Second, a tray with a large square scarf is passed around the table, and everyone puts money into it. When everyone has given something, the father of the baby ties the scarf and chucks it on top of the tallest object in the house, such as a wardrobe. The money in the package is for the child, to be stored away for a rainy day.

— Anonymous

A Southern India party

In Southern India we celebrate baby showers in a different way. When the mom-to-be is 7 months pregnant, her family hosts a party. The ceremony celebrates the mom-to-be and prays for the well-being of both mother and child. Gifts, usually of money (since traditionally we don't buy anything for the baby until the baby is born), are given to the future parents.

The ceremony is also called the bangle ceremony because all the women place bangles on the mom-to-be's hands as a symbol of their blessings. By the end of the ceremony, she usually has bangles all the way up to her elbows! In the past, the mom-to-be wore these until the time of the delivery. During labor, she would remove the bangles one by one, to take her mind off the pain of contractions.

— Usha Lyer

Watch the video: STL Moms: Curbside baby showers are the new trend amid coronavirus (June 2022).