8 years ago I walked into an interview at a small restaurant in Aurora called Bijoys, with absolutely no waitressing or food prep. experience and walked out with my first non-camp summer job! SCORE!! At that time I had no idea how much that restaurant or the owners- Bijoy and Sujata- would come to mean to me. Bijoy and Sujata have been incredible spiritual and life mentors through the years, challenging me to love people more, to serve better and modelling what living a life surrendered to Jesus Christ looks like (and the JOY that comes along with it). I'm so thankful for their continued presence in my life! I'm also SO thankful for how warmly and intentionally they've included me in and educated me about their Indian culture- the food, the clothes and the sense of community! Sujata and I have had many Indian cooking lessons where Sujata basically throws a million things together while I frantically try to write all the ingredients down (unsuccessfully), and then she ends up delivering an INCREDIBLE feast. She's always sharing new recipes and telling me about great spices! Last year she brought me a batch of Masala that was delicious!
Last year I had the privilege of attending their daughter Amira's wedding. Sujata lent me one of Amira's sari's to wear to the event....and if you haven't worn one...they are AMAZING!! SO COMFORTABLE AND CUTE!! But beware, they are WAY harder to put on than you'd think!
More than the clothes and the food, I've loved getting to experience the intense sense of community that is typical in Indian culture! I remember Bijoy telling me one time "Here in Canada people never say what they actually think. In India, we just say what we think. We're forward." I think that attitude comes from a place of love. When you love someone, you earn the right to speak truth into their lives, without worry of hurting them. At Amira's wedding, I went to the bathroom and bumped into a woman (a stranger to me) who said "WOW! You look beautiful in that Sari. Do you know what would make you look even better? A brighter lip! Actually, I have the perfect colour in my purse!" She went on to apply the lip stick....and when I eventually made it back to David who was still sitting at the table he said "What the heck happened to you?!?!" HA HA.
All of these experiences have fostered a deep love for Indian culture that I just couldn't keep to myself! On Saturday night David and I hosted a Bollywood themed Halloween party and it was AWESOME! Guests came dressed in Indian garb, we ate delicious food, played lots of card games and even had a dance party!
Here are some of the pics from the night:
I hope guests of my party went home feeling inspired to reach out and get to know people from all different cultures! We have so much to learn from and to offer each other!
Hi! I'm Mrs. Julia Dawe,