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Friday, February 10, 2006


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shannon clubb

You helped answer a question I always had, but never asked. Sai, our young kindergartener, seams to always have a white powder on his face-- as one might powder a babies bottom......... and now I now why!


Of all your blog entries, this was one of my most favorite! I love it when you get in to teacher mode. :-)


Clare: Yeah, I definitely got into teacher mode with this one, didn't I? But first, I had to get some tutoring of my own. Thanks to Arun Prakash (and others) for answering all my questions on this subject-


Shannon- yup, that would be it-


super super super lesson


Hi Folks,

I was surprised with the ingredients mentioned to create the "Holy ash" and actually spoke to a vedic scholar this morning.

As per the scriptures only cowdung must be used to create the holy ash. It must be whitish-gray in colour and not pure white. However vendors these days add perfumes and other components to produce the milky white holy ash - 'Adulterated' holy ash.

- Arunprakash


Basia, You've got to visit Prem and Beena Thomas while you're in Chennai.. They live in Annanagar, AD/72 Annanagar West. Im sure they would love to meet you..:) I'll post their phone number next time if you are interested.

Selvin Dhavidhu

Hi Basia, the pictures are very nice. I love to wear "thiruneer" or "vibuthi" or "holy ash". But my mom always says no-no. Well my English teacher once told me the reason behind "viboothy" or holy ash. This tradition was borrowed from ancient Egyptians whom used the Camel dungs. Since South Indians hadn't domesticated Camels, they chose Cow's. Since South India is very hot and humid, we always sweat. The holy-ash absorbes the sweat on the fore-head and reduces the burden on eyebrow. If the sweat is not absorbed, then it will enter into the head and will create one-sided headache. To prevent this thing only, people wear "viboothy". I'm not sure about the correctness of this information but it does sound correct. There is always a scientific reason behind most of the Hindu customs.

People wear sandal wood paste to cool themselves as well as as-a-deodrant. They apply sandal wood paste not only on their faces but also on their body and arms. Please do remember that in old days Tamil people don't wear shirts. There is one more thing called "Javvaadhu" which is mixed with sandal or holy ash and is applied on fore-head. It gives very good smell.

Many people look very beautiful/handsome when they applied "viboothy". I love to see my best friend Mani in "viboothy". But being a Chrisitan, my mother won't allow me to have viboothy. So sad. (Basically I will do any thing for my mother, I'm a momma's boy). Do you have any photos of infants having black dots to protect them from evil-eyes? I'm so eager to see more photos from India. Also I would like to know if you have any blog entries for "Culture Shock" in India.


Wow this post was great ! Thanks for so much information :)

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