BabyShower or Dohale Jevan Part 1-Customs

The title says it all but this is a very delayed post almost by 8 months. Infact this should have been my 'featured post of 2015' but I just couldn't write it. No not due to the 'superstitious' reason it was purely medical. No I wasn't advised complete bed rest. On my baby shower I ended up eating so many sweets that my weight hyped up drastically and my doc was furious with me. She suggested that if the weight kept on increasing then it will not be good and thus asked to workout harder which totally kicked in the hyper-pregnancy-hormones and kicked out the idea of this post. Bottomline if any would-be parents are reading this post control the sugar intake since day one.

Dohale Jevan or Baby Shower is a customary function not a religious ceremony. The concept is to entertain the would be mom, feed her fresh food & homemade delicacies, basically make the pregnant lady happy so that the happiness, love, joy and blessings reaches the baby-to-be. 

Earlier the Godh Bharai function used to be a humble ceremony. The would-be- mother would dress up in a new saree along with flower accessories and other married ladies would do tilak, carry on with otibharan and thereby sing songs and make a homely meal which the pregnant lady often desires to eat.

Just FYI... {Tilak means applying haldi kumkum (that's turmeric and vermillion) on her forehead in between the two brows followed with some rice grains (akshata). Otibharan involves by placing oti in the lady's lap closer to the womb in her saree or another piece of cloth. The oti includes primarily a coconut, fistfull of rice & piece of cloth. Now according to individual budgets the cloth piece can be a blouse piece/saree/dress material,etc, plus the oti can also fresh fruits, dry fruits, sweets and flowers.}

Having a theme party is an ancient idea. Really!! Dohale Jevan is one such ancient custom which always revolves around a theme.I had read a book which explained that after the 5 month, to entertain and to make sure the pregnant lady has a good frame of mind many themed dhole jevan can be conducted.

The themes were carefully crafted so that each theme had its own benefit to the mother and the unborn child. 

  1. Early Sunrise: So that the mother gets good portion of Vitamin D
  2. On a Swing : by making her sit on a swing she would feel playful thus cheering her.
  3. Moonlight Dinner: If any fear of darkness is there that will be removed plus the moon will help in calming her nerves.
  4. Garden: among colorful flowers, she would breath fresh air and drive out the nausea.
  5. In a Boat: Pregnancy sometimes develops phobia of water, by taking the would be mother on a boat she would overcome the phobia and eventually the kid would also be brave. 
Based on the above concepts different colored sarees can be worn like for sunrise-yellow, for swing/garden- green and so on. Also, the props used in these functions have gained immense popularity. Thus the jhoola, moon and fruit-n-flower baskets. Infact, the book also mentioned that Jijamata, Shivaji Maharaj's mother, when was pregnant with Shivaji, would love to roam around the fort, loved reading religious books, plus participate in sword training as well as bow and arrow thus she had a son like Shivaji who was brave and mighty warrior.  Hence we also have a bow and arrow prop in the function. 

In recent times having so many dohale jevans is an expensive plus time consuming affair. Again this ceremony is only conducted once; when you are pregnant for the first time; so it's once in lifetime kinda function. Also, a 'typical western baby shower' is more interactive function as compared to a 'typical dohale jevan' due to the various games played. Thus we combine everything into one. 

My husband loves birds so when I told him that storks are associated with delivering babies and asked him if we could somewhere have storks in our babyshower theme? He loved the idea and we had storks at every step; in our invitation, in the games and in our decor along with the traditional decor of a Swing covered with flowers, plus the flower props and of course me dress up in a green saree with flower accesories.

 Makeup & Hairdo by Kallidora Salon, Borivali









In Part 2 will share the fun side of this function i.e. the invitation and the games part. Also, few dos and don'ts. Till then leaving with you with a small video snippet which was captured by my brother. Of Course it's not well shot but it's the only video footage I have of the function. I know will include it in the dos (to have a video shooting as well even if it's a home camera)

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  1. Hello Himashree, as you have mentioned in your post about 5 types of themes of "Dohalejevan" which you read in some book. can you please tell me the details of that book? I want to read in depth about themes. Thanks in advance. :)

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