Ramadan Mubarak everyone. I pray that this month is a beneficial one for all of us, that we break old habits and create new ones, that we have an increase in peace, blessings and mercy and that we all come closer to God. Ameen.
I was recently asked to take photos at a dholki party that a friend of my sister’s was having. A dholki is a party that takes place before a wedding which involves dancing and singing traditional songs to the beat of a drum – a dholki. The event was held in a private space in a restaurant meaning that we would be able to have good food and then have a space for the entertainment. Dholkis are mainly for women (and young children), giving the women a chance to let their hair down without any inhibitions.
The theme of the event was peacock feathers with colours pulled out to decorate other parts of the space which I really liked.
The bride-to-be’s friends set up dessert tables near the entrance that I though were really creative and colourful. I thought the popcorn was a nice way to keep the kids happy until food was served. I also loved the cake shaped in a cushion.
After everyone had dinner cushions, the drum and song books were placed together so that everyone could sit and sing songs together.
Once everyone had sung enough songs, the floor space was cleared so that people could dance. The bride and her friends had choreographed a few dances together, which was fun to watch.
It was a fun evening and a nice way to give women close to the bride-to-be a chance to spend time together with the her and her family.
Canary Wharf is hosting it’s Winter Lights event again this year and last night was the first night it was on, so I, along with my sister and niece, went to see what colourful, creative displays would be on show.
Stepping out of the station we were greeted with one of the most popular displays. This consisted of coloured light balls hanging on wires in neat rows, changing colour in time with the rhythm of the music that was being played. It was quite surreal standing in the middle surrounding by these lights and really fun one. I did, however, find it really tricky trying to get a good photo.
I also thought the recycled plastic insects were interesting which didn’t have any light but the fluorescent paint made them glow. And the lit up hopscotch game made me think of when I used to play when I was younger (and yes I did have ago!).
Some of the installations had music or sounds to go along with them, like the lines making up the shape of a whale, which emitted whale noises and moved like one too. The fountains had playful music along with varying shapes and colours the shooting water made which I quite enjoyed.
One thing I noticed was that there was a lot of colourful pieces this year. The lit up, colour changing maze was one, and was quite fun, but the other piece I really liked were the beautifully colourful prisms, that you could spin to create a reflective effect. These were also tricky to photograph as people kept spinning them really fast but I finally got a decent shot. Next we walked up to the square filled with glowing, colourful trees making them seem almost dreamlike. This one was nice just to sit and look at, giving us a chance to have a little rest.
I think one of the most clever and interactive installations was the colourful bench that when you put your hand on the sensor showed your heartbeat in lines and patterns along where you were sitting. I also liked the animal silhouettes that walked along the water edge with corresponding animal sounds playing around you, something simple but effective.
It took us a few hours to find all the installations, by which point we were pretty cold and tired, but we did all really enjoy the event. The Winter Lights event is on for 2 weeks and I would definitely recommend if you happen to be around. Just remember to wrap up.
I went to a wedding recently of a couple that are close to my family. The venue was prettily decorated and everyone was dressed in their best to help celebrate the happy day with the couple.
The bride and groom made for a handsome couple, and I loved how the bride’s hands had beautiful henna on them and were embellished with some sparkly jewellery.
Everyone had a great evening and I hope the couple have a happy, healthy future ahead of them.
The Winter season in London can sometimes feel long and cold, but to help brighten it up there have been a couple of light events to make the most of it getting dark early. There was Lumiere London which had art installations scattered around central London, and there was also a similar event held in Canary Wharf, which was just as great. This event was also held last year which was very good, so I was looking forward to this year’s.
One windy evening my sister and I headed down to see what was on show. There were installations indoors ad well as out but we decided to do the ones outside first. There were some really interesting ones that I really liked, such as Halo which was a ring of lights and to make it even better it was suspended above a pool of water giving it a nice reflection. My favourite was the wonderful Dodecahedron which you could also climb into to take in the stunning colours. The huge inflated, lit up rabbit was also cute I thought. There were also pieces that interacted with music or with movement by people that was interesting.
Once we’d seen all the installations outside, we headed indoors to see the ones displayed there as well as warm up, as we were freezing. I thought these ones were even lovelier than the ones outside. There was wearable fashion such as a dress with LEDs and a clutch that you could have words appear on.
One that was really intriguing, simple and so effective were the giant, colourful, bubble-like balloons hanging from rods. They were made from plastic strips and as they retracted and expanded they changed shape as they spun. My absolute favourite though, were the colourful mosaic lanterns that cast beautiful light patterns on the walls and ceiling. I did suggest it could be my next birthday present but I don’t think my sister will be taking it as they were quite pricey.
There were a few we couldn’t find but having wandered around Canary Wharf for long enough we decided it was time to go home. I thought this light event was really good, and I feel lucky to be able to see such great art installations close to home, which certainly helped brighten up the winter nights.
This weekend my sister and I went to the London Muslim Lifestyle show in West London, which was an event bringing together different products and services that are available for Muslims. I wasn’t too sure what to expect but I was looking forward to finding out.
There was a wide variety of things on offer; from different kind of foods, to jewellery and books.
My favourite things were the beautiful pieces of Arabic art, the stunning bottles of attar/perfume and tasty food on offer. I learnt lots of new things and was genuinely impressed by all innovative ideas that were presented from new phone apps to products that filled gaps in the market.
It was tempting to buy everything I liked, which was too much, but I managed to hold back and stick mainly to window shopping and tasters, treating myself to a few lovely things.
As you can tell I got a bit carried away with my photos, but there was just so much to see. As well as stalls there were fashion shows, singers and workshops that you could attend. My sister and I also had a lot of fun having our photos taken in photo booths wearing silly props. I thought it was an interesting event and meeting a diverse range of smiley people people, both Muslim and non created a great atmosphere.
I’ve been trying to post more frequently but things have been super busy over the last few months with Eid, weddings and birthdays, (not to mention dodgy internet connections which hasn’t helped either!), but hopefully it seems a bit calmer now which means that I can get up to speed with my posts.
I wanted to share more pictures from my younger sister’s wedding that took place a couple of months ago. In Pakistan and other South Asian countries it is tradition for the bride-to-be to decorate her hands and feet with henna/mehndi a couple of nights before the wedding. The design my sister chose was intricate and very delicate and with the steady, skilled hands of the mehndi artist it came out beautifully
These patterns soon became much more complex and full, with henna being applied on both sides of my sisters’ hands and parts of her arms. You can click on the pictures below to view larger images, and close ups, (maybe if you look close enough you’ll find the name of the groom which he is supposed to look for on the night of the wedding).
I didn’t get a chance to have any henna applied to my hands, but a number of the guests did, including my baby niece who had a butterfly pattern applied (and which lasted about 10 minutes before it got smudged).
I think the finished result of my sister’s hennaed hands was beautiful, reminding me of lace gloves with intricate, delicate patterns. My sister kept the henna on until the following morning before washing it off to make sure the dye was as dark as possible, which you will be able to see soon in photos that I am hoping to post of the wedding
I’ve been itching to post some photos of my younger sister’s wedding now it’s all over but I don’t want to spoil the surprise as I know she wants to be the first to showcase the exciting event, so while I wait patiently (well, kind of), here’s a sneak peak of a couple of pics
I know these don’t give much away but hopefully more to come soon
Wedding season is in full swing at the moment and this year we have a big wedding in our family too; my youngest sister is getting married. To get the ball rolling with the celebrations my older sister decided to throw her a bridal shower, the theme; vintage, which means florals, pearls, pastels and polka dots. We held the bridal shower in the garden so we can enjoy the good weather, the extra space and also have my mum’s pretty flowers to add to the theme.
To add a bit of shade and colour we hung some pretty, flowery scarves from the fences, across the garden and added my sister’s handmade banners. We also added lots of other little touches to make the garden pretty
We each made some food for the day; my older sister made macaroni salad, my younger sister brought along chicken sandwiches and my sister-in-law made a pretty trifle. My contribution was chocolate dipped strawberries, plates of cut summer fruits and old fashioned lemonade which I thought would add a nice touch to a summery party. Our guests also brought along food and other tasty treats to share so we had lots of variety
For fun my sister-in-law arranged a quiz for my sister who is getting married where she asked her fiancé 20 questions and asked my sister to see if she could guess how he answered. For each question she got wrong she had to put to put a piece of chewing gum in her mouth – I think she got about 2 right so she got through several packets!
Overall, it was a lovely bridal shower and everyone was able to enjoy the good weather, food and company. I think it was my baby nieces and cousin though, who stole the show with their pretty smiles and polka dot and flowery dresses, who got away with being cheeky and running off with numerous biscuits and cakes
Next up my sister-in-law is hosting a 1920’s themed party for the bride-to-be which we’re all looking forward to