Tuesday August 24th was Raksha Bandhan, a Hindu special day. For the past few weeks I'd seen folks picking through these boxes of beautiful thread bracelets at the markets and the grocery stores. Picture a bracelet made from embroidery thread with a beautiful beaded charm in the middle. It is tied around the wearers wrist. I found out they were for Raksha Bandhan, which occurs on the first full moon either in July or August. On the day of Raksha Bandhan, the sister will tie a rakhi (a holy thread) on the wrist of the brother and there will be an exchange of gifts. Traditionally only the brother would give a gift but nowadays both do it. The gift can be small, such as sweets, but some give a larger gift. One of the technicians at work told me her brother was giving her a new sari.
All of the walking I do is great, except for the state of my feet. Since we do not have a bathtub my feet are perpetually grimy. Everyone wears flip flops or sandels. I have not seen a single pair of tennis shoes ('trainers') except for tourists and the Converse Chuck Taylors that are apparently the 'it' foot wear for my students (the edgy ones, who wear them with a Billabong T-shirt). Since flip flops are the thing dirty feet are the result. I went and got a pedicure today, which was lovely, and I had clean feet until I walked home.
Counterfeit purses are everywhere - amazing! I was shopping a bit today and half the stores had Gucci, Coach and Prada purses - all fake. I think the Burberry stuff may be real - much of that brand is sewn on the island. Pasimas are dirt cheap - ones that are 70% cashmere sell for 100 Ru each (around 3.00 US). I'm going to buy a ton of those at market.