For the Indian mindset, getting a place of one's own is the acme of personal and social achievement. It's an occasion for thanksgiving and special "puja," or prayers, which will bless one's life in the new abode. A housewarming is, in itself, a religious occasion called "Griha Parvarish" and is punctuated with the worshipping of Lord Satyanarayan and is held on a day of the full moon. Then special prayers are made to Lord Ganesha, who's responsible for ridding the new house of evil.
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Religious Statues and Puja Thalis
Lord Ganesha is responsible for clearing the new house of all ills, hence his idol will be highly prized by a typical Hindu family. However, statues of other Hindu deities will also be welcome, like "Lakhshami," the goddess of wealth and prosperity. The prayers or "puja" will be incomplete without a proper utensil for the holy fire, flowers and food for the gods. Hence, puja thalis, or plates, make a particularly appropriate gift. There's also the lakshmi arti and the brass lamp to go in the puja room.
Since the kitchen is the heart of the house, special brass and copper bowls, big plates, jugs, "handis" -- or cooking pots mostly lined with beaten copper at the base -- will be useful and appropriate. There are two kinds of utensils used in Indian homes. Those used for cooking food in and those used for eating food from. Both kinds will be appreciated by the hosts. The guests, in their turn will be sumptuously fed by the hosts for attending their housewarming party.
Decoration and Wall Hangings
The Indian home is a colourful place wherein aristic expression takes religious forms. Devotional paintings hold pride of place. Idols carved from stone or forged from beaten metal grace alcoves and niches. Scenic portraits are also appreciated. Mughul miniature-inspired bijoux boxes and dancing figurines may make a popular gift as well.
Furniture and Jharokas
Especially popular in Indian homes is the heavily carved decorated wooden canopy called a "jharoka." It mostly frames an alcove or a window where traditionally the women of the house resided. They come in ready-made sizes and make excellent gifts. Ornately carved wooden furniture pieces occupy pride of place in Indian "drawing rooms" and will make a lovely house warming present for those of you intent on widening the purse strings for your Indian friends' housewarming party.
Carpets and Shawls
Presenting the owners of the new house with rugs and carpets will surely make them happy. Decorative Indian cushion covers, sofa throws and entrance mats can also be presented. The Indian shawl is not just an item of daily wear, it can be framed and tuned into a sumptuous wall hanging for everyone to admire.
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