A few weeks ago, we hosted a baby shower for our neighbors, who are having their first child. When the invitations went out, they had been told the child was a girl, but the day before, the news changed, so it was good that we’d made at least a few of the decorations gender neutral!
It was hard to find anything baby themed here in Dhaka, because it’s not part of the culture to celebrate a baby before it actually arrives. It was hard to even find party supplies that were for adults, however, rather than kids birthdays. If you want a Ben-10 themed party, or Doremon, or Dora, you’re set. DIT 1 has everything you could ever want and more. At Lavender market, they even have balloons in odd animal shapes, but no normal ones. So, I had to make some, and use things that aren’t typically party supplies.
I made a banner from the only 3 colors of tag board/poster paper I found in all of the markets I searched. Luckily, those colors were pastel green, blue and pink. I used some of my weaving warp as the banner’s string. The banner flags also came together to make a Welcome Baby sign.
A friend loaned me some old pink saris, and they made a great window covering, to block the view of our neighbor’s laundry lines, and hide the embassy’s bland beige curtains, but still let some light in.
The flowers came from a wedding flower vendor, and are as glitzy as possible. They also had a weird gasoline smell, so I burned a candle in the dining room the day before to cover/eliminate it. I covered the table with a queen sized bed spread that I’d found at the handicrafts store (table cloths are almost all white here, and often embroidered, but not in a fun way, only in a formal holiday dinner way. There are also block printed cloths, but not in the diplomatic zone, you have to go to New Market for those). I cut out circles from metallic wrapping paper to drop on the tablecloth and match the sparkley flowers. If you really want to glam things up, the wedding shops on Elephant Road have everything crazy-glittery that you could ever want. A friend decorated the cupcakes for the party, and made them blue at the 11th hour when we’d heard of the gender change.
Luckily, our commissary-purchased dishes and cups were blue, rather than the typical Solo-red, since we were trying to choose something that would look nice with the other colors. (Thanks Mr. A!). The punch just happened to be blue already as well, as was the punch-stand and the scarf that I used as a buffet cover.
We had two baby shower games, neither of which were particularly embarrassing or gross:
1. Pin the face on the baby, in which blindfolded party-goers stuck cut outs of the to-be-parents’ facial features onto a drawing of a baby. The result was somewhat Frankenstein-esque, but the game was fun.
2. Mad-libs, in which everyone filled out a card that had a mad-lib word description on it (i.e. “famous person’ name”). I read the completed story aloud, filling in the blanks with the words people had written down. I wrote the story myself, since I couldn’t find an appropriate one online.
All in all, the event went really well. I was surprised how grateful the to-be-parents were, and how smoothly it all came together. Our main room isn’t really meant for 30+ people, but we managed to squeeze in comfortably.