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Sikh News The Sardar & The President: The Obamas Fete India's First Family

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by spnadmin, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    The Sardar & The President: The Obamas Fete India's First Family

    <small>by JOSH WINGROVE</small>

    <!-- <small>November 25th, 2009</small>-->
    In a green affair featuring locally grown food and held on the White House lawn, U.S President Barack Obama welcomed Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to his first official state dinner Tuesday night (November 24, 2009).

    The black-tie gala was seen as an important gesture of co-operation between the two countries.

    It was held under a tent on the South Lawn of the White House, in keeping with a theme of "the Obamas' dedication to green and sustainable elements," according to an official White House summary.

    The food included vegetables grown in the White House garden; a meatless entree to satisfy Sardar Manmohan Singh, a vegetarian; and gift bags that included a jar of honey from White House beehives. Locally grown magnolias lined the dinner tent.

    In welcoming the crowd to his first state dinner as President, Mr. Obama praised the relationship between India and the United States, the world's two largest democracies.

    "Tonight, under the stars, we celebrate the spirit that will sustain our partnership, the bond of friendship between our people," he told the crowd. He credited a "movement led by giants like Gandhi and King, which are the reason both of us can stand here tonight."

    Mr. Manmohan Singh pledged continued co-operation between the countries and heaped praise on Mr. Obama and first lady Michelle Obama. "You do us and the people of India great honour by this wonderful gesture on your part," he said of being selected for the first state dinner.

    "We are overwhelmed by the warmth of your hospitality, the courtesy you have extended to us personally, and the grace and charm of the first lady," Mr. Manmohan Singh said. "You are an inspiration to all those who cherish the values of democracy, diversity, and equal opportunity."

    After brief speeches, Mr. Obama thanked the crowd and Mr. Manmohan Singh, to whom he quietly said, smiling: "Finally you can sit down and eat."

    The five-course meal was prepared by Marcus Samuelsson, an award-winning chef who has apprenticed across Europe and the United States and was named one of "The Great Chefs of America" by the Culinary Institute of America.

    The meal began with potato and eggplant salad and White House arugula, and added a red lentil soup soon after.

    A choice of entrees included roasted potato dumplings with tomato chutney, chick peas and okra, or a meal of green curry prawns.

    In a nod to the upcoming American Thanksgiving, a pumpkin pie tart was among a number of dessert courses.

    Ms. Obama worked with Mr. Samuelsson and White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford to develop "a menu that reflects the best of American cuisine, continues this White House's commitment to serving fresh, sustainable and regional food, and honours the culinary excellence and flavours that are present in Indian cuisine."

    The desserts were garnished with mint and lemon verbena grown in the White House garden.

    While India's First Lady, Sardarni Gursharan Kaur, wore a traditional sari, Ms. Obama's golden, strapless gown also had an Indian flavour.

    Naeem Khan, who designed Ms. Obama's dress, said the gown took three weeks of work by about 40 people to make.

    "It's so beautiful, totally handmade," explained Mr. Khan.

    In addition to the silver-sequined gown, Ms. Obama wore a matching wrap, a stack of bangle bracelets on her wrist and dangling earrings.

    "I think she looks fabulous," said Mary Tomer, author of the new book Mrs. O: The Face of Fashion Democracy . "She walked out in something that's figure-flattering and chic. Naeem's work is known for glamour and embellishment and this dress seems to embody that. She's sparkling and radiant."

    Mr. Obama stuck to a classic tuxedo.
    "I often feel Obama's suits are too big on him, but I think he got a new tux," said Hal Rubenstein, fashion director for InStyle magazine.

    The list of 320 invitees included political heavyweights, Hollywood moguls, Sikh-American and Indo-American leaders.

    Vice-President Joe Biden, Senator John Kerry, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton led a cast of Democrats joining the President. Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana and Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana were among the Republicans invited to attend. CBS host Katie Couric, Thomas Friedman of The New York Times and CNN correspondent Sanjay Gupta were among the media figures attending. Directors Steven Spielberg and M. Night Shyamalan were the biggest Hollywood names, with Deepak Chopra, Amrit Singh, Analjit Singh, Balwinder Singh, Mohinder Singh, Lakhwinder Singh, Sukhbir Kaur, Upinder Singh, Sant Singh Chhatwal among the Sikh and Indo-American attendees.

    The night featured a number of performances, including those by Oscar-winning songstress Jennifer Hudson, eight-time Grammy nominated jazz singer Kurt Elling and the National Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Elling hails from Chicago, the home city of the Obamas. The evening included a performance by Indian star A.R. Rahman, a composer, record producer, musician and singer best known in North America as the composer of Slumdog Millionaire song Jai Ho .
    In keeping with custom, it also included a performance by The President's Own United States Marine Band, which dates back to 1798.


    Just as it is when you finally make it past the velvet rope, only to find that there's another, more exclusive VIP room ... so it was with the nation's most coveted invitation, a White House state dinner. A few hundred got to attend, but only a handful got to sit with the President and First Lady.

    At Tuesday's dinner for Sardar Manmohan Singh and Sardarni Gursharan Kaur, some obvious picks for the prime seats - the prime minister's daughters and a Nobel laureate at Michelle Obama's table -- but also some surprising ones: Hollywood titan David Geffen, and his boyfriend Jeremy Lingvall at President Obama's table.

    Mrs. Gursharan Kaur, India's First Lady
    Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass)
    Ambassador to India Tim Roemer
    Mary Johnston, Roemer's guest (likely a relative of his wife, Sally Johnston Roemer)
    Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo
    Speaker Nancy Pelosi
    Paul Pelosi, her husband
    David Geffen, the Hollywood titan
    Jeremy Lingvall, Geffen's boyfriend

    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
    Amrit Singh, the Prime Minister's daughter, an ACLU lawyer in New York
    Upinder Singh, another daughter, a Professor at University of Delhi
    Dr. Amartya Sen, Nobel-prize winning economist, now at Harvard
    Emma Rothschild, Dr. Sen's wife, economic historian, now at Harvard
    Gen. Colin Powell, former Secretary of State
    Alma Powell, his wife
    Rep. Howard Berman, (D-Calif.)

    by Darlene Superville
    The first state dinner of the Obama White House had it all: Oscar-winning entertainers, Hollywood moguls, a knockout guest chef and even a wardrobe malfunction.

    Traditional evening gowns vied with saris of vibrant colours Tuesday night at the high-glitz dinner in honour of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. There were turbans and bindis as well as diamonds and brocades.

    "Everyone looks great; we're feeling great," White House social secretary Desiree Rogers told a phalanx of cameras as she arrived, betraying no hint of nerves at the biggest social event of the Obama presidency.

    First lady Michelle Obama had been a little more forthcoming earlier in the day when she described the trick to pulling off the event as sort of like being a swan: calm and serene above the water but "paddling like mad, going crazy underneath."

    The 338-person guest list was a mix of Washington insiders, Hollywood A-listers, prominent figures from the Sikh-American and Indian community in the U.S., and Obama friends, family and campaign donors.

    Attorney General Eric Holder patted his pocket as he arrived and said his kids had prepped him with all sorts of questions for tablemate Steven Spielberg. U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, asked who she was most looking forward to chatting with, ventured, "I'd have to name four." Then didn't.

    Sen. Bob Casey had to scramble when his ensemble went rogue at just the wrong moment: His cummerbund dropped to the floor just as he and his wife stopped to pose before a scrum of about 40 reporters and photographers.

    Alfre Woodard and Blair Underwood provided the celebrity quotient, but neither could come up with a connection to India. Mr. Underwood said he was there because of Ms. Woodard. She said she was there because she's on the president's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.

    Dinner guests were treated to an eye-catching scheme of green and purple, from the green curry surrounding the prawns to the purple floral arrangements paying homage to the peacock, India's national bird.

    Pumpkin was on the menu, too, with Tuesday's dinner coming just two days before the American harvest holiday of Thanksgiving.

    Hours before guests arrived and in keeping with tradition, Mrs. Obama previewed the glamorous table settings in the State Dining Room. That's often the venue for such dinners, but not this time.

    Instead, in an effort to show Mr. Manmohan Singh how much the U.S. values relations with his country, the Obamas decided to serve dinner in a huge white tent on the South Lawn, with views of the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial through clear panels.

    It wasn't your everyday tent: This one had chandeliers suspended from the ceiling and beige carpet on the floor.

    President Barack Obama, in his dinner toast, said the setting conjured images of India, where special events are "often celebrated under the cover of a beautiful tent." Mr. Manmohan Singh, in turn, told the president he was overwhelmed by the Obamas' hospitality and said the president's election last year had been an inspiration to millions of Indians.

    Magnolia branches native to both India and the U.S. adorned the tent's inside walls, along with ivy and nandina foliage.

    Guests were seated 10 apiece at round tables draped in green apple-coloured cloths and napkins, offset by the sparkle of gold-coloured flatware and china, including service and dinner plates from the Eisenhower, Clinton and George W. Bush settings.

    Floral arrangements of hydrangeas, roses and sweet peas in plum, purple and fuschia evoked India's state bird.

    Mrs. Obama brought in award-winning chef Marcus Samuelsson of Aquavit, a Scandinavian restaurant in New York City, to help White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford and her staff prepare the largely vegetarian meal. Mr. Manmohan Singh is a vegetarian.

    Mr. Samuelsson said being chosen to help whip up dinner was both "overwhelming and humbling."

    The culinary offerings included potato and eggplant salad, arugula from the White House garden, red lentil soup and roasted potato dumplings or green curry prawns. Pumpkin pie tart and pear tatin were for dessert; the pears were poached in honey from the White House beehive.

    The entertainment lineup was stellar.

    Singer-actress Jennifer Hudson and jazz vocalist and composer Kurt Elling, both Grammy Award winners from the Obamas' hometown of Chicago, were performing. Ms. Hudson also won an Academy Award for her role in Dreamgirls . Indian musician and singer A.R. Rahman, who won two Academy Awards for the music in Slumdog Millionaire , also was in the lineup.

    Among the other guests: Hollywood moguls David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg. Guests with ties to India included spiritual adviser Deepak Chopra, director M. Night Shyamalan and PepsiCo chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi. Katie Couric of CBS News, Brian Williams of NBC News, Robin Roberts of ABC News and CNN Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta were among the media representatives invited. Oprah Winfrey was not on the list, but her best friend, Gayle King, was among the guests. Also there Obama friends Eric Whitaker and Martin Nesbitt, along with Mr. Obama's half sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, and her husband, Konrad; and Marian Robinson, the first lady's mother.

    Every aspect of Tuesday's events was fraught with meaning and symbolism, from the flower colours to Mrs. Obama's clothing designers.
    For the dinner, Mrs. Obama wore a sleeveless, gold and cream-coloured sheath dress with an overlay of silver and matching shawl by Indian-born designer Naeem Khan. At the State Dining Room event earlier in the day, the first lady wore a skirt by Rachel Roy, who is Indian.

    The dinner also was a debut of sorts for florist Laura Dowling, who's been on the job less than a month.

    The list of expected guests for President Barack Obama's first White House state dinner in honor of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, as provided by the White House.

    Barack Obama and U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama

    Sardar Manmohan Singh and India'a First Lady, Sardarni Gursharan Kaur
    Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-N.Y.
    Sant Singh Chatwal
    Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman of India's Planning Commission
    Mukesh D. Ambani
    Tim Dutta, spouse of Pia Awal
    David Axelrod, White House senior adviser, and Susan Axelrod
    Preeta Bansal, general counsel for the Office of Management and Budget
    Melody Barnes, White House domestic policy director, and Marland E. Buckner
    Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., and Jane Berman
    Om Prakash Bhatt
    Hunter Biden and Kathleen Biden
    Vice President Joe Biden and Jill Biden
    Robert O. Blake Jr., the assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian Affairs, and Sofia Blake
    New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Diana Taylor
    John Brennan, assistant to the president for homeland security and deputy national security adviser for counterterrorism, and Katherine Brennan
    Lisa Brown, White House staff secretary, and Kevin Cullen
    Donald Browne and Maria Junqera
    Carol Browner, White House adviser on energy and climate, and Tom Downey
    William Burns, undersecretary of state for political affairs, and Lisa Carty
    Gen. James E. Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Sandee Cartwright
    Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Terese Casey
    Rajiv Chandrasekaran and Julie Chandrasekaran
    I.S. Chaturvedi, personal secretary to India's prime minister
    Minnesota state Sen. Satveer Chaudhry and Col. Ravi Chaudhry
    Rohini Chopra
    Deepak Chopra and Rita Chopra
    Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Jean Chu
    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
    Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., and Emily Clyburn
    Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., and Lucy Calutti
    David Cote
    Katie Couric of CBS and Brooks L. Perlin
    Greg Craig, White House counsel, and Margaret D. Craig
    Paula Crown and Jim Crown
    Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., and Maya Rockeymoore
    Iowa Sen. Swati Dandekar and Arvind Dandekar
    Rajesh De, deputy assistant attorney general at the Justice Department
    Nancy-Ann DeParle, director of the White House Office of Health Reform, and Jason P. DeParle
    Bhairavi Desai and Javaid Tariq
    Vishakha N. Desai and Robert Oxman
    Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., and Jackie Clegg Dodd
    John Doerr
    Thomas Donilon, assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser, and Cathy Russell
    Anita Dunn, White House communications director, and Bob Bauer
    Ari Emanuel and Sarah Emanuel
    Rahm Emanuel, White House chief of staff, and Amy Rule
    Jon Favreau, assistant to the president and director of speechwriting
    Sarah Feinberg, of the Office of the Chief of Staff
    District of Columbia Mayor Adrian Fenty and Michelle Fenty
    Michelle Flournoy
    Thomas Friedman and Ann Friedman
    Mike Froman, deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs
    Ashok S. Ganguly
    Patrick Gaspard, White House political director and Raina Washington
    Defense Secretary Robert Gates
    Charlene Gaynor and Richard Heiss
    David Geffen and Jeremy Lingvall
    Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Carole Sonnenfeld
    Robert Gibbs, White House press secretary
    Anish Goel, acting senior director of South Asia affairs for the National Security Council
    Senapathy Gopalakrishnan
    Mark Gorenberg and Wendy Wanderman
    John Gorman and Tamra Gorman
    Ohio state Rep. Jay Goyal and Kiran Goyal
    Kansas state Rep. Raj Goyle and Monica Arora
    Gov. Jennifer Granholm, D-Mich., and Daniel Mulhern
    Earl G. Graves and Barbara Graves
    Geeta Rao Gupta and Arvind Gupta
    Raj Gupta
    Rajat Gupta and Anita M. Gupta
    Sanjay Gupta and Rebecca Olson Gupta
    Lee Hamilton and Nancy Hamilton
    Kamala Harris and Maya Harris
    Kamil Hassan and Talat Hassan
    George Haywood and Cheryl J. Haywood
    Fred Hochberg, chairman and president of the Export-Import Bank, and Thomas P. Healy
    Rep. Paul Hodes, D-N.H., and Margaret Hodes
    Attorney General Eric Holder and Sharon Malone
    John P. Holdren and Cheryl E. Holdren
    Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., and John Norton
    Robert D. Hormats, undersecretary of state for economic, energy and agricultural affairs, and Camille Massey
    Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and Kathleen May
    Chris Hughes and Sean S. Eldridge
    Jeff Immelt
    Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, and Irene Hirano
    Deepa Iyer, Parag Khandhar and Vasudeva Iyer
    Lisa Jackson, Environmental Protection Agency administrator, and Kenneth Jackson
    Valerie Jarrett, White House senior adviser
    Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-La., and Supriya Jindal
    James Jones, national security adviser, and Diane Jones
    Vernon Jordan, former adviser to President Bill Clinton, and Ann Jordan
    Anil Kakani
    Farooq Kathwari and Farida Kathwari
    Neal Katyal, deputy solicitor general
    Jeffrey Katzenberg and Marilyn Katzenberg
    Maneesha Kelkar and Vinay Vaishampayan
    Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.
    Harish Khare, media adviser to Indian prime minister
    Bradley Kiley, of the Office of Management and Administration, and James Coley, Jr.
    Gayle King, close friend of Oprah Winfrey
    U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Matrice Ellis-Kirk
    Ron Klain, the vice president's chief of staff
    Chanda Kochhar
    S.M. Krishna, Indian minister of External Affairs
    Gaitri Kumar, joint secretary for the Americas, Ministry of External Affairs of India
    Vivek Kundra, federal chief information officer at the White House
    Jhumpa Lahiri, author, and Alberto Vourvoulias
    Marc Lasry, co-founder of hedge fund Avenue Capital Group, and Cathy Lasry
    Jacob Lew, the deputy secretary of state for management and resources
    Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, and Mona Locke
    Christopher Lu, Cabinet secretary, and Kathryn Thomson
    Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and Char Lugar
    Michael Lynton, chairman and chief executive of Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Elizabeth Jamie Alter
    Surinder Malhotra
    Capricia Marshall, chief of protocol at the State Department
    Alyssa Mastromonaco, of the White House Office of Scheduling
    Brian Mathis and Tracey Kemble
    Kiran Mazumda-Shaw
    Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Joseph Shepard
    Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., and Therese Marie Hansen
    Zarin Mehta and Carmen Lasky
    Jim Messina, Obama's deputy chief of staff
    Judd Miner and Linda Miner
    Newt Minow and Josephine Minow
    Sunil Bharti Mittal
    Kalpen Modi, associate director in the Office of Public Liaison
    Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Deborah Mullen
    Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano
    Indian National Security Adviser M. K. Narayanan
    Shantanu Narayen and Reni Narayen
    Raju Narisetti and Durga Raghunath
    Martin Nesbitt, Obama's friend, and Anita Blanchard
    Maya Soetoro-Ng, Obama's half-sister, and Konrad Ng
    Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo.
    Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., and Joan Obey
    Peter Orszag, White House budget director
    Jim Owens and Katie Owens
    Deepak Parekh
    Eboo Patel and Shehnez Mansuri
    Gov. Deval Patrick, D-Mass., and Diane Patrick
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Paul Pelosi
    Dan Pfeiffer, White House communications director
    Sam Pitroda and Anjana Pitroda
    Colin Powell, former Secretary of State, and Alma Powell
    Rachakonda Prabhu and Lata Shete Prabhu
    Penny Pritzker and Brian Traubert
    Kavita Ramdas
    Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao
    Preetha Reddy
    Gov. Ed Rendell, D-Pa., and Marjorie Rendell
    Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for strategic communications
    Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and Ian Cameron
    Gov. Bill Richardson, D-N.M., and Barbara Richardson
    Robin Roberts of ABC News
    Marian Robinson, the first lady's mother
    Timothy Roemer, U.S. ambassador to India, and Mary Johnston
    Desiree Rogers, White House social secretary
    John Rogers
    Christina Romer, chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers
    Dennis Ross, of the National Security Council
    Rep. Edward Royce, R-Calif., and Marie Therese Royce
    Michael Sacks and Cari Sacks
    Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., and James Sullivan
    Pankaj Saran, joint secretary to Indian prime minister
    Shyam Saran, special envoy to Indian prime minister
    Jaideep Sarkar, personal secretary to Indian prime minister
    Parag Saxena
    Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., and Robert Creamer
    Phil Schiliro, assistant to the president for legislative affairs, and Jody Schiliro
    Annetta Seecharran and Seema Agnani
    Stuart Seldowitz, acting director for South Asia at the National Security Council
    Amartya Sen and Emma Georgina Rothschild
    Rajiv J. Shah, undersecretary of agriculture for research, education and economics
    Sonal Shah, deputy assistant to the president and director of the White House Domestic Policy Council's Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation
    Vinod Shah
    Meera Shankar, India's ambassador in Washington
    Susan Sher, assistant to the president and chief of staff to the first lady, and Neil Cohen
    M. Night Shyamalan, movie director, and Bhavna Shyamalan
    Amrit Singh and Analjit Singh
    Arun K. Singh, deputy chief of mission for the Indian Embassy
    Balvinder Singh and Mohinder Singh
    Lakhwinder Singh and Sukhbir Kaur
    Upinder Singh
    Steven Spielberg, movie director
    Sri Srinivasan and Carla Garrett
    Srinija Srinivasan
    Jim Steinberg, deputy secretary of state, and Sherburne Bradstreet
    Semonti Stephens, deputy press secretary for the first lady
    Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, and Anna Burger, Change to Win chairwoman
    Jane Stetson and Bill Stetson
    Larry Summers, director of the National Economic Council, and Elisa New
    Mona Sutphen, White House deputy chief of staff, and Clyde Williams
    Ratan Tata
    Tina Tchen, director of the White House Office of Public Engagement
    Vinai Thummalapally, U.S. ambassador to Belize, and Barbara Thummalapally
    Jim Torrey and Rose P. Lynch
    Richard Trumka and Paul H. Lemmon
    Urvashi Vaid and Kate Clinton
    Kirk Wagar and Crystal Connor
    Eric E. Whitaker and Cheryl Whitaker
    Brian Williams of NBC News and Jane Williams
    Wellington Wilson and Mrs. Wilson (first name was not given)
    Neal Wolin, deputy treasury secretary
    Alfre Woodard, actress, and Blair E. Underwood, actor
    Fareed Zakaria and Paula Throckmorton Zakaria
    [Courtesy: The Globe & Mail, with reports from The Washington Post and The Associated Press]
    November 25, 2009

    Forwarded by forum member Tejwant Singh ji Malik. :)
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  3. OP

    spnadmin United States
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    Jun 17, 2004
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    Well, I really enjoyed reading this for a lot of reasons. I was interested in the menu and also in the floral arrangements, and wanted all the details.

    Can't resist some social commentary that popped right out at me.

    The first lady, Michelle Obama, has become something of an advocate for healthy food and fresh vegetables. The White House garden, under her supervision, has become an important stop in any visit to the White House. She has built it into something of a landmark. Mrs. Obama and her garden are featured frequently on food and cooking blogs, as are her official appearances at food and nutrition events and gatherings.

    The White House bee hives are also climbing in popularity.They are now part of organized programs for school children, with professional demonstrations of bee-keeping for the benefit of school children, many city born and bred, who have no idea how honey is made, where it comes from, and how it gets to market.

    Finally, the funny one. In the US it is a social convention for husbands and wives to mix and match. The higher in social status one is the more obligatory it is for Husband A to sit with Wife B, and for Husband B to sit with Wife A. This is true for seating at restaurants, dinner parties, and even in limousines when traveling. To do otherwise is "too pendu" to borrow the Punjabi phrase. So we have Mrs. Obama seated with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh; and President Obama is seated with Mrs. Gursharan Kaur, wife of the Prime Minister.

    You can tell where I am in the social hierarchy over here. I think the mix and match husbands and wives is silly, and I am interested in fruits, vegetables, gardens and beehives. :}{}{}:
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  4. harbansj24

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    Feb 19, 2007
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    Gursharan kaur has picked up and adapted the graces and niceties of being India's first lady very well. Earlier she was like a "Bhua" next door!
  5. Mai Harinder Kaur

    Mai Harinder Kaur
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    Oct 6, 2006
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    I'm with you Narayanjot ji!

    Separating husbands and wives is a strange custom. I have no idea where it came from.

    President Mr. Barack Obama was stunning in his black formal tuxedo with a perfectly tied bow-tie and crisp, white shirt, as was Prime Minister Sardar Manmohan Singh who was similarly attired, with the addition of his usual blue turban tied in the traditional Sikh peaked style.

    I was interested that they served prawns at a vegetarian meal. There is so much delicious vegetarian food, I wonder why they felt that was necessary? Even my carnivorous - omnivorous, actually, husband loves my vegetarian fare, especially mattar paneer and lasagna, which I must cook at least once a week.

    Last year, I made a homemade tofurkey which wasn't really all that good. Edible, but nothing special. So tomorrow. we are having pizza, with artichoke hearts, olives, onion, mushrooms, fresh coriander and fake pepperoni, served with a crisp green salad and my homemade cranberry-orange relish. We won't miss the turkey. And the turkey will live to see another day.

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  6. OP

    spnadmin United States
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    Jun 17, 2004
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    Mai ji

    Your menu plans sound wonderful. Wish I were there! I will be with my brother sister mother and nieces and nephews who will eat turkey. :8-:) I never ate it even when I ate meat because the smell really bothers me. There will be lots of vegetable dishes though -- so though I could stand to loose 2 stones I won't starve. :}{}{}:
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