A New Year’s Baptism in Kerala

We decided to baptize Kayan in Kerala, where Christianity goes back to the earliest periods of its history. It is accepted fact here that St. Thomas, on of the twelve disciples, landed in Kerala in 52 A.D., much before Christianity had made its way to Europe. It seemed fitting to celebrate the occasion here, where Sandeep’s family is from and where his parents  have retired. Kayan, however, had other ideas for today, all of which involved tantrums of some fashion. At some point, I heard Sandeep muttering that he hoped the baptism water would cleanse Kayan of his temper, to which my father muttered that it was a baptism, not an exorcism.

After a forced nap and warm bath, neither of which did much to calm him, we managed to wrestle Kayan into the chosen baptism outfit. The only way I was able to avoid getting kicked while changing him was to point out that Ava, who is his idol, had a matching dress.

Once at the church, Kayan continued violently fighting back against his religious induction. On an occasion where parents are meant to step aside and godparents play center stage, Kayan refused to let me go. He returned the priest’s sign of the cross with a dirty look and smacked the bible out of his hands. When Kayan noticed that everyone had their hands clasped together in prayer, he loudly announced Ommmmmm. At least our New York City baby yoga classes registered somewhere.

Once in the pool of water, Kayan’s temper cooled enough to allow his godfather, Sandeep’s brother, to hold him. Maybe the water really did cleanse more than just his sins.

His pleasant mood continued when, after the baptism, we allowed the kids to dismantle a left over wedding bouquet.

At the after party, we also celebrated Sandeep’s dad’s 60th birthday, which is a big deal in Kerala. The cake ensured a happy temper until the end of the evening.

Today, as we celebrate the end of 2011 and the start of a new year, Kayan celebrated a new beginning that hopefully includes a cooler temper.

All our best for 2012. May your year include happy journeys with those you love.


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Filed under India, Religion

5 Responses to A New Year’s Baptism in Kerala

  1. Pingback: The Three Day Indian Errand | a minor diversion

  2. I would not be too perturbed by Kayan’s behavior – initiation of boys into our religion comes with even greater protest. I would only be concerned were he to be expelled from nursery school.
    Love to the family.

    • Diya

      Thanks for the encouragement Jack. He made it through his first day of nursery school without biting or breaking anyone, so we’re on the right track.

  3. Keri

    what a great post! i love that kayan did his “ommmm” when he saw everyone praying. the kids look super cute in their matching outfits!

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